Customer Promise During Disruption

Stansted Express services are operated by the train operator Greater Anglia.

Train delays are frustrating, its worse when you’re not kept informed of what’s going on. That’s why Stansted Express/Greater Anglia communicate as quickly as possible, on a regular basis to ensure you know what the situation is, just as soon as we know.

We aim to:

During disruption provide information about the incident, its impact and advice on how to continue your journey

When major delays or disruption occur (in railway jargon a Customer Service Level 2 incident), we send out a message to inform you about the problem, its impact on your train journey and we give advice on how to continue your journey.

  • We send the first message out within ten minutes of the incident and update this message at least every 20 minutes.
  • You can find these messages on our homepage (www.greateranglia.co.uk), on our journeycheck page (www.journeycheck.com/greateranglia), on our mobile website, on some screens on our stations. Shorter version of these messages are on our Twitter feed (@Stansted_Exp and @GreaterAnglia) and the National Rail Enquiries website (www.nationalrail.co.uk).
  • Our colleagues at stations also receive these messages and they form the basis for their announcements and communication with our customers.
  • We want to continuously improve on these messages. Therefore we perform monthly evaluations with authors of these messages. Once a year we ask another train operator to audit some of our messages.

Offer a concise, consistent and accurate reason for delays

Greater Anglia’s philosophy is to be open and transparent to you about what is happening when you experience delays.

To ensure the reason we give you for delays is concise, consistent and accurate, the start point for customer information during disruption is the company’s Control Room. In the Control Room we sit side by side with Network Rail that receives the information first hand. We share all the available information to be able to inform you and our colleagues why an incident is happening as soon and as accurately as we can. For the same reason our Social Media team is located here as well.

  • The systems that display this information to the different customer and staff information channels are linked with each other to provide a consistent message.
  • When an incident occurs that not only affects our customers, but also those of other train operators, we will contact our neighbouring train operators to ensure we all tell the same story.
  • Greater Anglia was one of the industry’s frontrunners with the implementation of an adopted set of delay reasons to enable us to be open and transparent.

Provide a realistic estimate of how long the delays are likely to last

To enable you to re-plan your journey, appointments or even plans for the day, when you are experiencing major delays, we believe it is important to let you know as soon as possible an estimate of how long the delays are likely to last.

  • Working closely with Network Rail, we have the latest available information on when the lines are reopened after an incident. Due to possible displacement of crew and rolling stock it can still take a bit longer for our train services to be up and running in certain situations. We will include this in the estimation as well.

Advise on alternative arrangements for onward travel to your final destination, where possible

In case of major disruption we will do everything we can to provide you with alternative routes to get you where you are travelling to. In our messages we will advise you and our colleagues about the available options for that incident. There are several options for alternative arrangements we can use, depending on the nature, location and time of the incident.

  • In some situations other train operators run to (nearly) the same destinations as Greater Anglia. Therefore they can provide you with an alternative to your journey. With those train companies we have arrangements in place to ensure your ticket during major incidents is valid on their trains.
  • In some situations we are able offer you a journey by bus, arranged by Greater Anglia or where you can use our tickets, instead of a train. This is depended on the amount of customers likely to use the buses, the amount of buses available and how busy it is on the roads.
  • In other situations we can lift ticket restrictions for trains in case you bought your ticket in advance.

Keep you up to date with the latest information about individual trains

In addition to the more general disruption messages, we will do everything we can to keep you up to date on specific train alterations and cancellations.

  • Trains are automatically traced with a piece of equipment on the train and on the tracks. If a train is delayed this automatically updates the customer information screens at stations and triggers the automated announcements.
  • The operators of the customer information system will update the systems so cancellations, changed stopping patterns or reasons for delays are added. Greater Anglia is proud to be one of the best train companies with respect to timely train cancellations so at least you are aware what is happening. However, to maintain this position we will keep working and improving on this every day, because we want to keep you as up to date as we can.
  • You can find information on individual train delays on our JourneyCheck part of the website, the mobile website, our app and the National Rail Enquiries website and app. Our Twitter team and station staff are also always willing to help out.

Deliver consistent and regular information across all channels

Greater Anglia provides you with different sources of information about your journey in disruption. Depending on where you are at that moment, there might be different options. We have processes and systems in place so that all these different channels have the same information available and are updated as soon we know, so you will know what is happening.

At home or on the move you can find real time information through the following channels:

At the station you can get real time information through the following channels:

  • Customer information screens (if available), such as summary of departure boards, the platform screens showing the next train departure on a platform and special notice screens.
  • Operating information screens (if available).
  • Automated announcements via the public address system (if available).
  • Help point or information point.
  • Station staff (unless it is an unmanned station).
  • Local announcements (unless it is an unmanned station).

Plus the channels available to you described under At home or on the move.

On the train you can get real time information through the following channels:

  • Driver. A driver will make an announcement within 1 minute after coming to a stand. When new information becomes available the driver will make further announcements. Even when no new information is available an announcement should be made at least every 5 minutes.
  • Conductor (if available). A conductor will follow the same pattern as mentioned above.

Plus the channels available to you described under At home or on the move.

Where appropriate offer a full or partial refund through our Delay Repay Scheme

Our Delay Repay scheme helps rail users claim compensation if they’ve been delayed for over 30 minutes.

The level of this depends on the length of the delay, as follows:

  • 30-59 minutes delay entitles you to compensation to the value of 50% of the cost of a Single ticket or 50% of the cost of either the outward or return portion of a Return ticket as appropriate. For season tickets and weekly tickets, compensation will be calculated as a proportion of the daily cost of the price of the ticket.
  • For delays of over 60 minutes the amount of compensation is doubled to 100% of the cost of the Single ticket or either portion of the Return ticket.

We will remind you of our Delay Repay option and how to claim it through:

  • Disruption messages on the website.
  • Twitter.
  • After large disruptions, station staff on manned stations will hand out your Delay Repay form to you.
  • Information pages on the website about Delay Repay policy and online claim form.
  • Greater Anglia Passenger’s Charter.

Every Train Operating Company (TOC) in the industry recognises how important it is to manage disruptions properly. At the start of 2015 an industry wide push to improve customer information further was started. Over a period of three years every train operator will implement a set of recommendations. Read more about what Greater Anglia has done so far here

The railway industry has produced an Approved Code of Practice. For further information download the code of practice PDF here