Greater Anglia urges stakeholders to get on board for franchise extension

TRAIN operator Greater Anglia is consulting key stakeholders about their priorities as it looks for extend its franchise to run the Cambridge to London Liverpool Street line to 2016.

However the company has warned that as the proposed extra term “would only be for quite a short period of time and it is unclear at this stage what investment may or may not be available, it will be important to be realistic about what might be practical”.

Ruud Haket, Greater Anglia’s managing director, said: “We have achieved much in our first 14 months operating the Greater Anglia franchise, including better punctuality, improved information provision, easier ticket purchase and, in partnership with Network Rail, a major reduction in disruptive weekend service alterations.

“However, we know that our passengers rightly expect further improvements, we recognise that we have more to do to achieve higher standards, more consistently, and we are keen to maintain the positive momentum of service enhancements we have created since February 2012.

“By working together with and listening to our stakeholders, we aim to do all we can to secure the best possible programme of affordable upgrades from an extension period, for the customers and communities we serve in East Anglia.”

The company is therefore asking stakeholders – such as county councils, chambers of commerce, MPs, local enterprise partnerships and rail user groups – for their top four or five priorities.

Aspirations are expected to focus on upgrades to the trains themselves, station improvements, small scale timetable alterations, development of smart ticketing and further progress on integrated transport facilities, but Greater Anglia is looking to have prioritised, current views from stakeholders to inform any discussions with the Department for Transport.

The Greater Anglia franchise began operating on February 5, 2012, taking over from National Express East Anglia. It is responsible for 1,900 train services a day, calling at 167 stations with two million passengers a week.

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Source : Hertsandessexobserver

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