Greater Anglia has been shortlisted for eight accolades at this year’s National Rail Awards, including Passenger Operator of the Year.
The company is a finalist in the Customer Service Excellence award – for leading the industry in rolling out Smart Card ticketing. The new cards make travel easier for customers with a more flexible, resilient and convenient card that can be tapped through the ticket gates, instead of a flimsy, easily damaged paper ticket.
Its Class 156 diesel trains, which run on local lines in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, are short-listed in the Train of the Year award, following a project to fit them with a special wheel slip protection system – which prevents wheel damage in slippery conditions, thereby improving service reliability, especially in the challenging autumn period.
The project was an “industry first” delivering a 38% reduction in autumn cancellations on local lines and a 4.6% rise in punctuality in Autumn 2017.
Laura Englestone, who has been working in the ticket offices at Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft stations and is now helping the company improve customer service standards across the network, has been nominated for the Outstanding Personal Contribution award.
Laura has been nominated for her amazingly positive attitude, exceptional customer service skills and her exemplary actions above and beyond her normal duties, which have seen her go the extra mile to help customers and colleagues and raise thousands of pounds for charity.
Four Greater Anglia stations are nominated for Station of the Year – Ipswich and Norwich in the Large Station category, Ingatestone in the Medium category, and Bures in the Small Station category.
Finally, the company has been short-listed in the Passenger Operator of the Year award, recognizing a range of initiatives to consistently improve all aspects of the service it provides to customers, from better fleet performance to improved station facilities, to more convenient ticketing and easier compensation.
Managing Director, Jamie Burles, said, “It’s great to have so many nominations, including Passenger Operator of the Year, reflecting the significant improvements we’ve delivered for customers in the first 18 months of our franchise.
“Trains are more reliable and cleaner, with many benefitting from refurbishment. We’ve also added more seats, by leasing more trains, implemented timetable improvements and upgraded our stations.
“In addition, we’ve made it easier to buy tickets, simplified compensation claims and raised customer service standards.
“Meanwhile, the introduction of an entire brand-new train fleet is on schedule and will transform the rail service in East Anglia during 2019/2020.”
The winners will be announced on 13 September.