Rail staff praised for making key workers’ trains run on time

The managing director of Greater Anglia has praised the efforts of colleagues and teams across the company in keeping trains running punctually for key workers during April.

Overall 97.3% of the company’s trains ran on time last month, thanks to the dedication of teams across the business, including drivers, conductors, station staff, cleaning teams, depot teams, fleet teams, control teams and back office teams to keep the railway open and safe, which managing director Jamie Burles described as ‘excellent’.

He said: “I’m very grateful to my colleagues who are coming to work every day, under very challenging circumstances, and doing their best to deliver an excellent service for other key workers, and those with essential journeys to make.

“During these difficult times they are still here for customers and communities and are really playing their part in helping the region deal with the pandemic, delivering a consistently reliable service, as illustrated by our very good performance in April.

“We remain committed to providing the best possible service for key workers and anyone else who still needs to travel.

“Please help us to both protect those who cannot work from home (including many of our teams here at Greater Anglia) and to enable social distancing, by only travelling if your journey is essential or unavoidable.”

All Greater Anglia routes saw very good performance during April. The top five were the London to Chelmsford/Colchester/Clacton line and the London to Southend line – both at 98.9%, the Norwich to Sheringham line at 98.6%, the Marks Tey to Sudbury line at 98.5% and Stansted Express services at 97.7%.

Other routes still saw over 94% or more trains running on time, with Norwich to Cambridge services at 96.7%, Norwich/Ipswich – London Intercity services at 96.4%, West Anglia services, 95.7%, the Ipswich to Felixstowe line, 95.7%, Norwich to Lowestoft line, 95.6%, Ipswich to Cambridge/Peterborough lines, 95.2%, the Norwich to Great Yarmouth line at 94.4% and the Ipswich to Lowestoft line at 94.0% punctuality.

The results continue the consistent delivery of daily punctuality figures of between 93% and 99%, which have been recorded on routes across the network, throughout the period while Greater Anglia has been running a reduced service for key workers to get to work and back during lockdown.

Greater Anglia has been working in partnership with Network Rail, Stadler, Siemens, the Department for Transport, the Rail Delivery Group and other rail industry partners since lockdown, to provide a reliable service for key workers in the East of England.

The latest Government advice is to avoid public transport to keep trains and stations safe for key workers whose journeys are essential.

Greater Anglia has put in place a number of measures to keep those staff and passengers who do have to travel safe.

The cleaning programme for trains and stations has been stepped up, with particular attention to touch points, including push buttons, grab rails and door handles, and topping up of soap, water and toilet roll, to help prevent the spread of the virus.

A number of initiatives, including adding floor markings at some stations, additional information online, on station posters and announcements on trains and stations, are also being put in place to help customers to socially distance.

Special queuing systems may be in operation at some stations and customers are being asked to consider starting or finishing work earlier or later, so that not everyone is travelling at the same time.

The Government is also advising people to wear a face covering when using public transport.

Customers are being asked to buy their ticket online or via the Greater Anglia app before they get to the station or, if they have to buy it from the station, to use contactless payment at a ticket machine.

Greater Anglia has been monitoring passenger numbers on a daily basis to ensure the revised timetable remains fit for purpose and, where appropriate, some extra carriages and extra services have been added over the last few weeks.

Photo credit: Greater Anglia