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Halfon/Stride on same track over Greater Anglia performance woes

Politics / Thu 20th Feb 2014 am28 10:03am

A Which? survey of passengers has revealed a shocking level of passenger satisfaction on Greater Anglia trains. Despite inflation-busting fare rises, passengers on Greater Anglia gave the company a score of just 40%. This rates Greater Anglia as joint last in this years survey, making it the worst train company in the UK.

Value for money and cleanliness were particular issues with passengers giving the service a score of just one out of five stars for both. Nationally, eight out of ten passengers think fares are too high. A yearly season ticket from Harlow to London Liverpool Street is now £3,064.00.

Suzy Stride, Labour’s General Election candidate for Harlow. said:

“It’s no surprise that 8 in 10 commuters think fares are too high, when season tickets from Harlow to London Liverpool Street have gone up to £3,044 under this Government. Season tickets have gone up by 20% from 2010 under this Government, costing hard-working commuters hundreds of pounds, contributing to Cameron’s cost-of-living crisis.

“What’s worse is that despite these fare rises Greater Anglia’s trains get the worst possible score for cleanliness. When people are shelling out such a huge proportion of their salary to get to work I think they have the right to expect clean trains.

“David Cameron and Robert Halfon are still failing to stand up for working people, allowing train companies to hit passengers with inflation-busting fare rises of up to nine per cent a year.”

Robert Halfon has expressed his disappointment at Greater Anglia being voted the joint worst train service by commuters in the country by Which?.

As well as the results from Which?, Mr Halfon also recently carried out a rail survey of 300 commuters himself at Harlow station, which revealed that:
53% of commuters report that trains are late at least once a week
73% of commuters report that they have to stand at least once a week
60% of commuters would like to see longer trains
73% of commuters would like to see more frequent trains

Since 2010, Robert has fought hard to improve railway journeys for commuters, having regular meetings with Greater Anglia, where issues such as train delays and improving facilities at stations such as Roydon are regularly discussed.

He has also raised issues with Harlow’s railway in the House of Commons regularly, and has secured a meeting with the Rail Minister, Stephen Hammond MP, to discuss further improvements that are need.

During a recent debate in Parliament he brought up commuters’ concerns over areas such as the lack of facilities at Harlow Mill Station, and called for it to be refurbished. Responding to commuters’ concerns regarding overcrowding, he called for longer trains to be introduced in order to decrease overcrowding, and extending the Oyster Card system to Harlow.
Responding to these findings, Robert said:

“I was very disappointed to read that Greater Anglia has been voted joint worst train service by commuters in the country, but I do recognise the problems that have been raised. I have long advocated for Harlow commuters in Parliament to get an improved service. I also have regular meetings with Greater Anglia, and Stephen Hammond MP, Minister for railways, has agreed to meet with me to discuss my concerns.

Unfortunately, train fares being expensive are not a new problem. The previous Labour Government relaxed rules on rail fares allowing rail companies to dramatically increase fares on popular routes, for example, on some routes in 2009 rail fares went up by 11.5% in just one year, and in Harlow, fares rose by around 40% over 13 years.

This Government is doing everything it can to help ease the financial pressure on commuters, as well as ensuring that the rail network has the investment it needs. For the first time in a decade, regulated fares will not rise on average by more than the rate of inflation, offering relief for families and the hardworking people.This is a positive step forward and will help hard-pressed families, but it is vital that we ensure that Harlow residents who use the trains get good value for money, and the best possible service”

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