Harlow MP Robert Halfon meets with train operators

Politics / Wed 21st Oct 2015 at 07:13am

ROBERT Halfon, MP for Harlow, recently met with Jamie Burles, the Chief Executive, and Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs, at Abellio Greater Anglia to discuss improvements to railway services in his constituency.

Robert Halfon said:

“I recently met with Abellio to discuss what improvements they are making for residents in Harlow and the surrounding villages. These came under three areas:

Trains: Abellio have already refurbished 12 of the oldest trains on the train line servicing Cambridge to London and will refurbishing one a week for the rest of the year. They have also employed 100 extra cleaners meaning that there are now 400 rather than 300 cleaners servicing the trains and improving the quality of journey for residents.

Smart Cards: Smart Cards are being trialled to offer convenience to customers and Abellio plan to roll these out in Harlow in the first quarter of next year. The cards would be able to be topped up as pay-as-you-go or can have season tickets loaded onto on them. Harlow will be one of the first areas to benefit from this scheme which, although at first just will offer convenience, will later be expanding to provide flexible pricing to meet the needs of commuting flexible workers and price caps to automatically limit your spending to the price of the most cost effective travel card for you.

Infrastructure: There are particular improvements planned for the Roydon station which would look to see CCTV installed, the waiting room refurbished and new customer information screens. They will also look into the feasibility of a new ticket machine, to have one on each side of the tracks, to ease queues in rush hour.

91% of Abellio Greater Anglia’s trains are now running on time or within 5 minutes of their scheduled departures/arrivals. This is higher than the national average of 89%, but Abellio have also made it a lot more simple for customers to claim compensation if people are affected by these delays. There are now online forms that can be completed and submitted a lot easier without the hassle of having to fill in a paper form in the railway station.

I am glad that I was able to meet with Abellio to discuss these improvements. Railway services will be even more important in the coming years as Harlow grows as an hub for innovation, enterprise and scientific research, particularly with the fantastic announcement of the relocation of Public Health England to Harlow and continued development of the Harlow Enterprise Zone.”

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