Greater Anglia success celebrated by Harlow’s Robert Halfon
Business / Tue 17th Oct 2023 at 11:27am
WITH 112 brand new trains serving Harlow, plans to increase the frequency of the Stansted Express and new statistics showing local trains are the most punctual in the country, Harlow’s Member of Parliament, Robert Halfon, has celebrated Greater Anglia’s £1.4 billion investment to make the region’s rail network the best in the country.
Mr Halfon met with Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, Jamie Burles, and Head of Corporate Affairs, Jonathan Denby, earlier this month to discuss the important work the company has done over the last few years to improve the efficiency of services and to make train travel more accessible, affordable and straightforward for passengers from Harlow and the villages.
Greater Anglia have confirmed that the Stansted Express will return to four trains per hour from December, creating capacity for even more passengers. Supported by smart ticketing options for season ticket holders, cheaper parking rates and recent upgrades at Harlow Mill station, rail travel across the region has never been better.
Mr Halfon also raised his concerns, and those of local residents, about proposals to close station ticket offices and move staff to other locations around the station. Greater Anglia confirmed that any changes would not see a reduction in the number of staff available or the hours for which they are available; however, the response to the recent consultation is very clear that passengers do not want change. As this is a national issue, the final decision will be made by the Department for Transport.
Following his meeting with Greater Anglia, Robert said, “I am delighted that Greater Anglia is providing outstanding rail services across the network, including for hard working Harlow people commuting to London and Cambridge, and holiday makers benefitting from even more Stansted Express services every hour.
“Every single Greater Anglia service is now operated by brand new trains, with more trains joining the fleet soon. These trains have more seats, better on board facilities and are more accessible with lower floors and retractable steps. The new fleet has led to better performance, with 94% of trains on time across the network, and higher cleanliness standards on board.
“I also strongly welcome plans to roll out contactless ticketing to include Harlow and the villages, making journeys in and out of the capital easier and cheaper. With passenger numbers now between 90% and 100% of pre-pandemic levels, it is more important than ever that contactless travel reaches Harlow.
“I have written to the Rail Minister to express my concerns about proposals to close ticket offices, and I will work closely with the Government and Greater Anglia to ensure the voices of Harlow residents remain represented at all levels during this consultation period.”
How? Greater Anglia have the option of helping Harlow Residents by working with TfL to provide the Oyster Card System and prices. There are places further away from London than Harlow which has the Oyster System and lower prices as a result. Greater Anglia if you want to celebrate success, give Harlow the Oyster Card system that TfL say is in your hands to provide a truly affordable option for Harlow residents. Really surprised the council haven’t challenged Greater Anglia to do so too
Another PR stunt from Mr Halfon, but no answers to parents of children at schools affected by RAAC or parents of children affected by the potential collapse of the SFG building. He is a Minister in the DfE, he knows why these things happened, but he chooses not to answer.
Success? You're joking. Fares go up every year yet the trains are never on-time and take an absolute age to get to London. Must be on another planet.
You get him Mark! Holding his feet to the fire more than this excuse for a news site which is only focused on feeding his attention seeking. Never forget, he cheated on his wife for 4 years and only came out about it because he was going to be outed anyway. If a man can't be loyal to his own wife he's never be loyal to the town, it's just a job he's in danger of losing and he'll do all the PR he can to keep it.
A curiosity. What share of GA's profits is made out of the unjust penalty fares given to passengers going to Stansted Airport? Im referring to Stansted Express passengers scammed into entering the train by tapping their credit cards, which are enough to open the access gates automatically, then fined at arrival because they don't have a ticket that was never asked. It must be a lot since Greater Anglia even put a penalty fare dedicated desk just at arrival with a guy specifically hired to deal with large queues of people found without tickets. A feature not seen anywhere else in the world. Such great business I guess!
An absolute joke, the most expensive line in the country!!! Rarely punctual, I have missed trains to Cambridge due to them leaving early. Nationalise the rail network!! Greater anglia are not even a British company.
I welcome the news of new trains, however, this does not enhance travel experience for wheelchair users such as myself, and sone mothers with buggies . I have not been able to travel by train because of the constant broken lift at Harlow train station. A response I received a few months ago was that it was costly to do the repairs promptly. The cost of new trains vs the cost to repair a lift .. How are the TOC doing their maths, and who is being left behind in accessing public transport?
If Greater Anglia were efficient, they may have been able to close my on-going complaint from July as to why they failed to communicate with TFL to keep Seven Sisters station open for the last diverted train arriving from Liverpool Street heading to Bishop Stortford on a Sunday night. This left my vulnerable teenage daughter travelling home from an event stranded at midnight, miles from home. Despite my repeated attempts to receive the results of an investigation, no-one at Greater Anglia is taking passenger service and safety seriously. They hope I go away. Anyone in management at Greater Anglia reading this - shame on you! If you care about your customers, call me.