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Review underway into why trains on popular Norfolk route are being stopped early

PUBLISHED: 11:43 21 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:15 21 September 2018

A Greater Anglia Train on the Bittern Line coming into West Runton station. 
Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A Greater Anglia Train on the Bittern Line coming into West Runton station. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2015

Rail company Greater Anglia is carrying out a review into why some of its trains to Sheringham have been terminated early.

Jamie Burles, the firm’s managing director, said in a letter to North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb that the recurring problem of Bittern Line services from Norwich to Sheringham being stopped at Cromer was being looked into.

Mr Burles said the stoppages were sometimes considered the “least worst” option to keep other services running on time.

There have been at least four occasions since the start of August when the service has been terminated at Cromer, leaving passengers for West Runton and Sheringham stations to find another way home.

The terminations have been blamed on train and infrastructure faults, ‘speed restrictions’ and ‘waiting for a train crew member’.

A Greater Anglia Train on the Bittern Line. Picture: MARK BULLIMOREA Greater Anglia Train on the Bittern Line. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Mr Burles said in the letter: “I apologise for the problems encountered recently with some services being turned around at Cromer and the inconvenience caused to those affected.

“We are undertaking a review of the contingency and communication plans for the Sheringham line, to ensure there is more consistency and clarity going forward, in the event of any need to turn trains around at Cromer.

“As part of that review we will look again at the circumstances in which trains are terminated at Cromer, briefings for conductors on our approach and customer communications and reciprocal arrangements with Sanders Coaches, to reduce uncertainty, improve communication and minimise inconvenience for those affected.”

Mr Lamb said he was pleased the firm was taking steps to resolve the issue.

He said: “Good to see GA’s reviewing contingency plans for cancellations and new trains arriving next summer.

“I will continue to monitor.”

Greater Anglia is in the process of replacing its aging fleet, and expects to have new trains running on the Bittern Line next year.

A spokesman for the firm said: “As is mentioned in the reply to Norman, we always do everything we can in such situations to provide clear information to passengers and provide them with onward transport, usually by arranging replacement buses, to get them to their destinations.”

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