East Anglian train passengers’ two million minute wait for a train

Norwich Railway Station. Commuters passengers passing throught the barriers to the trains. Photo : S

Norwich Railway Station. Commuters passengers passing throught the barriers to the trains. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

Passengers using Greater Anglia trains have endured more than two million minutes of delays since Abellio took control in February 2012, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

The figures also show that 36,650 train journeys - more than 2pc of the total 1.7m - have been cancelled in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshrie and Essex in the period.

A combination of power line faults and signalling problems, the impact of other operators, and Greater Anglia itself, have been blamed by the Department for Transport for the 34,500 hours which passengers across the network have been left sitting on a platform or a train.

MP Chloe Smith said: 'Any delay or cancellation disrupts passengers. These are people trying to get to work, or otherwise trying to get about their daily business.

'The rail service we have in East Anglia generally is not good enough which is why I have launched the Great Eastern Main Line Campaign to get faster rail services and much more reliable ones by upgrading the infrastructure and the trains.'

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The newly revealed figures also show that there have also been 5,808 train faults in the period.

But Greater Anglia claimed it was 'performing considerably better' than the average punctuality for the industry, hitting 90.6pc over the last 12 months, compared to the national average of 89.2pc.

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The spokesman said Abellio accepted there was much more to do to improve punctuality, alongside Network Rail, which is why it had led the campaign with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and region's MPs to make a 'powerful case' for greater investment in improving the Great Eastern Main Line.

She said they expected an announcement by the Government on the case for additional funding next month.

Chancellor George Osborne travelled to Norfolk last year to launch the Great Eastern Rail taskforce to look at how the line between Norwich and London could be speeded up, and the train service could be more reliable.

This month the Local Enterprise Partnership published its report which said more than £470m of investment was needed in the rail link so trains can go faster and to reduce delays.

Greater Anglia also added that it operates more than 1,900 trains a day, and the majority of cancellations were caused by infrastructure faults or other incidents, such as fatalities, which have almost doubled in the past year, the weather and train faults.

Ian Edwards, a commuter who runs a Twitter feed @Delayed_Again highlighting delays and shortcomings in carriages, said the delays were 'pathetic', and blamed 'lightweight old knackered trains'.

Do you have a political story, or a story about the railway? Email annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk

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