Commuter sends diary of complaints to Greater Anglia

Norfolk commuter Nick Hannant who is compiling a diary of his delayed journeys with Greater Anglia.

Norfolk commuter Nick Hannant who is compiling a diary of his delayed journeys with Greater Anglia. Photo: Steve Adams

A commuter has become so fed up with delays and cancellations on the Lowestoft to Norwich line, he has started keeping a diary of his experiences.

Nick Hannant, 28, says that over the last four months the Greater Anglia service had deteriorated and became so exasperated that three weeks ago he decided to start logging every problem he had on his commute from Cantley to Norwich.

'I am your stereotypical Englishman who grins and bears it and puts up with things,' he said.

'But with the trains, it has got to such a point and the service is so poor, that I cannot put up with it any more.'

Mr Hannant, who works for a Norwich-based insurance company, said he has experienced problems three out of the five days a week he uses the service.

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Since he started the diary, delays and cancellations on the line have made him late for work, late for meetings, late home, he has missed a doctor's appointment and had to pay an additional two hours of childcare.

Mr Hannant estimates he has lost up to £300 in buses and taxis he has had to rely on and rail tickets he has not been able to use.

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'How Greater Anglia can regularly increase fares for the service provided is a mystery,' he said.

'The current service is sub-standard, continuously late and quite frankly an embarrassment. My diary clearly shows cancellations, late trains and insufficient carriages is a regular occurance.'

Mr Hannant sent his log of complaints to Greater Anglia and at the time of speaking to the EDP, had received no response.

He explained his complaints were not about financial compensation, but about having a reliable service to use to get to and from work.

Mr Hannant said he was lucky he worked for an 'understanding company' but that fellow commuters were not as fortunate.

One had even been given a disciplinary hearing for being late because of problems with the trains.

'I would like Greater Anglia to adhere to the services they offer,' said Mr Hannant.

'I use it five days out of seven during the week. I am having problems three out of those five days - that's not a great service.'

An Abellio Greater Anglia spokesman said: 'We have been in touch with the customer in respect of his concerns and we're sorry for the occasions when service disruption has affected journeys on this route and for the inconvenience and frustration this has caused. Our two-carriage Class 156 trains that operate many services on our rural routes are currently being upgraded as part of a £3m rolling programme of improvements for these trains. Another of our local trains is also being repaired following extensive damage sustained because of the East Coast flooding.'

The spokesman added that problems associated with the adverse weather since late autumn had also been a factor on some days.

'For instance, there were two separate occasions at the end of last week where fallen trees blown down in the high winds caused some disruption to services between Norwich and Great Yarmouth / Lowestoft. Network Rail engineers responded quickly to these incidents to minimise the extent of the disruption,' she said.

The company defended annual fare rises saying they helped maintain investment in the railways and were determined largely by government policy.

The spokesman said: 'Any customer delayed by 30 minutes or more may be entitled to some compensation under our 'Delay Repay' scheme, application forms can be obtained from Abellio Greater Anglia stations, from our customer contact centre and downloaded from our website.'

Mr Hannant has now been given compensation for his delayed journeys.

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