Greater Anglia and Network Rail ‘genuinely sorry’ for summer disruptions as action plan announced

16:59 18 August 2014

A Greater Anglia train at Ilford train Station.

A Greater Anglia train at Ilford train Station.


Under-pressure train bosses have apologised to customers and vowed to take “urgent action” to improve the much maligned service.

In a joint statement published on the Abellio Greater Anglia website on Friday, managing director Jamie Burles and Network Rail Anglia managing director Richard Schofield said they were “genuinely sorry” for the problems affecting train services in recent weeks.

But after first appearing on Friday, the statement appeared to have been removed from the website today.

Two weeks ago the Recorder reported that commuters had faced nearly 2,000 hours of delays in just seven days on the Liverpool Street to Shenfield line.

Friday’s statement said the service had been “well below the standards you rightly expect and we intend to deliver”, and blamed problems on infrastructure failures, engineering problems, train faults, fatalities, flooding and vehicles crashing into bridges.

Mr Burles and Mr Schofield said they were “acutely aware of the frustration and inconvenience” felt by passengers.

A plan of action was detailed which included fixing infrastructure faults more quickly, investing in maintenance for points, signalling and level-crossings and removing trees and plants from the sides of the tracks – including on third party land.

The pair also said they would improve planning and contingency for engineering work, invest in tackling the main causes of train faults – doors, couplers and pantographs – and speed up the fitting of remote monitoring equipment to trains to help identify potential faults before they happen.

The plan also includes trialling stand-by buses at “key locations” such as Bishop’s Stortford, Witham, Ipswich and Norwich.

They said improvements had already been made, such as using a train with a rooftop camera to look for faults and problems.

And the statement said “improved customer information procedures” to provide better information during disruptions were being implemented, with more customer information staff working during the morning and evening peak times and a software upgrade programme underway at London Liverpool Street.

“Please accept our apologies for the recent problems. We are under no illusion as to the impact these problems have had on passengers and we are anxious to put things right,” said the statement.

“We believe that this targeted programme of initiatives will help restore the more consistent service we all want to see.

“Everyone in our teams is working as hard as possible to deliver real improvements over the coming weeks.”

Asked why the statement was no longer available on the Greater Anglia website, a spokeswoman said it had initially been put on the homepage “so everyone can see it” and would return to a “permanent position” on the website.

The statement has since reappeared on the site.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Campaigners and Cllr Tom McLaren, fourth from left, at the gates in Woodford Green, protesting at the new CCTV system. Photo: Ken Mears

Controversial traffic gates in Woodford Green will remain open with CCTV being installed to prevent drivers using the roads as a rat run.

Redbridge Music Service's symphony orchestra performing at the 50th anniversary concert at Redbridge Town Hall, Ilford, last week. Picture: Kois Miah

The council was peppered with questions on its proposal to transfer Redbridge Music Service and Redbridge Drama Centre to its leisure arm Vision, at full council.

Paw-fect dog groomers, Longwood Gardens, Clayhall, is hosting a Christmas grotto for dogs. Picture: David Solomon

Life size reindeers, bags of fake snow with Father Christmas sitting slap bang in the middle – a grotto fit for your excited little ones?

Redbridge gave the third most fines out of all local authorities in the country, for parents taking their children out of school during term time in the last academic year. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

A teachers’ union representative has told parents to lie when taking their children out of school in term time to avoid fines.

Most read news


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder