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 Romford 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 Romford 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 Romford 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 Romford News Stories

37 minutes ago
Athlete Christine Ohuruogu visited her secondary school St Edwards Church of England School in Romford to present a piece of the London 2012 Olympic track.

A former Olympic athlete wants to encourage young people to aim high as she presented her school with a piece of track from the London 2012 games.

Yesterday, 15:00

A theatre has taken a bold step to ensure that suffering from dementia should not be an obstacle to enjoying the excitement and delight of a stage 

Yesterday, 12:00
From left jewellery students Carol Carne, Gina Savill-Turner, Jo Golledge, chainmail queen Linda Parkyn. Daphne Freeman and tutor Carol Allen at the Fairkytes Arts Centre.

It started life in the mid-18th century as a private house for occupants including Joseph Fry, son of the famous prison reformer Elizabeth Fry.

Yesterday, 10:00
Student Alice and reporter Chloe Farand talking about the care suite at Havering Sixth Form College

Chloe Farand meets Havering Sixth Form College’s mental health officer and the care team, who support students day to day

Yesterday, 08:02
Ardleigh Green Road, Photo: Google Maps

CCTV footage of two men sought in connection with an incident where a woman was robbed and dragged along a pavement has been released by police.

Fri, 17:33
Residents from Orchard Village warn against plans for 750 homes in New Road, Rainham

People angered by a host of problems on their estate have staged a protest about the housing association as it presented new plans for 750 homes.

Fri, 12:54
Police were called after reports of an incident at the Thomson travel agency in Upminster this morning

Police are attending an incident at a travel agents with reports that the building has been cordoned off.

Fri, 10:00
Beaux Beatz members Jasmine Hood, Charlie Dillon, Charlee-Lou Borthwick, Tyresse Aaron Ryan and Macey Broom

Hoping to make the big time, young members of a pop group are showing they have the x factor by making it through to the live shows of a singing competition.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now