Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs, Greater Anglia
Greater Anglia is proud to be sponsoring the Customer Care category of this year’s EADT Business Awards.
We are passionate about delivering excellent customer service and ensuring that the railways play their full part in helping our region to be both economically prosperous and a wonderful place to live. As part of our new franchise we are fully focused on raising customer service standards. Our intercity trains, used on services to and from London, have recently been refurbished with plug points, upgraded wifi (now free for all customers), new lighting and new tables.
Most of the other trains used on either the line to London or on local routes across Suffolk are either being fully refurbished or substantially refreshed too. Smartcard ticketing is being rolled out, customer compensation for delays is being increased, stations are being upgraded (such as the major scheme at Ipswich, where the final part of the project – the forecourt improvement scheme –is nearing completion)
and better integrated transport facilities are being provided.
Additional trains are being introduced to provide increased seating capacity and improve service reliability on a number of routes (including the Great Eastern Main Line), whilst an extra £5m is being spent on modifying our trains to further improve service reliability.
More partnership work with Network Rail is aimed at securing better infrastructure reliability. The centrepiece of our plans is the introduction of a complete fleet of new trains in 2019-20. Everyone of the 937 carriages we currently operate will be replaced with a brand new fleet of 1,043 carriages in a £1.4bn investment – the largest ever investment in trains in East Anglia.
Not only will the travelling environment be transformed, but journey times will be reduced, train reliability further improved and seating capacity increased. In Suffolk all local routes will be operated with three or four carriage trains (not one, two or three carriages, as now) and the Ipswich to Peterborough services will benefit from an hourly service. So excellent customer service is very much at the heart of our plans to transform train service in East Anglia.