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Punctuality best in a decade

PUBLISHED: 10:51 05 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:00 05 July 2010

The companies behind the beleaguered Norwich to London train line yesterday announced the highest level of punctuality on the region's network for almost a decade - and issued a renewed action plan to help improve all services.

The companies behind the beleaguered Norwich to London train line yesterday announced the highest level of punctuality on the region's network for almost a decade - and issued a renewed action plan to help improve all services.

National Express East Anglia revealed the figures as it launched its second annual joint improvement plan, with track owner Network Rail, which is aimed at boosting reliability and punctuality and tackling problems that have hampered services in the past year.

They have created a 10-point action plan to deal with the most serious issues, including frequent infrastructure failures, technical faults, fatalities and information provision during disruption.

Since last year's report, the average punctuality for all services across the train company's entire network has increased from 87.1pc to 90.2pc.

But National Express and Network Rail acknowledged that “there is much more work to be done in delivering the consistency of performance that customers expect”.

Control offices will get extra resources to help manage overnight problems that can affect morning peak services and a spare train will be kept in the Ipswich or Colchester area so passengers travelling between there and Norwich are not delayed by any problems near Liverpool Street.

Remote monitoring equipment will be used on trains while in service to highlight any faults before they occur and both companies are working with the emergency services to assess whether affected lines could get up and running more quickly after a fatality.

Andrew Chivers, managing director of National Express East Anglia, said: “The joint work that National Express East Anglia has been taking forward with Network Rail over the past year, specifically focusing on key areas of performance, has helped in improving train service punctuality across our network.

“Nevertheless, we recognise that punctuality is still not at the level of consistency our customers expect, as occurred in June with a number of disruptive incidents that affected mainline services.

“We are, therefore, pleased to publish a further joint performance improvement plan with Network Rail as part of our work to achieve higher and more sustained levels of punctuality to meet our customers' expectations.”

As well as Norwich to Liverpool Street, the train company runs services between Norwich and Cromer, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Thetford.

Damage to overhead lines on the Norwich to London route set off a week of lengthy delays to the service in early June.

An accident occurred during repair work to the cables, followed by freight train derailment on a separate stretch of the track. It sparked outrage from MPs, some of whom attended a briefing with the two companies in Westminster last month.


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