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Tell us your views: Greater Anglia named train operator of the year at Rail Business Awards

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 February 2013 | UPDATED: 09:15 01 March 2013

Greater Anglia train on the Norwich to London service run by Abellio.  Photo: Bill Smith

Greater Anglia train on the Norwich to London service run by Abellio. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

Greater Anglia has been named train operator of the year at the national Rail Business Awards.

The train operator, which was awarded a two-year contract to run services from London to East Anglia in February 2012, was presented with the accolade at a ceremony at the London Hilton on Wednesday,

Praising Greater Anglia for its winning entry, the judges said: “Performance during the first year of operation has been very impressive. This came across very clearly in its excellent submission.”

The judges described Greater Anglia’s performance as “excellent” and impressing with high standards of service and customer improvements.

“It has achieved record breaking levels of punctuality and, thanks to its greater asset management role, is delivering station upgrades,” the judges said.

Greater Anglia’s managing director Ruud Haket said the operator was delighted progress on the network was being recognised but acknowledged further improvements also needed to be made.

He said: “I am delighted that barely a year into our short franchise, we have received this independent endorsement of our achievements. To be bracketed amongst the leading UK train companies at such an early stage is a tribute to the commitment and dedication of our employees.

“We know we have much more to do to achieve the consistency of service that our customers rightly expect, but we have made significant steps forward in punctuality, information provision and ticket purchasing facilities already and we are passionate about delivering high standards of customer service day in, day out, for passengers across our network.

“We are committed to making further service improvements over the remainder of our short franchise to July 2014 and to continue to work with regional stakeholders to help secure the long term investment needed to further upgrade train services in East Anglia - focusing on the priorities highlighted in the East Anglian Rail Prospectus. Our focus will always be on continuously improving rail services for the customers and communities we serve.”

The Dutch-owned operator runs 1,900 trains a day across its network and carries two million passengers a week.

The train operator of the year award follows an increase in customer satisfaction amongst Greater Anglia’s passengers in the most recent National Passenger Survey to 83pc, and an improved annual punctuality record to more than 92pc - the highest level for the East Anglian franchise in at least 12 years.

The company has also worked to make buying tickets easier with more ticket vending machines, a smartphone app, and trials of mobile ticketing and “print-at-home” ticketing, and has worked to reduce weekend disruption to passengers.

Greater Anglia is also playing a role in the development and delivery of the East Anglian Rail Prospectus, working with regional stakeholders to make the case for greater investment in rail services in the region.

Linda McCord, manager of independent passenger watchdog Passenger Focus, said: “Greater Anglia has managed to significantly improve a number of aspects of its services and this has been reflected in what passenger have said to us in our National Passenger Survey. However, it’s important that Greater Anglia continues to work hard to deliver more improvements and further increase passenger satisfaction.”

• What are your views on rail services? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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