Rayleigh and Wickford MP scrutinises train operator problems

Mark Francois MP

‘Frustration experienced by a number of constituents’

Rayleigh and Wickford MP Mark Francois recently questioned the bosses of Abellio Greater Anglia on their performance, during a meeting in his office at Westminster.

Mark met with Jamie Burles, the Managing Director of Abellio Greater Anglia and Jonathan Denby, Head of Public Affairs.

During the meeting, Mark raised the frustration which has been experienced by a number of constituents, who commute regularly into London but have had their journey’s disrupted by engineering works at weekends and also late evenings, forcing constituents who leave Liverpool Street after 9.30pm to take buses from Shenfield to get home.

Mark reiterated his belief that while these engineering works continue, commuters should be given a discount on their season ticket as compensation for the disruption they have had to put up with.

Mark also put pressure on the rail bosses over the fact that due to maintenance problems some trains during peak commuter periods have only eight carriages rather than the normal 12, thus forcing a number of people to stand all the way into London.

Problems

One commuter told the Enquirer: “Everyone are really fed up of train problems and not being able to get home at a reasonable time. I love working in London but seriously considering moving nearer home in Wickford due to constant train problems and season tickets going up and up.”

Jamie Burles was keen to stress that Abellio are doing everything they can to improve their performance, including investing in a whole brand new fleet of trains which are likely to enter into service in the summer of next year.

The company are also in talks with the Department for Transport to improve their “delay/repay” offer, whereby in future trains which are more than 15 minutes (as opposed to the current 30 minutes) would allow passengers to automatically claim compensation.

Mark Francois said: “I took this opportunity to try to get over to the rail company the degree of frustration which has been expressed to me by commuters who use Abellio’s line running into Liverpool Street.

“These engineering works have gone on for over a year and I really think my constituents deserve some form of compensation for everything they have had to put up with. I shall continue to hold Abellio to account and I hope things improve next year when the engineering works are completed and the new trains begin to come into service.”

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