1. ITV Report

Greater Anglia passengers are least satisfied in the country

Greater Anglia says improvements are being made to its service despite passengers being the least satisfied in the country.

The transport watchdog, Passenger Focus, carried out a survey at the beginning of the year just weeks after Greater Anglia had taken over the franchise from National Express East Anglia.

Train passengers slam region's service Credit: ITV Anglia

The results put Greater Anglia at the bottom when it came to overall satisfaction, value for money, punctuality, satisfaction with the station and how the company dealt with delays. Only 30% said the service provided value for money.

Since then though Greater Anglia says it's progressed in a number of areas and punctuality this month was just above 93%. Back in February when it took over the service it was at 88%.

"We've almost completed a programme to provide deep clean of all of our train fleet in readiness for the Olympics.

"We're equipping our staff, sixteen hundred frontline staff with blackberries which will enable them to give passengers much more quicker information when there's delays and disruption on the service.

"We're doing everything we can to improve the key areas the survey is telling us need improving."

– Peter Meades, Media manager, Greater Anglia

The Essex rail users federation says problems passengers are experiencing include train failures, signal failures, points failures, trains late for no apparent reason and freight trains being in the way. They say it's a very congested line in need of investment.

Greater Anglia at the bottom when it came to overall satisfaction Credit: ITV Anglia

"Greater Anglia have got an impossible task. They've got to pick the franchise up and make it work and it's very difficult only having two and a half years to put the investment in and they can't do it.

"We need central government funds to really raise our railways to a better level."

– Derek Monnery, Essex rail users federation

The franchise will be renewed in July 2014 in a fifteen year deal. Whoever takes that on, should be in a better position to plan long term investment in the service.

The Essex rail users federation says improvements have been made but Greater Anglia aren't able to do anything with the trains or the infrastructure in such a short space of time.

They say even when the franchise is renewed in 2014 it will be a further two years before passengers can expect to see new trains on the line.