Rail alliance to improve services

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A NEW rail operator is to work more closely with infrastructure bosses to improve services in East Anglia.

Abellio Greater Anglia, which will replace National Express East Anglia as the operator for the region’s mainline routes on February 5, is to form an alliance with Network Rail.

Bosses say the move will result in ‘more streamlined decision making and a more passenger focused operation’.

It follows a meeting in Ipswich on Saturday between rail company representatives and commuters, who voiced concerns about the reliability of trains on the London line and the increase in rail fares.

In a statement, David Higgins, chief executive of Network Rail, which is responsible for rail infrastructure and signalling, said: “Working more closely with the train operators with the decision making devolved to the front line and better aligned incentives will, I believe, bring substantial benefits.

“The alliances will deliver a better service for passengers and freight users and at lower overall cost to the taxpayer.”

Ruud Haket, managing director of the Greater Anglia franchise, added: “We are committed to improving customer service and transparency in operational performance.

“A key part of service delivery will be the provision of operational information for staff and customers to help them make decisions during times of disruption.”

The announcement has been welcomed by local rail campaigners.

Ross Taylor, secretary for Mid Anglia Rail Passengers Association, said: “We support anything that can be done with the operator to improve services.”