Train operator Greater Anglia has revealed it will be adding more services including extra trains for people travelling to the region’s holiday parks when the annual summer timetable comes into operation next month.
The company is making some increases to commuter services to match demand – which remains fairly steady at less than 55 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, as fewer people are travelling into their offices every day of the working week.
From Sunday 15 May, the timetable will include:
- Intercity services between Norwich and London half-hourly all day until 21.00 Monday to Friday when they become hourly, half-hourly on Saturdays and mainly hourly on Sundays.
- Some additional services and some longer trains on services between Ipswich, Colchester, Clacton/Walton, Harwich, Braintree, Chelmsford, Southend Victoria, Southminster and London Liverpool Street, including in the evening rush hour.
- More new and longer trains on routes between Cambridge, Bishop’s Stortford and London Liverpool Street and on the Hertford East line once platform lengthening works are complete later this year.
- Stansted Express services between Stansted Airport and London Liverpool Street will be mostly half-hourly, with some extra trains at busier times.
- Rural services between Norwich and Lowestoft, Cambridge/Stansted Airport, Sheringham, and Great Yarmouth; between Ipswich and Cambridge, Felixstowe, Lowestoft and Peterborough; and between Marks Tey and Sudbury will continue with the usual service.
Extra summer services will run between Norwich and Great Yarmouth on Saturdays from 21 May to 10 September, and on Mondays and Fridays from 18 July to 2 September, providing over 66,000 extra seats for holiday-makers over the peak summer period.
There will also be additional early Sunday services between Ipswich and Peterborough, departing Ipswich at 07.55 and returning from Peterborough at 09.50, from 15 May to 11 September.
Greater Anglia has been closely monitoring passenger numbers in order to match services provided to demand for them.
Passenger numbers are still lower than pre-pandemic levels, at just over 70 per cent of 2019 levels across the Greater Anglia network overall, but falling to less than 55 per cent for commuting to London.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We’re making a number of service improvements in our May timetable changes.
“We’ve been monitoring our passenger numbers and listening to customer feedback, so we’re increasing services or running longer trains where possible and appropriate – building on our actions over recent months, where we’ve been adding extra capacity in line with increasing demand.
“The pandemic has changed our railway. We have a different contract with the Government which is wholly funding us. It’s important that we provide the best possible service to our customers and also value for money for taxpayers.
“Over the coming months, we’ll see even more of our new longer trains with all mod cons replace our older trains on commuting routes into London, which will lead to more seats available for our customers and a much-improved travelling experience.
“New trains already in place on our Intercity, Stansted Express and regional services have markedly improved service standards on those routes – including helping us to achieve record-breaking punctuality.
“We’ll continue to monitor passenger numbers and make further adjustments as necessary, always seeking to run a very good service and to encourage more customers to take the train.”
Photo credit: Greater Anglia