Wednesday, 22 December 2010
We shall be collating the responses and providing Feedback to to NXEA, Passenger Focus, The DfT and local MPs in the New Year.
Just to reiterate, all correspondence is treated in confidence.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Saturday, 11 December 2010
The MRUA has campaigned for sometime for facilities to be improved in this regard. A possible solution is to construct an elevator which would require a certain amount of construction above ground. However, in an article in the Manningtree and Harwich Standard Paul Gallifant, a Dedham Vale Society committee member said "we would oppose any large work and will have to look at the proposals. [the station] is a lovely Victorian building, but we would probably have opposed it being built in the first place. We don't have any objections to minor changes and improved disabled access inside the station itself."
The Dedham Vale Society have previously complained about the recent car park extension which they regard as an eyesore but which has been well received by many.
Friday, 10 December 2010
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
It is disappointing to note that the season ticket prices to London from Harwich branch stations are now more expensive that those from Manningtree. Mistley passengers will be paying £20 a year more than those from Manningtree and Harwich Town passengers will be paying £40 more. This is especially disappointing when journeys to and from Harwich are for the most part to be inconvenienced by having to change at Manningtree after the introduction of the new timetable next week.
Monday, 6 December 2010
A source is quoted as saying "We’re not interested in intercity franchises; we need to prove ourselves with C2C and East Anglia and use them to win back political confidence”
National Express is trying to restore its reputation following its decision to relinquish the contract to run the London to Edinburgh rail service last year.
It is likely that NX will have to compete to keep its franchises as the government is thought to be putting the current NXEA franchise on a short term contract as a test case for the proposed new way of franchising. Other possible changes to perhaps be tested by the government include longer, 15-20 year franchises to encourage investment in stations and new trains, and a restructuring of the revenue sharing between train operators and the government. The review, which has been welcomed by the industry, is an attempt to shore up the rail franchise system, under fire since the East Coast main line was temporarily renationalised last November following NX handing it back.
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Due to all lines being closed between Liverpool Street and Ilford for engineering work the following train service alterations apply for journeys between Liverpool Street, Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich and branches:
No trains will operate between Liverpool Street and Ilford. Passengers are to use TfL Central Line services between Liverpool Street, Stratford and Newbury Park. Connecting rail-replacement bus services will operate from Newbury Park to Ingatestone.
Mainline services will operate from Shenfield (interchange for Metro and Southend services) to Ingatestone (interchange for rail-replacement bus service to/from Newbury Park), Colchester, Clacton-on-Sea, Ipswich and Norwich.
Wednesday 29, Thursday 31 and Friday 31 December
Due to a partial line closure between Bethnal Green and Stratford for engineering work (all trains run via platforms 5 and 8 at Stratford) a revised train service will operate between Liverpool Street and Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich and branches.
Morning Peak (07:00-10:00) and Evening Peak (16:00-19:00):
Intercity services will operate between Norwich and Liverpool Street; hourly in the morning peak and half-hourly in the evening peak.
Mainline services will operate between Ipswich, Clacton and Colchester to Liverpool Street (6 trains per hour).
Braintree services will operate to/from Witham, Sudbury services will operate to/from Marks Tey, Walton services will operate to/from Colchester via Colchester Town, Harwich Town services will operate to/from Manningtree.
Off Peak (before 07:00, 10:00-16:00, and after 19:00):
Intercity services will operate half-hourly between Norwich and Liverpool Street (hourly early morning / late evening).
Mainline services will operate between Ipswich, Clacton and Colchester Town and Braintree to Liverpool Street (as per Saturday timetable but with minor retimings).
Sudbury services will operate to/from Marks Tey, Walton services will operate to/from Colchester via Colchester Town, Harwich Town services will operate to/from Manningtree.
£19 per month would certainly be better value but is still considerably more than some service providers are charging. The MRUA will continue to press for this to be a free service for all as is the case on National Express coaches.
Friday, 26 November 2010
TFL will run as many Tube services as possible, but some lines will have a restricted service and some stations will be closed.
Please check before you travel, and use an alternative route or method of transport if possible. Visit the TFL strike page for more detailed information.
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Referring to the Delay Repay scheme the article explains how, when rail or rail replacement bus services are delayed, passengers can obtain and fill in a form to apply, by post only, for compensation for delays exceeding 30 minutes. NXEA aims to respond within 15 days.
However, the NXEA guide to penalty fares states "you will be requested to pay the full amount by the authorised collector at the time the penalty fare is charged".
So basically when a passenger gets it wrong they have to pay up immediately but if NXEA gets it wrong compensation can take weeks to arrive.
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
As mentioned in an earlier article here the system is being installed thanks to a grant of £346,000 from the EEDA and Suffolk and Norfolk county councils.
It will be interesting to see what the take up will be for something that should surely be a free service.
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Regulated fares are tied to an annual price cap formula meaning fares can increase each January only by the previous July's RPI inflation rate plus 1%. Hence the 5.8% average rise for 2011. However, companies are able to put up some fares by more than 5% as long as other fares decrease at the same rate. Precise details of NXEA fares are not known at this stage.
In January 2012, passengers will have to dig even deeper into their pockets when the annual price rise formula changes to RPI plus 3% across the national network.
- 20 additional cleaning staff to improve presentation and cleaning on board trains and between journeys
- A new cleaning team improving exterior presentation of trains, complementing NXEA’s additional investment of £2m in new carriage washers at Ilford and Orient Way train maintenance depots
- An enhanced station cleaning programme for NXEA’s London stations and other key stations
- Improvements in communication and engagement with customers led by the recruitment of a new Customer Information Manager and welcome hosts at key stations including, London Liverpool Street, Cambridge, Colchester, Ely, Ipswich, Norwich and Witham
- Provision of free weekend travel for partners of NXEA annual season-ticket holders
- Production of a new Commuter News publication for season-ticket holders and enhanced at-seat breakfast service for First Class customers on the 07.10 and 07.40 Intercity services from Norwich
- Senior Citizens 2-for-1 travel offer on Wednesdays in the New Year
Friday, 19 November 2010
As well as over-running engineering work last week, Mr Chivers said it had also emerged that “some of the additional infrastructure problems on Tuesday and Wednesday resulted from sub-standard installation of equipment during the same weekend engineering work programme”. “Network Rail have already carried out an initial investigation, which suggests that the key causes of the problems related to poor project management, inadequate programme preparation and unsatisfactory real time delivery of the works by the contractors...,” Mr Chivers said. “They are taking steps to ensure that better planning and monitoring of such schemes is in place for future projects.
“We have acted quickly to raise our concerns with the Network Rail Route Director, Andrew Munden. In addition, our group chief executive Dean Finch has also met personally with the Network Rail Chairman, Rick Haythornthwaite, to emphasise just how damaging such disruption is for our passengers and to highlight our wider discontent that the rate of performance improvement and overall punctuality standards being achieved by Network Rail on the Great Eastern Mainline are not acceptable. Their progress in reducing infrastructure-related delays over the last seven years has been minor in comparison to the major reduction we have achieved in delays caused by train faults.”
He added that National Express East Anglia had also appointed a manager to work at the joint control centre in London, and would co-locate teams at Network Rail depots to increase the urgency in Network Rail’s decision-making and create a “greater focus on passengers’ needs”.
Monday, 15 November 2010
It appears that the coach was too tall for the low bridge.
Saturday, 13 November 2010
The Rail Safety and Standards Board, which is owned by the train operating companies, has denied safety is being compromised whilst admitting that overcrowding caused discomfort.
Apart from the obvious potential for disaster in the event of an accident, passengers are often to be found passing out in cramped conditions on a daily basis.
Unlike planes and buses there are no legal restrictions on how packed a train can be. However, the Office of Rail Regulation, which is in charge of keeping the railways safe, said overcrowding did not affect safety and pointed out that rail was the safest form of land transport.
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
The PAC went on to state that ""At present there is no incentive for the rail industry to supply extra capacity without additional public subsidy.
"The DfT should, for future franchises, require operators to take measures themselves to avoid overcrowding and to meet the costs of doing so."
The report recommends that new carriages be fitted with automatic passenger counting equipment and that smart card technology be adopted to monitor passenger numbers to target overcrowding.
At present franchisees, such as National Express East Anglia (NXEA), are not incentivised to make the investment necessary to ensure that services keep up with growth in demand. This is one of the reasons the government is reviewing the franchising system with a view to providing longer franchises to encourage the necessary investment.
NXEA is increasing the number of seats available to Manningtree commuters in the new December timetable but the growth in passenger numbers nationally - 40% in ten years - may see this as a temporary solution if that sort of increase in replicated here.
Monday, 8 November 2010
The MRUA will be asking NXEA to reinstate its texting service to passengers. This was replaced by an emailing service earlier this year but this morning's events clearly show that emails sent at 3:30am are less likely to be read in time than a text message.
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
It is disappointing to note that no other Essex MPs were present and that an opportunity for a consolidated approach was not taken. The MRUA has this morning written to Bernard Jenkin MP to highlight the disappointment already being voiced by Manningtree and Harwich commuters.
Friday, 22 October 2010
Scientists predict that such wet winters will become more common in the future, raising fears that climate change could result in "travel chaos".
One of the most 'at risk' areas is the south east of England where much of the rail network is built on soft clay which is particularly prone to landslides. The Great Eastern mainline has often suffered from movement due to this soft clay and the Harwich branch has been closed on more than one occasion following the tracks and overhead catenary moving.
Thursday, 21 October 2010
On the positive side the government have confirmed that Crossrail will go ahead. This will provide a greatly enhanced service for those who wish to travel across London and should take some pressure off existing services.
On the negative side from 2012 regulated fares are to increase by RPI+3. Currently fare increases are capped at RPI+1. The precise impact of these increases will not be known until 2011 when the then current rate of inflation can be incorporated into the equation. Whatever the eventual answer, the UK will continue to have the most expensive rail fares in Europe and it may well be that passengers are forced into their cars as a consequence.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
NX Coach services may not have an effect on commuter routes such as those between Manningtree and London which are regarded as something of a guaranteed market, but longer journeys may well see people move from train to coach.
National Express yesterday reported that it was on target to meet full-year profit forecasts, with analysts expecting a pre-tax profit of more than £153m. Last year National Express reported a pre-tax loss of £83.5m as it struggled with debts of more than £1bn, three attempted takeover bids and losing the prestigious east coast rail franchise.
Thursday, 14 October 2010
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
NXEA has also set up a dedicated email address to take queries regarding the new timetable which can be accessed here.
Friday, 8 October 2010
"I'm concerned that fares could rise up to 10%, [and] that some fares might not have any limit imposed on them at all," said the chair of the Transport Select Committee, Louise Ellman.
In addition to higher fares, plans for 2,000 new carriages across the UK have been put on hold which will lead to delays in providing extra capacity. On the Great Eastern mainline and outer suburban routes that serve Manningtree, National Express East Anglia has obtained hand-me-down Class 321 trains from elsewhere which should go some way to reduce overcrowding but plans for new replacement trains on the London - Norwich route may now be some way off.
Friday, 1 October 2010
Thursday, 30 September 2010
"The RMT and TSSA unions plan strike action on the Tube. This will affect Tube services from early evening on Sunday 3 October and throughout Monday 4 October. Some lines may have a limited service and some stations may close. Please check before you travel on the day."
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
NXEA has also set up a dedicated email address to take queries regarding the new timetable which can be accessed here.
Many have commented on how good the level of service is at the station with helpful and friendly staff when compared to other locations where service is often of a questionable standard. This service is maintained despite occasional demanding and unreasonable behaviour from some passengers and being at the sharp end during periods of disruption.
The MRUA would like to congratulate the staff at Manningtree for this award.
Thursday, 16 September 2010
In the morning peak between 05:25 and 08:53 there will be an additional three services to London - an increase of 23% - and an additional 2,842 seats - an increase of 42%. This has been achieved by reducing the number of Inter City trains stopping at the station and increasing the number of outer suburban sliding door trains, which have greater capacity. Eleven services will call at Stratford - up from the current six - and the fastest journey time to London will be improved by 6 minutes to 58 minutes.
In the evening peak between 16:00 and 20:00 there will be an additional three trains from London - an increase of 19% - and an additional 2,943 seats - an increase of 34%. Again these increases come at the cost of losing a number of Inter City services. There will be more services calling at Stratford on their way home from Liverpool Street.
During the day there will still be two Inter City services an hour in each direction calling at Manningtree. There will also be a service to and from Ipswich to Liverpool Street giving three trains an hour in each direction.
The Harwich line will see off peak services terminating at Manningtree although the overall journey time, subject to connections, reduces by 6 minutes (9 minutes from London). (The MRUA continues to campaign for a more appropriate method for the less able of getting from platform 1 to platforms 2 and 3. Something which will become more of an issue with fewer through trains)
In the morning peak the 07:15 from Harwich International and the 07:16 and 07:58 from Harwich Town will go through to London.
Manningtree passengers should note that trains for Manningtree appear on two separate timetables (Liverpool Street to Colchester, Clacton-on-Sea and Ipswich and Liverpool Street to Ipswich and Norwich) with services between Manningtree and Harwich appearing on a third - Manningtree to Harwich Town. All timetables will need to be viewed to get a complete picture of services.
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
On the train the man is alleged to have been struck on the back of the neck whilst near to the buffet car, leaving him to fall unconscious for a short while. Assisted by rail staff he was taken to Ipswich Hospital where he later claimed that £800 was missing from his wallet.
National Express Group Chief Executive Dean Finch commented "We are pleased to have been given this initial extension and to be able to continue to serve our customers on the East Anglia franchise. We continue to explore opportunities to deliver our industry-leading rail performance across both our franchises (referring to C2C as well) beyond 2011." It is not clear what he means by "industry leading".
The re-franchising exercise to find a replacement for NXEA was put on hold after the general election following the new government's announcement that it would be reviewing the whole franchising process. Today's announcement would suggest that a new franchising process will be in place by the end of 2011 but this would take the possible change of franchisee very close to the 2012 Olympics which may further delay an announcement.
Thursday, 9 September 2010
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Full details as follows:
Manningtree Rail Station 1835
Cattawade slip road 1838
E Bergholt Rectory Road 1841
East Bergholt Lambe School 1843
East Bergholt Four Sisters 1845
Holton St Mary phone box 1847
Raydon opp Church 1851
Upper Layham 1856
Hadleigh Magdalen Road 1900
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Services were already severely delayed due to signal problems and the service in question was running almost an hour late when the decision was taken to terminate at Colchester. As such passengers were delayed for almost another hour with those hoping to meet a connection at Manningtree for the Harwich branch further inconvenienced.
There are suggestions that the serious overcrowding at Colchester station partly caused by this train terminating may have compromised passenger safety.
Friday, 3 September 2010
Details of contingency plans for the 6th and 7th September can be found on the TfL website.
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Friday, 20 August 2010
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Monday, 16 August 2010
Whether the rises are 8% or 10%, this is still a significant increase that is likely to make rail travel less attractive to many.
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
The MRUA has asked NXEA to investigate and rectify the situation as soon as possible. To pay silly money to park at Manningtree is bad enough but to find that you cannot return to your car without ruining your shoes is simply adding insult to injury.
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
It is expected that Vodafone and Orange will provide the cellular backhaul with each network being capable of download speeds of up to 7.2 megabits per second. It is not clear at this stage how the service, which is due to be up and running by the end of 2010, will be accessed by customers. For example there has been no mention of whether there will be a charge or whether the likely service provision by Vodafone and Orange precludes users of other service providers from using the service.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
The bus will leave Manningtree station every hour between 09:40 and 17:25. A £2 day ticket will allow passengers to hop on and off the bus as they please. The bus will follow an anti clockwise circular route from Manningtree Station via Flatford, East Bergholt, Stratford St Mary, Dedham, Lawford and Manningtree.
Wednesday, 28 July 2010
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Monday, 19 July 2010
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Monday, 12 July 2010
Saturday, 10 July 2010
Friday, 9 July 2010
Thursday, 8 July 2010
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Monday, 28 June 2010
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Thursday, 17 June 2010
To enable the next Greater Anglia and Essex Thameside franchises - which are currently in the process of being re-let - to fully reflect the changes resulting from this review of policy the competitions for these franchises, which were started in January 2010, are to be cancelled.
It is currently expected that a new competition for the Greater Anglia franchise will be advertised by the end of the year, after the consultation responses have been considered, with the Essex Thameside franchise following in Autumn 2011...."
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Friday, 11 June 2010
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Friday, 4 June 2010
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Thursday, 6 May 2010
Thursday, 29 April 2010
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Thursday, 1 April 2010
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Monday, 29 March 2010
Saturday, 27 March 2010
Friday, 26 March 2010
"We are working to provide the best possible alternative timetable in the event Network Rail's signaller?s belonging to the RMT and TSSA unions take strike action.
Where alternative services are not available, customers including season-ticket holders will be eligible to apply for a refund for the days affected.
Customers with pre-booked tickets will be offered the option to travel at other times of the day, or to travel on another day or apply for a refund. Full details of these arrangements will be available in due course.
The following is an outline of the alternative timetable service we are planning to operate between approximately 0700 and 1900 inclusive on the 6th, 7th, 8th, & 9th April.
- 2 x Intercity services per hour at peak time between London Liverpool Street, Stratford, Chelmsford, Colchester, Manningtree, Ipswich, Stowmarket, Diss and Norwich (Off peak Intercity services will run as per the normal calling pattern)
- 2 x 12 car services per hour between Liverpool Street, Stratford, Shenfield and all stations to Ipswich
- 2 x 12 car services per hour between Liverpool Street, Stratford, Shenfield and all stations to Southend Victoria
- 4 x 12 car services per hour between Liverpool Street, Tottenham Hale, Harlow Town, Bishops Stortford and Stansted Airport
- 2 x 8 car services per hour between Liverpool Street, Tottenham Hale, Cheshunt, Broxbourne, Sawbridgeworth and all stations to Cambridge
Branch line services operating:
- Romford - Upminster: a shuttle service
- Witham - Braintree: a shuttle service
- Marks Tey - Sudbury: a shuttle service
- Norwich - Sheringham: a shuttle service
For the latest information on how possible industrial action will affect national train services please visit www.nationalexpresseastanglia.com or call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50".
Thursday, 25 March 2010
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Friday, 19 March 2010
Monday, 15 March 2010
Friday, 12 March 2010
Friday, 5 March 2010
- Improvements to the rail infrastructure to allow for faster running of services.
- Introduction of new trains with better acceleration and braking characteristics specifically designed for the length of journey and stopping patterns.
- A reduction in the number of stops made by London - Norwich services.
Thursday, 4 March 2010
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Monday, 8 February 2010
Friday, 5 February 2010
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Thursday, 21 January 2010
Following the consultation process, the specification may require bidders for the franchise to consider:
- Options for faster journey times between London and Norwich;
- Improving the performance and reliability of long distance services;
- Enhancing the provision of ticket machines across the Greater Anglia franchise network;
- Minimum standards for catering on InterCity trains;
- Making smartcards available across the franchise;
- Better CCTV coverage at stations focusing on the coverage of cycling facilities and station car parks to improve passenger security;
- All new rolling stock on the franchise to have CCTV coverage providing more security for passengers;
- Setting targets ensuring the operator monitors their environmental performance and proposes reductions to carbon emissions;
- Tackling fare dodging, which may include additional gating and increasing staffing;
- Improving access to the network by developing Station Travel Plans and significantly increasing car parking and cycle storage facilities across the network;
- Providing more modern passenger information facilities on platforms and on trains;
- Making the future operator set National Passenger Survey targets for trains, stations and customer service – if the operator fails to meet those targets they would have to invest more to make improvements in those areas."
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
We had worked closely with Network Rail on the planning for this blockade and on contingencies in the event of problems. When some complications emerged last week we coordinated with them to enable a revised engineering work plan to be implemented which was meant to have ensured the lines would have been re-opened as planned this morning. As late as 23.00 last night we were still being assured that a punctual restoration of the lines - and thus a smooth “start-up” for services this morning - was fully on course.
Unfortunately we were advised between 03.30 and 04.00 that this was not going to be the case. As soon as we were aware we put information on our website, advised the local media and provided information at stations and on trains where services were affected. In the end it was 07.45 before all the lines were open, which resulted in major delays for passengers due to arrive in London before 10.00. Those passengers who were delayed will be able to claim compensation in the normal way.
We are seeking a full explanation from Network Rail about the cause of the problems, why the contingency plans proved unsuccessful and why we only knew that the work would over-run in the early hours of this morning. We will also be seeking assurances from Network Rail that they are putting in place more robust and effective engineering work planning, particularly for major projects, as we have suffered in the past from damaging over-runs which have been extremely disruptive and frustrating for our customers and our company...."