Under the headline "Better Services for passengers on the Greater Anglia franchise" The Department of Transport has today confirmed the Greater Anglia franchise run by Abellio will, as expected, be extended for 27 months.
However, details of the improvements are sketchy with the only details relevant to the Great Eastern route that serves Manningtree being cosmetic changes to the Inter City fleet. Namely: new seat covers, new carpets and new lighting. At seat power sockets will also be installed.
No mention unfortunately about sorting out the appalling state of the Class 321 and 360 outer suburban fleet that look shabbier by the day.
Interesting to note that the Norwich in 90 campaign gets a mention. Though quite how new seat covers speed the time it takes to get between Norwich and London is unclear. Regarding Norwich in 90 though, it is hoped that a speedier service to Norwich will not be to the detriment of stations in between. The great and the good of Norfolk and to a slightly lesser extent in Suffolk are speaking with one voice to get improved services. Sadly nothing similar exists in Essex with MPs and local authorities only showing concern for their own patch and as such, achieving little.