Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Stratford - Holiday Disruption

There are numerous reports of considerable disruption at Stratford this week as London bound trains terminate there during scheduled maintenance work at Liverpool Street. It is suggested that passengers avoid the peak period if at all possible.

Car Park Disturbances

Further to yesterday's update NXEA have contacted NCP and British Transport Police requesting them to monitor the situation in the car park. Should you witness any sort of disturbance in the station car park please contact either NXEA or NCP. Alternatively you may contact the MRUA on and we will gladly pass on the information, anonymously if required.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

NCP Pressed To Take Action Against Youths In Car Park

The MRUA has asked National Express East Anglia to press NCP to take action against the youths who have been congregating in their cars in the lower deck of the car park in recent evenings. Not only do they intimidate passengers but they leave considerable amounts of rubbish in the form of bottles and take-away wrappers strewn across the car park.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

The Manningtree Rail Users Association would like to wish everybody a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Open Letter To NXEA Regarding NCP

Below is the text of a complaint from a Manningtree passenger regarding the ongoing mis-managment of the station car park by NCP. It is reproduced here because it brilliantly sums up the feelings of the vast majority of car park users:

"I would just like to put in a formal complaint about the mis-management of the car park and surrounding road and pavements at Manningtree station. Not one person has even attempted to lay any grit/salt and now the car park, road and pavement is like an ice rink. You are very quick to increase the charges for use and are there in a second to issue a penalty ticket but when we have snow/ice there is nobody to be seen. I think it is absolutely disgraceful at the way NCP have ignored the situation there and I am surprised that somebody has not seriously injured themselves.

I would be very interested to know more about your health & safety policy for the maintenance of your car parks.

I look forward to hearing from you."

Christmas Services

For full details of Christmas services on NXEA please click here. For 'highlights' affecting Manningtree passengers see below:

Christmas Eve

A normal weekday timetable will operate but with an earlier closedown to most services during the evening.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day

No Service

Sunday 27th and Monday 28th December

Amended Sunday timetable will operate.

Services between Norwich and London will terminate / start at Ingatestone where a connecting direct coach service will operate to / from Liverpool Street.

Passengers on Great Eastern mainline should change at Romford where a connecting bus service will operate to / from Newbury Park, for connections with London Underground Central Line services to / from Liverpool Street.

Tuesday 29 December to Thursday 31 December inclusive

Services between Norwich and London and all Great Eastern mainline train services will terminate / start at Stratford, for connections with London Underground Central Line services to / from Liverpool Street.

Friday 1 January to Sunday 3 January inclusive

On Friday 1 January most NXEA services will operate to an amended Sunday timetable.

Services between Norwich and London will terminate / start at Ingatestone where a connecting direct coach service will operate to / from Liverpool Street.

Passengers on Great Eastern mainline and Southend Victoria services should change at Romford where a connecting bus service will operate to / from Newbury Park, for connections with London Underground Central Line services to / from Liverpool Street.

Monday 4 January

A normal weekday timetable will operate.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Christmas Eve Services

A reminder that Christmas Eve services begin to wind down from late afternoon and all are advised to check the timetable for last services.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

National Express Announces New Chief Exec

After a six month search following the departure of Richard Bowker, National Express have today announced Dean Finch as their new Chief Executive. Mr Finch was formerly head of the Tube Lines consortium that maintains half of London's Underground.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Vandalism Causes Spares Worry

Following the 4th instance of criminal damager leading to severe delays in the past ten days there are now fears of a shortage of spares should this vandalism continue. Thieves are stealing the copper wire used in the signalling systems and Network Rail only keep so much in stock.

The nature of these thefts is suggesting a very organised approach as it is not simply a case of cutting a wire - to do so would probably lead to the electrocution of the perpetrator. Also, newer installations use aluminium instead of copper and these gangs seem to know here the copper is.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Ticket Machines In The Car Park

Despite signs to the contrary, the ticket machine on the lower deck of the car park does not currently accept payments by card, only coins. The aerial that enables card payments to happen has yet to be fitted.

A number of occasional users without loose change have been caught out by this and have tried numerous cards, only to see their planned train depart without them. Please note that NCP are being less than sympathetic to those people who have been caught out by this.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Cycle Storage Developments At Manningtree - Update

The installation of stronger stands that are planned for the cycle storage area has been delayed due to annual leave of the maintenance team scheduled to do the work. The stands are in the possession of NXEA and are just awaiting installation. As mentioned previously the current stands have been the victims of vandalism.

Next year there are plans to expand the cycle storage area.

Lighting Failure At Manningtree Station

There have been reports that there were no lights in the subway at Manningtree station late on Friday evening. The situation was made worse by the wet conditions and it is understood that it was only possible to negotiate the steps and subway with the assistance of a cigarette lighter.

This is totally unacceptable and the MRUA has asked NXEA for an explanation as to why this was allowed to happen and what will be done to ensure it does not happen again.

Monday, 7 December 2009

NXEA Season Ticket Promotion

NXEA has launched a promotion to help annual season ticket holders renew their ticket early and avoid the January rush.

Passengers who renew their season ticket before December 31st will receive £20 back as well as obtaining their ticket at the new January prices. Annual season ticket prices are set to fall by 0.4% in the new year.

This offer is available to those renewing or buying for the first time, their tickets between 23rd and 31st December.

MRUA Manifesto for NXEA Replacement

Subject to final committee approval the MRUA will be raising the following points with local MPs and the Department for Transport as key areas that need to be addressed in the new franchise in 2011.

  • New trains for the London - Norwich route
  • Improved cleaning and servicing regime
  • The reintroduction of later 'last' trains
  • Retention of the fast service between London and Manningtree
  • Regulation of all fares and car parking charges
  • Amendment to the restrictions in evening peak travel
Information Systems:
  • Introduction of more up to date station information systems
  • New franchisee to press for improvements to the indicator boards at Liverpool Street
Car Parking:
  • Reduction in the cost of parking
  • An end to the relationship with NCP
  • An improvement in staff relations
Media and Public Relations:
  • A return to basic, relevant information sharing rather than 'spin'
  • The franchisee must be seen to be pressing for the significant infrastructure improvements that are required on the Great Eastern mainline
  • The franchisee must be seen to be more robust with suppliers such as Network Rail
If you feel there is anything that should be added, please contact the MRUA at

Manningtree Station Bicycle Facilities

The MRUA is chasing NXEA over the lack of progress in working on the bicycle storage area at the station. It had been planned to install replacement racks by the end of November but this has not yet happened.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Seven Tonnes Of Fly Tipped Rubbish Taken Away

In a joint effort at the the weekend Network Rail and Tendring District Council cleared away seven tonnes of rubbish from a fly-tipping hotspot in Harwich. An area behind properties in Ingestre Street, Albert Street and Albermarle Street was cleared following reports of people dumping their rubbish there.

Items such as shopping trolleys, wardrobes, bicycles, beds, mattresses, televisions, sinks, fire extinguishers, scrap metal and black sacks of household waste were cleared in Saturday's haul.

Not only is fly-tipping illegal, with potential fines of £1,000 for offenders, and an eyesore but rubbish such as this attracts rats who like to eat through signal cables which often leads to signal failures, delays and potentially, accidents.