A commuter was encouraged by a meeting with rail chiefs to discuss the future of services in our region.

Jordan Newell, who is Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Colchester, recently met Greater Anglia chief executive Jamie Burles to discuss the state of the service.

Train cleanliness and the lack of standard class seating were the two main issues discussed.

Mr Burles said Greater Anglia would be hiring dozens of cleaning staff within the next few weeks and had plans to convert some first class carriages on intercity trains.

Mr Newell said: “The rolling stock is a big priority – we have 25-year-old stock which is the oldest in the UK and it is not a position we should be in.

“The refurbishment of first class carriages should create 52 extra standard seats on each train.

“I was encouraged by what they said and it is important to recognise running a modern railway in Britain is very difficult and complex.”

On Friday, Greater Anglia and Network Rail apologised to customers for failings in recent weeks.

Full story in today's Gazette