COLCHESTER’S MP has called for Greater Anglia to publish a “clear plan of action” so commuters can see when improvements are coming to their train service.

In a letter to the operator’s managing director Jamie Burles, Mr Quince said commuters were rightly frustrated after facing delays and cancellations on the first day back after the festive period.

Mr Quince said although Network Rail had to accept its share of the blame for the disruption, Greater Anglia was often the target of passengers’ anger.

He said: “As you are aware, Network Rail has recently secured a £2 billion funding settlement for the Great Eastern Main Line which, combined with the new fleet of trains, the first of which due this year, should reduce disruption considerably.

“However, it is imperative our rail users and your customers are aware of this investment and the works will be undertaken to improve the service of the Great Eastern Main Line and the value for money they receive. I would ask you work with Network Rail to publish a clear plan of action with a timetable of expected improvements so rail users can see the investment, where it is to be spent, when and the improvement that it will make to their journey.”

From the start of 2019, the price of a season ticket from Colchester to London was increased another 3.1 per cent. An annual ticket now costs £5,264 - £160 more than in 2017.

Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate Martin Goss, who is also Colchester Council’s councillor responsible for infrastructure, said commuters had faced years of false promises on ticket prices.

He said: “As a commuter myself who travels to either London or Chelmsford for work on a frequent basis I have been hit like all other commuters with eye watering increases and worsening services.

“Latest statistics tell us services are at their lowest punctuality levels for 13 years and commuter dissatisfaction is at an all time high.

“If 98p of every £1 is apparently being reinvested into rail services, I would like to know where.

“It’s time this Government was held to account on promising one thing and then doing another. Rail fares need to be frozen. It’s as simple as that.

“Our Colchester MP Will Quince keeps banging on about investment in the railway but we are yet to see any improvement on the Colchester route.”

A Greater Anglia spokesman said it was working with Network Rail to improve services. “While we do not manage the tracks, signals and overhead lines, we work in partnership with Network Rail to improve the service we provide to passengers.

“Sometimes trains are shorter than normal, either due to train faults or infrastructure problems which lead to trains and traincrew being displaced.

“We are sorry when this happens, but we think it is better to run a shorter train than no train at all.

“We’ve been working hard to reduce the number of shorter trains and we are now seeing an improvement.

He said: “We’re investing

£23 million to improve the reliability of our existing trains until they are replaced by our brand new trains, which will start to come into service from the middle of the year.”

“We are working to introduce Delay Repay 15 and will provide an update in due course.”