Priti Patel challenges Greater Anglia on roll out of new trains
Priti Patel, Conservative Party Parliamentary Candidate for Witham, has challenged Greater Anglia over disruption passengers have experienced during the roll out of their new trains.
Passengers in Norfolk and Suffolk have experienced significant delays and cancellations due to faults on the operator’s old and new rolling stock and Priti has pressed Greater Anglia to urgently resolve these issues and ensure that the new trains do not develop similar problems when they are rolled out locally in 2020. Priti led efforts to secure investment for the new trains and regularly holds Greater Anglia to account when passengers experience disruption.
Priti said: “Supporting commuters and pressing for investment in our local rail infrastructure has been a priority for me and I regularly meet with Greater Anglia to hold them to account and press for improvements to services. It is vital that passengers see investment in their local rail services in the form of infrastructure upgrades and improved, high quality train services.
“I led efforts to secure over £1 billion for the much needed new trains that are currently being rolled out across Greater Anglia routes and I am extremely disappointed to receive reports that passengers in Norfolk and Suffolk are experiencing significant disruption due to faults with the new trains. This is unacceptable and Greater Anglia need to resolve these issues as a matter of priority.
“I know that passengers locally are eager to see the new trains enter service as soon as possible and I have been assured by Greater Anglia that the roll out of the Bombardier trains, which will serve stations across the Witham constituency from 2020, are on target and have entered extensive testing. I am continuing to hold Greater Anglia to account and I have urged the operator to ensure the roll out starts on time and that the transition runs smoothly with no disruption to passengers.”
Priti’s letter to the MD of Greater Anglia is set out below:
Mr Jamie Burles
1 Stratford Place
London E20 1EJ
05 December 2019
Dear Mr Burles,
I have recently received reports about the significant disruption passengers have experienced in Norfolk and Suffolk following the roll out of the new trains in this region.
I understand that a number of faults have been reported on Greater Anglia’s old and new rolling stock which has led to a number of delays and cancellations on rural routes in Norfolk and Suffolk. This disruption is unacceptable, especially as the new trains have undertaken a period of extensive testing prior to their roll out on the network.
Greater Anglia needs to take urgent action to resolve these issues and ensure that the trains due to be rolled out over the coming months do not experience similar problems. As you are aware, passengers across the Witham constituency are eager to see the new trains enter service at local stations as quickly as possible and I would be grateful to receive an update on the progress of this work.
I have previously been assured that the new Bombardier trains, which will serve stations locally, are coming off the production line in Derby and are starting to enter the testing phase. It is vital that the testing undertaken on the new trains is rigorous and comprehensive to ensure faults do not occur and passengers do not experience significant disruption when they are rolled out in 2020.
I would welcome your urgent comments about this matter and I look forward to hearing from you.
Rt. Hon Priti Patel
Conservative Party Parliamentary Candidate for Witham