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Commuters disrupted by almost 4,500 train delays on busy Norfolk line since 2015

PUBLISHED: 17:37 05 December 2018

Figures reveal commuters have been disrupted by almost 4,500 train delays on the line between Norwich and Great Yarmouth since 2015. Picture: James Bass

Figures reveal commuters have been disrupted by almost 4,500 train delays on the line between Norwich and Great Yarmouth since 2015. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

Catching the train should be a stress free way of travelling across the county but for thousands of commuters in Norfolk this just simply is not the case.

Latest figures reveal commuters have been disrupted by almost 4,500 train delays on the line between Norwich and Great Yarmouth since 2015.

One commuter has described the reliability of the trains as “awful” and believes they need to be modernised.

Technical fleet delays - a problem with the train which prevents it being able to move - have been the main cause of disruption across the last four years accounting for 790 delays.

Oliver Steward, 32, who travels on the Great Yarmouth line described the service as “rubbish”.

Oliver Steward, 32, travels on the Great Yarmouth line and described the service as Oliver Steward, 32, travels on the Great Yarmouth line and described the service as "rubbish". Picture: Joe Norton

He said: “The reliability of the trains is awful. They all seem so old and the service is rubbish.

“Big changes are needed.”

From the start of 2015 there have been 59,899 services on the Great Yarmouth line with 7.4pc of them being delayed.

A spokesperson for Greater Anglia said it was responsible for 28pc of the delays.

Figures reveal commuters have been disrupted by almost 4,500 train delays on the line between Norwich and Great Yarmouth since 2015. Picture: Neil DidsburyFigures reveal commuters have been disrupted by almost 4,500 train delays on the line between Norwich and Great Yarmouth since 2015. Picture: Neil Didsbury

It said: “We are sorry when trains are cancelled or delayed. We want all customers to have a good experience when travelling with us.

“The majority of our trains are punctual - just over 92pc of services on the line between Norwich and Great Yarmouth run on time.

“However, we, along with Network Rail, are investing in rail services on this line to make them even more reliable.”

Tony Rees 59, said his train from Norwich back to Great Yarmouth was cancelled a couple of weeks ago.

Tony Rees, 59, who lives in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Joe NortonTony Rees, 59, who lives in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Joe Norton

“It was awful. We were given a bus replacement and it delayed me for three hours.

“Something needs to be done about the disruption,” Mr Rees said.

Despite frustration from commuters, statistics obtained through a Freedom of Information request show the number of delays have been decreasing year on year from 2016.

There were 1,472 delays on the line between Norwich and Great Yarmouth in 2016 compared to 781 so far this year.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia said: “We are making a huge investment to improve the service our customers receive on the Wherry Lines.”

Station delays were the second most common cause of train delays since 2015 with non-technical fleet delays - faults with the train that do not prevent it from moving - being the third highest reason for disruption.

More reaction from passengers

A member of the East Norfolk Transport Users Association said he is concerned by the “high amount” of cancellations on the Great Yarmouth line.

Steve Hewitt said: “Any cancellations are detrimental to the rail service and its passengers.

“It gives no one confidence if your train is constantly cancelled and you face paying the full rail fare to sit on a coach all the way to Norwich.”

He hopes the arrival of new trains in 2019/20 will significantly reduce the cancellation rate.

Geraldine Gibbs, 74, from Great Yarmouth uses the train line occasionally.

“Every time I have used the service it has been okay. I have never really had a problem with it so I would say the reliability is fairly good.”

Last month figures showed 85pc of trains to Great Yarmouth from Norwich were on time, 2pc were five to nine minutes late and 1pc 10 or more minutes late.

A spokesperson for Greater Anglia said 62pc of delays were because of Network Rail and 10pc were because of other train companies.

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