New rail franchise for commuters from Havering and Brentwood

18:04 06 February 2012

Ruud Haket, managing director of Abellio

Ruud Haket, managing director of Abellio's Greater Anglia franchise

Archant

Eagle-eyed commuters and train passengers will have noticed new Greater Anglia branding on their daily Liverpool Street to Shenfield route today (Monday).

That was only the most superficial indication though of company Abellio taking over the Greater Anglia services – including those through Romford, Harold Wood, Gidea Park and Brentwood, from National Express on the same day.

The international arm of Netherlands Railways now has responsibility for 3,000 employees and 43,000 services per month, carrying two million passengers.

The 29-month contract includes routes from Liverpool Street to Chingford and Enfield Town and the Stansted Express line.

Speaking to the Recorder, the franchise’s managing director, Ruud Haket, outlined his priorities for the network.

He said: “The most important thing will be what customers think.

“To deliver better customer service and more security and to be able to tackle fare evasion, we will add a high number of people in stations and trains to target these issues - where there is a hot spot of anti-social behaviour or fare evasion to make sure that’s addressed.”

On Monday, 68 extra customer service staff started work and all frontline staff are being given BlackBerrys so they can provide passengers with up-to-date travel information, according to Ruud.

And the public will be able to hold the company to account through punctuality performance figures for each route rather than for the whole franchise.

Ruud said: “It’s a matter of transparency.

“If you are using the best or worst performing route you should be able to know that.

“It helps to establish where our best practice is as well.”

Problems with the overhead lines or signal theft can cause delays on the Shenfield line but Abellio, who will run the franchise’s trains and stations, is promising to work closely with Network Rail, who retain responsibility for the rail infrastructure.

Station-by-station investments are still to be finalised but the managing director said a deep clean would be a minimum requirement for all.

Promotions

BT Home Smart Cam

When I was first told by my boss that I would be doing a review on the BT Smart Cam 100 I didn’t quite know what to expect. Before even looking at the product I was picturing it as nothing more than a web cam with a fancy name.

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Biffo and Bobo better stay away from the town of Vendargues this Halloween.

As a state of emergency is declared in Burkina Faso, what does the future hold for its president and people?

It might not be moving very fast but it’s still causing problems.

After staging an Ebola-themed night, a nightclub has been forced to make an apology after hundreds complained about the tasteless event.

Quirky London