Wednesday, 16 February 2011

NXEA & BTP Crackdown On Anti-Social Behaviour

British Transport Police (BTP) and National Express East Anglia (NXEA) have relaunched their joint initiative known as Safer Travel to combat anti-social behaviour on trains and stations in the Colchester, Clacton and Ipswich areas.

Staff have been enforcing railway bylaws to crackdown on unacceptable behaviour such as: Abuse or harassment of staff; illegal smoking; feet on seats; playing loud music; being drunk or under the influence of drugs and not having a valid ticket.

The campaign by BTP and NXEA is designed to send out a clear message that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

Monday, 14 February 2011

CPRE Leads Legal Efforts Over Railway Litter At Clacton

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) headed up by the author Bill Bryson is planning legal action against Network Rail in an attempt to get litter removed from certain railway sites, including Clacton-on-Sea.  The CPRE plans to use Litter Abatement Orders (LAO) to make Network Rail clean up certain specific sites.

Mr Bryson said: "Network Rail has a legal obligation to clean litter and, in most places, as far as I can see, it's not just they don't do it often enough - they don't do it at all."

Network Rail responded in a statement saying "As one of Britain's biggest landowners we remove thousands of tonnes of litter every year. If reported by the public, we aim to remove litter within 20 days.

"Our dedicated maintenance teams regularly remove litter as part of their day-to-day responsibilities and we work closely with our contractors and projects to keep the areas in which they are working free of litter."

Many would probably disagree with the assertion that litter is regularly cleared and although the CPRE has targeted Clacton specifically the problem exists all over the region.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Unreliable Wi-Fi?

A quick reminder to those experiencing problems with the Wi-Fi connectivity on London - Norwich services.  The Wi-Fi is specifically designed not to work in the Quiet Carriage(s) for obvious reasons.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

'Meet The Manager'

A note for the diary.  There will be 'Meet The Manager' sessions at stations throughout the year.  This is an opportunity for passengers to meet with senior managers from National Express East Anglia.  Dates as follows:

05/03/11 Harold Wood
12/04/11 Rayleigh
19/04/11 Witham
02/05/11 Shenfield
10/05/11 Stratford
17/05/11 Manningtree
03/06/11 Liverpool Street
21/06/11 Marks Tey
10/07/11 Wickford
19/07/11 Clacton
02/08/11 Colchester
04/08/11 Stratford
07/08/11 South Woodham Ferrers
16/08/11 Chelmsford
30/08/11 Ingatestone
05/09/11 Billericay
19/09/11 Liverpool Street
27/09/11 Ipswich
04/10/11 Braintree
18/10/11 Wivenhoe
20/10/11 Romford
06/11/11 Rochford
10/11/11 Stratford
05/12/11 Ilford
06/12/11 Liverpool Street
08/02/12 Stratford
15/02/12 Brentwood
07/03/12 Liverpool Street

Exact times will be advertised locally.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Reports of Unreliable Wi-Fi on NXEA Inter City Services

Some passengers are reporting that the much publicised Wi-Fi service introduced by National Express East Anglia on its Inter City services last week is proving to be at best unreliable with it occasionally not working at all.  What is your experience of the service? Let us know at

Monday, 7 February 2011

'Bread and Buffers' Closes For The Last Time

Bread and Buffers, the station buffet at Billericay, has closed it's doors for the last time.  As part of the £1.4 million redevelopment of the station by National Express East Anglia, agreement could not be reached on accommodating the business which has been serving Billerciay customers for eighteen years.

Owners Hugh and Nadia McMahon had taken a 3,000 signature petition to Downing Street alongside local MP John Baron last October in the hope of saving the shop.  However lawyers were brought in and sadly the business has had to close.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Trains 'On Time' Record Challenged

Passenger Focus, the rail passengers' watchdog, has called on train companies to review the way they report punctuality after a study found that passengers' experience of delays was different to official records.  As has been pointed out by many passengers on the Great Eastern mainline, trains may be late at stations along a route but make up sufficient time to arrive at the end of the journey according to the timetable - the train is therefore reported as having been 'on time'.  Most passengers commuting home in the evening leave the train before it reaches its final destination and can be late although the train goes on to reach its final destination on time.

Passenger Focus said the findings of a study it conducted among passengers on National Express East Anglia (along with Northern Rail and CrossCountry) had prompted it to call on the rail industry as a whole to review how it records train times, including punctuality along the route.

This is particularly relevant to NXEA passengers, some of whom have been in dispute with the company when making Delay Repay claims only to be told that the train arrived at its final destination on time and was therefore not delayed.  A train can be delayed only ten minutes along its route to ensure a connection is missed leading to far longer overall delays to passengers' journeys.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

WiFi Facilities Now Available On NXEA Inter City Services

WiFi is now available on National Express East Anglia Services between Norwich and London. Jointly funded by the East Of England Development Agency and Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils to the tune of £346,000 the service will be free to first class passengers.  There will be a charge of £2.95 per session for Standard Class passengers with monthly and annual discounts available.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Channel 4 Dispatches - Update

Further to the earlier post about the Channel 4 programme Dispatches looking for contributions from passengers highlighting the much publicised complaints about late or cancelled services, overcrowding, filthy trains etc.  more information can be found at

6:22pm Liv St To Clacton - The UK's Most Crowded Train

Department for Transport data shows that the 6:22pm service from Liverpool Street to Clacton was the most over capacity service in the UK in the evening rush hour.  The snapshot reveals that 262 people had to stand on the service.

The figures are taken from the autumn of 2009, before recent increases in the number of carriages by NXEA, as more recent data is considered commercially sensitive. However it is still quite a shocking statistic.