With 112 brand new trains serving Harlow, plans to increase the frequency of the Stansted Express and new statistics showing local trains are the most punctual in the country, Harlow’s Member of Parliament, Robert Halfon, has celebrated Greater Anglia’s £1.4 billion investment to make the region’s rail network the best in the country.
Mr Halfon met with Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, Jamie Burles, and Head of Corporate Affairs, Jonathan Denby, earlier this month to discuss the important work the company has done over the last few years to improve the efficiency of services and to make train travel more accessible, affordable and straightforward for passengers from Harlow and the villages.
Greater Anglia have confirmed that the Stansted Express will return to four trains per hour from December, creating capacity for even more passengers. Supported by smart ticketing options for season ticket holders, cheaper parking rates and recent upgrades at Harlow Mill station, rail travel across the region has never been better.
Mr Halfon also raised his concerns, and those of local residents, about proposals to close station ticket offices and move staff to other locations around the station. Greater Anglia confirmed that any changes would not see a reduction in the number of staff available or the hours for which they are available; however, the response to the recent consultation is very clear that passengers do not want change. As this is a national issue, the final decision will be made by the Department for Transport.
Following his meeting with Greater Anglia, Robert said, “I am delighted that Greater Anglia is providing outstanding rail services across the network, including for hard working Harlow people commuting to London and Cambridge, and holiday makers benefitting from even more Stansted Express services every hour.
“Every single Greater Anglia service is now operated by brand new trains, with more trains joining the fleet soon. These trains have more seats, better on board facilities and are more accessible with lower floors and retractable steps. The new fleet has led to better performance, with 94% of trains on time across the network, and higher cleanliness standards on board.
“I also strongly welcome plans to roll out contactless ticketing to include Harlow and the villages, making journeys in and out of the capital easier and cheaper. With passenger numbers now between 90% and 100% of pre-pandemic levels, it is more important than ever that contactless travel reaches Harlow.
“I have written to the Rail Minister to express my concerns about proposals to close ticket offices, and I will work closely with the Government and Greater Anglia to ensure the voices of Harlow residents remain represented at all levels during this consultation period.”