Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has welcomed the news from Greater Anglia that they are aiming to provide service improvements for Clacton in their December 2021 timetable plans – including later last trains from London on Mondays to Saturdays and some faster train services.
On 25th January, Giles met with Jamie Burles, Managing Director of Greater Anglia, and senior staff, to talk about improving the rail service to the Clacton constituency. This meeting was sought as part of Giles’ campaign to enhance train services for the area, which aims to deal with slow and limited connectivity to local stations, whilst also ensuring that the coronavirus pandemic does not lead to service reductions.
Greater Anglia are currently introducing new trains, made by UK manufacturer Bombardier, which will operate on the route to Clacton. In total, 133 new five-carriage trains will be introduced, and will have USB and plug points, fast free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, improved accessibility features including a disabled toilet on every train, better passenger information screens, and dedicated cycle spaces.
Talking about local rail services, Giles said:
“As one who has been a part of the Clacton community since 1957, I know that we have never had great rail connectivity, and this has been holding back our economy in terms of travelling for work and leisure. So, I am thrilled that Greater Anglia have confirmed that it is their aim to introduce these service improvements. In particular, I am pleased that the reduction in some journey times will be significant and that there is a commitment to providing late services from London Liverpool Street, enabling residents to access the West End in comfort without rushing for the last train!"
“I have been pushing for improvements for some time, and I would like to thank Jamie and his staff for taking the time to meet with me to discuss this. This is a massive step forward and I am also excited that, since December 2020, the roll out of the brand-new electric trains, which will start to serve Clacton later this year, has begun. This is a great step forward and will bring real benefits for local passengers.”
“It is now vital that we rebuild following the pandemic, and, when it is safe to do so, I am pleased that Greater Anglia will launch a campaign to ensure that we get more visitors to Clacton as we rebuild our economy. I would also like to reassure residents that there is no question of reducing services to and from our local stations.”