At the meeting on 4 December, Abellio Greater Anglia’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Jonathan Denby and Stakeholder Manager, Paul Oxley, will present an update on their franchise and outline their future plans. This will be followed by a period for members of the council to ask questions.
In April this year, the Department for Transport confirmed that Abellio Greater Anglia, which took control of the Great Eastern Main Line in February 2012 would keep its franchise - which had been due to expire in July – until at least October 2016. It was reported in the media that the company planned to invest £20m into train services along its line, which runs through Southend, Billericay, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Braintree and Colchester. New carriages, the introduction of online compensation service for season ticket holders and improvements to train performance were among its proposals.
Chair of the committee and season ticket holder, Cllr Mark Flewitt, said: “As someone who uses this line every week day to commute to work, I know first-hand some of the service issues that rail-users on this line experience.
“I welcomed the announcement earlier in the year that Abellio Greater Anglia were investing significantly in improving services and I’m keen to establish continued dialogue between those responsible for services, rail users and other stakeholders, such as councillors and the Public Transport & Buses Working party.
“I am grateful to Abellio Greater Anglia for agreeing to present at this meeting and look forward to forming a positive and constructive working relationship with them in future.”
All members of Southend Council are welcome to attend this meeting and ask questions. Usual scrutiny committee rules apply and, although members of the public are welcome to attend, questions will not be taken from the public gallery. However, members of the public are welcome to email their questions or comment to the Committee Chair, Mark Flewitt on firstname.lastname@example.org or ask their ward councillor to put forward their questions on their behalf.