National Express Group PLC
(“the Group”), the leading international passenger transport company and the UK’s largest train operator, today commences operation of the new Greater Anglia franchise, incorporating Anglia, Great Eastern, West Anglia and Stansted Express.
As part of the launch, we have created a new brand for the franchise. In deciding on the new name, the Group took into consideration feedback following consultation with staff, customers, passenger groups and local authorities. ‘One’, (operated by National Express) will be the new brand name for the franchise to reflect the new integrated and seamless operation which is being introduced across East Anglia operating out of one London terminal (Liverpool Street). ‘One’ is about unity, clear direction and clear responsibilities, and the introduction of one single management structure to lead the new business. In listening to our people, our customers and our stakeholders we will enhance ‘one’ with the local identities - Anglia, Great Eastern, West Anglia and Stansted Express.
Caption, right: Alistair Darling unveiling new train at launch ceremony
Tim Clarke, previously Managing Director of Anglia Railways, has been appointed Managing Director of the ‘one’ franchise and we will have dedicated business route directors who will be fully accountable for achieving a continuous improvement in service delivery. For our staff, we will be shortly opening a new Customer Service Academy in the region to train and develop our people.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Phil White, Chief Executive, National Express Group said: “We are delighted to commence operation of the Greater Anglia franchise today, and we believe that the new company reflects the tremendous diversity of the region. Our aim now is to build on the best practices of each previous operator and combine that knowledge and expertise to deliver benefits for customers of ‘one’.
“The fact that this is the first franchise to be awarded under the SRA’s new template provides the Group with a unique opportunity to set the standards for the rest of the rail industry. Our experience in running a mix of rural, intercity, airport and commuter services which make up this franchise, will enable us to enhance existing services for our customers in the East of England.
“We will be introducing a range of customer benefits including improvements to the existing timetable to give more regular connections to key locations as well as investing over £11 million in station improvements.
“I would like to welcome all the staff who have transferred to ‘one’ today and look forward to working with them and building on their knowledge and expertise in order to make ‘one’ a great success.”