Rt. Hon Joan Ryan MP, the Labour Member of Parliament for Enfield North, has welcomed the handover of West Anglia suburban rail service routes, from Abellio Greater Anglia (AGA) to London Overground, and has called for further improvements to be made to train services in Enfield.
Attending the event to mark the transfer of services at Enfield Town station, on Monday 1st June, Joan Ryan has urged all rail operators in the area to improve levels of passenger satisfaction, given the concerns that have been raised regarding the performance levels of AGA and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) – which have been the two train companies serving local stations.
Under the changes, London Overground will take control of services between London Liverpool Street and Enfield Town, Cheshunt via Seven Sisters - serving Southbury and Turkey Street - and Chingford. London Overground plan to improve stations along these lines, refurbish existing carriages and order a fleet of brand new trains.
Joan Ryan has welcomed the announcement by Transport for London (TfL) – which owns the London Overground franchise – that says 80% of fares on the services will fall, some by as much as 40%, to bring them into line with fares elsewhere on the successful London Overground network.
Pay as you go fares from Enfield Lock, Brimsdown and Ponders End, where services will remain operated by Abellio Greater Anglia, will fall due to an agreement between (AGA) and London Overground.
But pay as you go fares on other services in Enfield North, such as those serving Gordon Hill and Enfield Chase, are set to stay the same. This is because they will still continue to be run by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) using National Rail fares, which TfL says are generally higher than London Overground prices.
Joan Ryan believes it is unfair that some commuters in the area may have to pay higher fares on routes between the same zones, simply because their services are not operated by London Overground.
It is particularly galling given that the Which? 2015 rail passenger survey showed that GTR had the worst passenger satisfaction levels on the national network, while London Overground was ranked 8th highest out of the 21 train companies surveyed. AGA was ranked as the fourth worst operator.
Rt. Hon Joan Ryan MP, Labour’s Member of Parliament for Enfield North, said:
“Local commuters have been poorly served by rail operators for far too long. Services from Enfield have been blighted by poor punctuality, badly maintained trains and overcrowding during peak times.
I hope that the introduction of London Overground into our local rail network – with their track record for providing an efficient service, as well as cheaper fares – will force GTR and AGA to up their game.
We need to see a significant improvement in standards and passenger satisfaction.
And over the coming weeks and months, I will be arranging a series of meetings with AGA, GTR, TfL and others to discuss how rail services throughout Enfield can be improved and to ensure that passengers get value for money and a fair deal across Enfield.”