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Frustrated Halesworth commuter tries to take Greater Anglia to court over late trains

PUBLISHED: 11:06 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:06 16 August 2017

Joseph Pochin at Ipswich Railway Station. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Joseph Pochin at Ipswich Railway Station. Picture: PAUL GEATER

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A frustrated commuter is trying to take rail operator Greater Anglia to court after suffering a catalogue of delays on his daily journey on the East Suffolk line.

Mr Pochin is angry about East Suffolk Line trains' reliability. Picture: PAUL GEATER Mr Pochin is angry about East Suffolk Line trains' reliability. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Joseph Pochin lives in Halesworth and commutes to work at Suffolk County Council in Ipswich – but recently journeys have got so bad that he has filled in online forms to start legal action for compensation from the small claims court.

He has been making the journey since February, and from the start he had noticed small delays to the service.

He said: “For the first few weeks there were several short delays, no more than five minutes, which I thought would be down to the weather conditions as it was winter time.

“There were then two major delays – one train cancellation meaning I was an hour late getting to work (07.12 train was cancelled) and the final straw was an hour delay heading home on a Friday night when the points failed at Woodbridge.

“I applied for the delay-repay compensation and received what can only be described as a paltry sum of £2.20.”

He started keeping records and now estimates that his total delays over the last six months amount to about 14 hours.

The final straw for him came last Friday when his train was cancelled at Ipswich and the following one was a single-car unit, forcing passengers to use a bus replacement service.

He said he got home very frustrated by the service: “I filled out and submitted the forms on the Gov.UK website and am now going to have my day in court with them. I feel I have a very strong case for compensation.”

A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “We have been in correspondence with Mr Pochin to try to help him directly with his complaints and to explain the reasons for delays he has experienced and what we are doing, with Network Rail, to improve our service. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by delays.

“Performance on the East Suffolk Line is currently just under 86pc (of trains running on time). Network Rail has just laid new track on the line, which should lead to a more reliable railway.

“We are investing in improving the reliability of our current trains and we will be getting brand new trains from 2019 which should improve reliability.”

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