A RAIL boss has used the East Anglian rail summit to lobby for an improved service for customers.

Ruud Haket, Greater Anglia managing director, outlined his plans to secure key improvements to the Great Eastern line when he spoke at the Westminster meeting this morning.

The Great Eastern line includes stations in Chelmsford, Colchester, Manningtree and Clacton.
He called on Network Rail to make improvements, including increasing speeds on the line to 110mph and laying new track north of Chelmsford, in its plans to be implemented by 2019 .

Mr Haket said: “In less than a year of operating the franchise we have increased punctuality standards across our network to the highest levels for 12 years.

“However, there is much more to do to achieve greater consistency of performance and raise customer service standards further.”

The summit comes after Mr Haket wrote to more than 200 rail users, local authorities and MPs asking them to lobby the Department for Transport, the Office of Rail Regulation and Network Rail to support his call for the improvements by 2019.

Priti Patel, MP for Witham, attended the meeting.

She said: “Commuters in Essex have suffered from poor services while investment in the railway has been inadequate to cope with growing demand.

"This campaign is important as it brings together everyone with an interest in improving rail services, including rail users, and makes the strongest case possible for investment in Essex and the region.”

Network Rail's investment plans for 2014 and 2019 are due to be approved by the Office of Rail Regulation in the autumn.