Essex

Abellio Greater Anglia spends £30m on trains and cleanliness

photographs showing the mess on Abellio Greater Anglia trains
Image caption Passengers have taken to Twitter to share their images of conditions aboard Great Anglia trains

A rail operator has said £30m will be spent on its trains amid claims of "flea infested" seats and filthy travelling conditions.

Abellio Greater Anglia holds the Norwich to London mainline franchise until October 2016.

Ian Edwards, of Greater Anglia Complaints, said conditions on the trains were "absolutely appalling".

The operator said while it "certainly" needed to "improve and do better" it had already taken on 40 extra cleaners.

Mr Edwards, who runs the Greater Anglia Complaints website, which highlights problems on the trains, said: "We keep a photographic log of everything from flea bites, because a lot of the seats are flea infested, to broken toilets and it is just disgusting.

"You've got practically no slack in the service so all they have time to do is a quick litter pick."

'Follow up immediately'

Peter Meades, of Greater Anglia, said the operator now had more than 300 cleaners employed - more than 10% of the overall workforce.

He said despite operating under a short three-year contract, Greater Anglia was spending £30m across the network on better trains and cleanliness.

"We put a lot of resource into cleaning overnight," he said. "The real opportunity to invest in the train fleet in Essex is going to start in the long franchise which will start in October next year."

He said he was not aware of any complaints concerning fleas in seats but urged passengers with concerns to contact them.

"We will follow them (complaints about flea bites or cleanliness) up immediately."

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