Stansted Airport bosses are pressing the Government to double Stansted Express rail services.
Currently, Greater Anglia runs a train every 30 minutes, seven days a week – compared to the timetable of four per hour before the Covid-19 pandemic.
A report to the Stansted Airport Consultative Committee’s latest meeting from management said: “We are continuing to press the Department for Transport (DfT) to restore four trains per hour on the Stansted Express.
A Stansted Express train. Credit: Greater Anglia. (60591689)
“As we near pre-pandemic passenger volumes, it is important that we see the old four trains per hour timetable restored to deliver a reliable, frequent, high-quality rail service to the airport.
“The DfT has continued to be vague about the criteria for restoring four trains per hour on the Stansted Express, and when we are likely to see this occur.”
Journeys to Tottenham Hale take 36 minutes with London Liverpool Street in 50 minutes. As passenger numbers at the airport have increased, the half-hourly trains currently running are frequently full when they leave the airport, with standing room only.
A Stansted Express train – standing room only as it stopped at Stansted Mountfitchet (60591770)
However, a Greater Anglia spokeswoman told the Indie: “We are working with Stansted Airport to ensure we provide the appropriate service level for customers travelling to and from the airport by rail.
“We are also discussing future service levels, to help decide the points at which additional services could be introduced, subject to approval from the Department for Transport.
“We are currently running more than half of our pre-pandemic Stansted Express services. However, as we are running our new, longer trains, which have many more seats, we have more seats available than before the pandemic, so the present service level generally copes well with the current demand.
“Travelling by rail between Stansted Airport and London remains the fastest way to travel to and from the airport and is great value too.”
Stansted Airport terminal (60591722)
The committee was told rail strikes have also affected access to Stansted for passengers and airport workers.
During the industrial action, a free shuttle bus was operated so employees from North London could get to the terminal.
As stoppages continue into the autumn, the airport is working with coach operators to ensure adequate provision to satisfy demand.