RAIL passengers now have access to free water at a number of key stations in Essex.

Greater Anglia has installed water fountains at stations in Witham, Shenfield, Wickford and Billericay in an effort to reduce sales of single-use plastic bottles.

The fountain at Witham station is based on platform 3.

Last year, Greater Anglia became one of the first train operators in England to offer free water to passengers after installing a water fountain at Chelmsford station.

Fountains have since been installed at stations in Ipswich, Cambridge and Colchester.

So far, Greater Anglia customers have refilled more than 100,000 water bottles using the refill points across the network.

Simone Bailey, Greater Anglia’s Asset Management Director, said: “Millions of people use these stations every year and we hope that by providing free water, it will help makes passengers’ journeys a little easier.

“We care about the environment, so we are delivering a number of projects to improve our energy-efficiency and operate in a more sustainable manner - from installing LED lighting, to recycling food, to providing free electric car charging points.

“We already recycle as much of our waste as possible. We have increased our recycling by 71 per cent over the past five years, but we are looking to increase that figure even further.”