Braintree's MP has held crunch talks with rail bosses after he was inundated with complaints about delays.

James Cleverly met with Greater Anglia representatives on Monday after demanding a meeting with the franchise last week.

He said he had been contacted by a number of commuters who had complained about poor service and the lack of communication at stations on the Braintree branch line.

Speaking after the meeting, the Tory chairman said: “I basically made the point that every year the fares go up in January and it is understandable that people are more sensitive to how the train service performs.

“I think the main thing is I’ve had a lot of people saying the same thing as other years – the communication or lack of isn’t good enough.

“They tell me they are never informed of delays quickly enough and when they do, they get different messages.

“The communication needs to be more consistent.

“The staff on the tannoy, the messages on social media, messaging boards on platforms and the guards on the trains all need to be saying the same thing.

“It’s incredibly frustrating for people when they aren’t told the same thing or they are told too late because how are they supposed to make alternative arrangements?”

Mr Cleverly also spoke of his disappointment at the delayed launch of Greater Anglia’s new trains.

He has demanded the franchise provide him with regular updates on its work and performance so he can ensure company bosses are doing all they can to address concerns.

He added: “I appreciate sometimes there are circumstances beyond Greater Anglia’s control, but ultimately they need to make sure the message from them is consistent.

“I have seen improvements from them over the last year.

“For instance, punctuality on the branch line has improved and use of social media to tell passengers about problems has improved.

“I would say Greater Anglia is taking comments on board but it clearly needs to continue to make improvements.

“You are always going to get delays on the railways, especially on the branch line, but there’s no excuse for not informing passengers and keeping them up to date.”

A spokesman for Greater Anglia said: “We met with Mr Cleverly to reassure him that we are taking several steps to improve day-to-day performance and ensure consistency in the event of any disruption.

“When there is a problem with the service, we proactively update passengers via social media, our website and our station-based teams.

“We will keep working to ensure that the information provision is as precise and consistent as possible.”