Commuter's anger over timetable change

FURIOUS Ipswich commuter Clair Pyper today hit out at rail operator 'one' claiming that their new timetable had made life a misery for commuters heading to Essex's county town.

FURIOUS Ipswich commuter Clair Pyper today hit out at rail operator 'one' claiming that their new timetable had made life a misery for commuters heading to Essex's county town.

Mrs Pyper lives in Ipswich but works for Essex County Council in their Chelmsford headquarters.

And she said the new timetable, which comes into force at the weekend, would cause serious problems for the growing number of commuters who travel between the two towns.

She said: "There are now no direct trains between the county town of Suffolk and the county town of Essex in the rush hour. That is ridiculous.

"There are quite a number of people who do commute between the two towns - I work at Essex County Council and I know of nine or ten people who work in the same building and make the same journey every day."

She feared the changes to the timetable - forcing peak-time travellers from Ipswich to Chelmsford to change trains at Colchester - would encourage many to switch to their cars.

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There has also been a reduction in the number of direct trains from Chelmsford to Ipswich at the end of the working day.

"I work for Essex County Council and its policy is to encourage people to leave their cars at home and use public transport as much as possible.

"I am naturally pro-train, and for all its faults there is a reasonable service between Ipswich and Chelmsford at the moment.

"But it seems that 'one' has taken over with its monopoly position and is trying to drive people back on to the roads."

Peter Meades, public affairs manager for 'one,' said the timetable reflected the fact that most commuters from Ipswich were heading straight to London.

"We have had to look at getting the most robust service we can for as many of our passengers as possible, and so most of our trains run direct to London.

"There is a very good connection at Colchester - only four minutes - so someone leaving Ipswich at 7.23am will be in Chelmsford at 8.13."

Mr Meades said the timetable would be kept under review - and if it was felt necessary changes could be made later.

"But our research suggests that there are only a limited number of people commuting between Ipswich and Chelmsford - while we accept they lose out, overall more passengers will benefit," he insisted.

What do you think of the new rail timetable? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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