Half-term disruption for rail users

FAMILIES heading to London for a half-term treat next weekend are facing serious disruption with the closure of the main line in Essex.And rail trips to Norwich won't be any easier - the line is also closed in Norfolk between Diss and Norwich.

FAMILIES heading to London for a half-term treat next weekend are facing serious disruption with the closure of the main line in Essex.

And rail trips to Norwich won't be any easier - the line is also closed in Norfolk between Diss and Norwich.

Network Rail is closing the route so its engineers can replace and repair track on the main line as part of its long-term track maintenance.

The line is closed for all three days of the long weekend, and Network Rail bosses claim this is because fewer people want to travel to the capital at holiday periods.

A spokesman said: “The fact is there are fewer passengers at weekends than when regular commuters are using the trains.

“We appreciate it will cause disruption - but any work on the line is going to cause disruption to some extent and it will mean that in the long term services should be better.”

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Rail operator 'one' is running coaches between Colchester and Witham stations and from Diss to Norwich.

This line closure comes after a series of weekend line closures at the end of last year and over the Christmas period.

Peter Meades of 'one' said: “It will cause disruption to our passengers wanting to travel at the weekend, but we have done all we can to arrange alternative transport.

“There will be occasions throughout the year when the lines have to be closed at the weekend because the fact is that there are fewer passengers then than during the week.”

Over the Christmas period Liverpool Street station will be closed for nine days for major engineering work.

A spokeswoman for official watchdog Passenger Focus said research suggested that most people prefered work to be completed with a weekend closure rather than have it carried out over a number of weekends with the line still partially open.

She said: “The important thing is that people know what the situation is before they start their journey, and that the alternative travel plan is stuck to.”

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