More travel misery for Ipswich

TRAVELLERS in Ipswich were facing that Monday morning feeling yet again today.Rail services to London were thrown into chaos – and part of the town centre was brought to a halt .

TRAVELLERS in Ipswich were facing that Monday morning feeling yet again today.

Rail services to London were thrown into chaos - and part of the town centre was brought to a halt . . . by a suspicious moped!

One commuter told The Evening Star that a £180,000 business deal was thrown into doubt because of rail problems.

Commuters hoping to travel from Ipswich to London early this morning found their train delayed or even cancelled.

This is the third Monday in a row that commuters have found their journeys plagued with problems.

Last Monday a freight train broke down at Witham and the Monday before overhead lines were damaged.

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Today engineering works, which should have finished by 4.30am, overran until nearly 9am.

Until then passengers had to use the rail replacement service between Chelmsford and Shenfield - meaning they were delayed by around an hour.

Trains were running straight through to London from 7.45am, but there were still some knock-on delays.

Many passengers were outraged.

Chris Davis, 37 of Nacton, said: "It was a farcical situation this morning with One. I left Ipswich Station at 6am and got into London at just after 9am.

"I was stuck at Chelmsford station because they didn't have enough buses to get everyone to Shenfield. People were pushing and shoving and I saw a fight nearly break out.

"It was chaos - why can't they organise themselves and get the work done on Sundays.

"I have lost business this morning and someone should lose their job. My company has lost tens of thousands of pounds because of this.

"I work for a commodity broker and had a meeting with an important client. I left an hour early this morning to make sure I arrived on time.

"My job could be on the line. My boss isn't happy and is trying to retrieve the deal. The person I was meeting had flown in from Japan and I was meeting him at Stansted.

"We can't get £180,000 from the rail company.

"I moved from London to Ipswich to commute because the house prices are cheaper and now I am going to have to look for alternative forms to get to and from London."

Debbie Bell, 28, from Ipswich, said: "I was supposed to get the train at 7.08am and I have got to get to Birmingham.

"I was meant to be there for 11am but I won't get there until noon now. I'm past caring about it now and just want to get going."

A 39-year-old man from Battersea added: "I stay in Suffolk at the weekends so travel on Fridays and Mondays. I have been stuck here for 54 minutes today. I am pretty fed up. This seems to happen every second Monday. There is not a good explanation - it's an extension of engineering works but the question is why? These things are planned."

Peter Meades from 'one' railway, said: "For people going very early it was obviously very frustrating for them, but we are in the hands of Network Rail. It's been difficult for everybody this morning."

Jenny Sacre from Network Rail said the problem had been caused by equipment being used to fix the track at the weekend breaking down.

"Our engineers had to finish the work by hand. That meant we could not hand over the track at 4.30am as planned - we finished at 8.50am."

Meanwhile traffic around the town centre was brought to a halt because staff at the Inland Revenue offices in St Clare House were concerned about a moped parked outside the building.

Offices were evacuated and traffic was diverted - causing rush-hour chaos around the town.

Princes Street and neighbouring streets were closed off and bomb squad officers were being sent to the scene from Colchester.

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