Road and rail nightmare for commuters

MOTORISTS and train passengers faced huge disruption in Suffolk today when hold-ups on two of the region's busiest roads combined with the train service being paralysed by a series of problems.

MOTORISTS and train passengers faced huge disruption in Suffolk today when hold-ups on two of the region's busiest roads combined with the train service being paralysed by a series of problems.

Traffic on the A12 was disrupted when a lorry jack-knifed and spread debris across both carriageways, a broken-down van caused delays on the A14 while a nightmare combination of faults and problems left thousands of train passengers stranded.

Train passengers were being urged to consider not travelling to London this morning as rail operator 'one' revealed it feared it would be unable to call into action enough buses to ferry the stranded passengers.

The company said only passengers leaving Ipswich station before 7.15am would have made it through to London, with others left stuck on trains because the line was blocked by a tree which fell on to overhead lines at Ingatestone in Essex.


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That came after delays caused by a fire alarm in a signal box at Liverpool Street station between 7am and 7.45am today.

A spokesman for 'one' said of that problem: “The signal box controls a large part of the route. While the fire alarm was sounding trains were at a standstill.”

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It had been hoped things would return to normal once that problem was fixed but 'one' said the fallen tree would make things very difficult to return to a normal service this morning.

Jonathan Denby, 'one' spokesman, said: “That is causing major disruption and will do certainly for this morning.

“At the moment we are discouraging people from travelling to London on the basis it is so disruptive it will be difficult to get enough buses to convey the volume of people.

“The problem with the signal box was obviously disruptive but had that been it then we would have been returning to a normal service relatively quickly.

“(The situation with the tree) makes it very complicated.”

Mr Denby said the tree was blown down in gusty weather during the peak morning period.

He said the 6.35am train from Norwich to London Liverpool Street and the 7.15am train from Ipswich to Liverpool Street were the only trains to make it through this morning.

“Anyone leaving Ipswich after 7.15am wouldn't have got through,” he said.

The accident on the A12 happened around 5.15am and the road was closed at Kelvedon.

The lorry blocked one direction while debris was spread onto the other carriageway, between the Kelvedon north junction and the Oak Road junction.

Meanwhile a broken-down van caused delays on the A14.

Police were alerted at 7.45am after the VW Caddie van broke down on the Stowmarket carriageway near the A140 junction.

Train services also faced disruption following a fire alarm in a signal box at Liverpool Street station between 7am and 7.45am.

“The signal box controls a large part of the route. While the fire alarm was sounding trains were at a standstill.

“Trains are now running again but are taking a while to return to normal.”

The incident follows severe delays for passengers last night after a person was killed on the track near Chadwell Heath, Romford.

Delays of up to an hour were reported on the mainline after the fatality shortly after 8pm.

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