Weekend line closures north of Ipswich – but clear tracks to London
- Credit: Archant
Passengers hoping to use rail services in East Anglia over the bank holiday weekend face major disruption with Network Rail carrying out major work on all routes to the north of Ipswich.
Travel from Ipswich to London and all stations in Essex should be relatively trouble-free. The long-term work on overhead lines between Shenfield and Stratford has been completed and trains should travel to and from the capital with minimal disruption.
However Network Rail is carrying out track replacement work on the line north of Ipswich used by trains heading to Norwich, Peterborough and Cambridge.
Over the three-day weekend there are replacement buses between Ipswich and Norwich and Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.
There are also replacement buses for people travelling from Ipswich to Felixstowe and for the Ipswich to Woodbridge section of the East Suffolk line because work starts on Saturday to install a new level crossing at Westerfield.
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This also means that the B1077 from Ipswich is closed at Westerfield until mid July - forcing drivers to find different routes to villages like Witnesham, Ashbocking and Otley.
Train passengers from Bury St Edmunds or Norwich can reach London without using buses by travelling via Cambridge.
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Greater Anglia said there is only one day between now and October when there will be a bus replacement for journeys between Ipswich and the capital - Sunday, September 8 - although on June 16 trains will stop at Stratford with passengers making their way to the heart of the capital on a Central Line train.
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail's route managing director for Anglia, said: "We recognise there is never an ideal time to shut the railway for our must-do work, but bank holidays are the least disruptive time to do it, when fewer passengers use the railway compared to the working week.
"We can do the maximum amount of work while impacting the fewest number of people. Sometimes a closure is the only way we can carry out major work. We always work closely with train companies to minimise disruption.
Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles added: "Together with Network Rail, we're transforming the railway in East Anglia, to make it more reliable. We apologise to customers inconvenienced by this work and thank them for their continuing patience."