Greater Anglia axes all morning rush-hour trains on East Suffolk line for second day running
PUBLISHED: 10:48 14 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:11 15 January 2020
Rush-hour services on the East Suffolk Line between Lowestoft and Ipswich were wiped out for a second day running today – leaving hundreds of commuters unable to catch their train to work.
The first train of the day, the 5.25am from Lowestoft, did run - but the next four services, including those used by people from Woodbridge, Saxmundham, Halesworth and Beccles to get to work in Ipswich and London were cancelled.
The same thing happened on Monday, when Greater Anglia blamed a broken down train at their depot in Norwich which prevented other trains from getting out.
Greater Anglia officials were still investigating Tuesday's problems - but the second day of failure prompted Suffolk Coastal MP and cabinet minister Dr Therese Coffey to demand immediate action to improve services.
She was caught up in Monday's chaos and eventually had to drive from the constituency to London.
She said: "I've spoken to a senior manager at the company and demanded answers. I was told about the problem at the depot and I was given an assurance that they were improving resilience to ensure this didn't happen again.
"I don't know what has happened today - but for this to happen twice on successive days is totally unacceptable.
"Tom (Hunt, the Ipswich MP) has organised a meeting with Greater Anglia and Network Rail next week and I shall be going along to raise these issues.
"What worries me is that we've already seen that Greater Anglia tends to drop its services to Felixstowe if there's a problem elsewhere on the network and a shortage of trains. Now it looks as if that's happening on the East Suffolk Line to Lowestoft as well."
Greater Anglia bosses spent much of Tuesday looking into the cause of the two days of problems.
A spokeswoman for the company said: "We apologise sincerely for the disruption to service that our customers on the East Suffolk line have experienced this week. This is due to problems at the depot, preparing enough trains fit for passenger service.
"We are fully committed to resolving these issues quickly, so that customers can once again rely on our trains and service. We are very sorry for the inconvenience these problems have caused our customers. We have experienced some teething problems with some of our new trains, but we are confident that they will ultimately give improved reliability and better journeys for customers.
"Any customers affected by delays and cancellations is advised to claim delay repay compensation."