Stowmarket passengers react to more rail problems in Suffolk after signalling fault

PUBLISHED: 14:12 18 December 2014 | UPDATED: 14:12 18 December 2014

Stowmarket railway station.

Stowmarket railway station.


Commuters in Stowmarket have reacted with frustration after their journeys were disrupted for hours because of another signalling fault.

David HyettDavid Hyett

The fault, on the line between Stowmarket and Ipswich, first affected trains at around 6am and caused significant delays for passengers.

Travellers heading to Norwich, London, Cambridge, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds were all affected on what is a major part of the rail network.

Becca Rose, 16, from Thurston, had been trying to get to Norwich to attend college when she got stuck at Stowmarket railway station.

She said: “It’s really annoying, it happens all the time. I use trains every day to get to college or work. Recently the service has been really bad, I would like to see improvement as it means I’m missing college and have to phone up and say I’m delayed.”

What’s the alternative?

You arrive at Stowmarket railway station to travel to London Liverpool Street only to find signal problems have cancelled or delayed services.

You could wait for replacement buses to arrive but you want to get on the move as soon as possible. You are told you can use your tickets on other railway routes to get to Liverpool Street – but where do you go and how long does it take?

What you wanted

Stowmarket to Liverpool Street (Greater Anglia) – 1 hour 29 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 29 minutes

Train companies: 1

Changes: 0

The alternative

Stowmarket to Ely (Greater Anglia) – 43 minutes

Ely to Kings Cross (Great Northern) – 1 hour 15 minutes

Kings Cross to Liverpool Street (London Underground) – 26 minutes

Total time: 2 hours 24 minutes

Train companies: 3

Changes: 2

David Hyett, 52, from Bury St Edmunds, had been trying to get to a meeting in London when he found out about the delays.

He said: “There’s been a lack of investment in rolling stock and infrastructure and so it’s going to have an impact. The delays do vary – often they are short delays but they can be worse than that.

“There’s not really any other way of getting to London – driving is about as bad.”

Pamela Harling, was aiming to get to Newcastle by the 2.40pm, but because of the problems she was going to miss her first appointment and was due to arrive at 4pm.

She said: “When I do use the trains there’s often problems, it tends to be a Network Rail signalling issue which is frustrating because it’s gone on since I’ve been here, 25 years ago.

“It creates anxiety because you cannot trust that you are going to get where you are trying to go in time – that can lead to anger.”

Roweena Patel, 23, a student from Stockholm, was trying to get from Newmarket to Norwich. She said she would not have known about the delays unless she had checked an app on her mobile phone.

She said: “Of course it’s annoying, luckily I like to plan in advance just in case anything happens but it’s going to make me more pushed for time which I do not like.”

Abellio Greater Anglia apologised to passengers for the delays and provides replacement bus services.

For more on the delays, click here.

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