Train replacement buses 'take too long'

A TRAIN operator has been hit with fresh criticism just days after an accident at a Suffolk railway station left six people injured.A train hit the buffers at Sudbury Railway Station on Friday, and rail company One has been criticised for its “disappointing” replacement emergency bus services.

A TRAIN operator has been hit with fresh criticism just days after an accident at a Suffolk railway station left six people injured.

A train hit the buffers at Sudbury Railway Station on Friday, and rail company One has been criticised for its “disappointing” replacement emergency bus services.

Rail user Peter Holbrook slammed new policies which he claims has forced commuters to wait up to 90 minutes for a bus in the event of train problems.

Mr Holbrook said this was highlighted in the wake of Friday's accident, which is now being investigated by rail chiefs.


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“I think this is a sneaky but significant reduction in services,” Mr Holbrook said. “When the train doesn't turn up - something which isn't infrequent - we used to have a replacement pretty quick.

“But we have been told by rail staff that they are not allowed to order buses in the future. It has to be done centrally through National Express.

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“This is just going to cause even more delays and it is very disappointing that these services have been downgraded.”

Six people were injured after a peak time evening train hit the buffers as it was arriving in Sudbury from Marks Tey.

The passengers were treated for minor injuries at the scene by paramedics while services were disrupted until mid-morning on Saturday.

Mr Holbrook, 63, said he picked up his wife, Carolyn, from Marks Tey on Friday night after all trains to Sudbury were cancelled.

But he said he was amazed that there was no replacement bus service and even drove some passengers home on his way back to Bures, near Sudbury.

A spokesman for One said last night they were happy with its policies in the event of any disruption with train services.

“National Express is our head company so we do tend to use them where possible,” the spokesman said. “The incident on Friday night was obviously not expected, it all had to be arranged very quickly, and we feel we did the best we can under difficult circumstances.

“I am sure there are some customers who feel we could have done better and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. We will look at what happened and see if there is any way we can improve in the future.

“Friday's accident is now being investigated by the Rail Accident Investigation Board, an independent body who will report back with its findings in due course. We cannot speculate on the cause of the accident.”

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