Little Christmas cheer for people travelling from Havering
Christmas and New Year revellers could be hit with long travel delays as maintenance work is carried out, and fare rises are on their way too.
There will be a limited service into London on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, as well as closures on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, on the line from Shenfield to Liverpool Street.
The work coincides with a threatened strike by tube drivers on Boxing Day, which could see tube trains, including the District Line, disrupted.
And in the New Year, fares on both National Express East Anglia (NXEA) and c2c trains, which serve Havering, will rise.
Network Rail has announced there will be no trains between Ilford and Liverpool Street on December 24 or 31 (for NXEA Metro, Shenfield and Southend services), with further line closures to allow for “essential” maintenance and replacement.
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There will also be no trains between Liverpool Street and Shenfield (for Mainline, Colchester and Norwich services on the same day).
Richard Enever rail officer at the Brentwood Bus and Rail Users’ Group, which covers the Shenfield to Liverpool Street route, said: “I think it’s absolutely disgusting that they are doing it on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.
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“To pick those days is just diabolical at a time when people are going shopping or coming back from Christmas holidays, or have their New Years arrangements, it’s disgusting.”
A NXEA spokesman said: “Network Rail will be carrying out major route improvement works over the Christmas and New Year period to both modernise and replace the overhead line equipment between London Liverpool Street and Chelmsford.
“This is part of a multi-million pound investment in renewing the equipment to improve the reliability of train services.”
Train services will not return to normal until January 3 - the day after average rises of 5.8 per cent on NXEA trains, and 6 per cent on c2c trains are introduced.
Meanwhile, London Underground has moved to take legal action against the Aslef union which has threatened to strike on Boxing Day over pay.