Article by Piers Meyler: Network Rail has been accused of interrupting the mid-week social lives of people living in Billericay, Wickford and Southend thanks to engineering works that will close the line earlier than usual between now and the end of the year.
Passengers living in towns between Shenfield and Southend will have to use a bus replacement service if they want to stay out late in London between Monday and Thursday, every week until December this year.
As a result of overhead line renewal works, all lines will be closed between Shenfield and Wickford from 10.15pm. It means the last through train services to and from Southend will be the 9.35pm Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria and the 9.30pm Southend Victoria to Liverpool Street services.
Holly Waters took to Twitter to vent her frustration.
She tweeted: "Thanks for ruining my social life for the rest of the year."
Chairman of Billericay Town Council, Cllr Jim Devlin, said:
"My son in law mentioned it to me and how it was going to cramp his style. But the problems goes further than that. There are a lot of city workers – particularly those working the American markets in the city who get home late. There are still people working quite late and for them to get home before the last train is going to be quite tight. It's going to impact people getting home - but on the other hand it is necessary to upgrade the railway. The rush hours starts at 3pm and doesn't end until about 10pm But the one thing my son in law said is for quite a few people the big night of the week for many people to socialise in London is Thursday. For them this is going to cause a problem."
From 10.15pm, rail replacement services will operate between Shenfield and Wickford connecting in and out of the services, with the exception of the following services:
- The 00.15am and 00.50am Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria services are cancelled.
- The 12.18am and 12.50am service from London will operate as a bus replacement from Shenfield to Southend.
- The 11.00pm Southend Victoria to Liverpool Street service will operate as bus replacement from Wickford to Liverpool Street.
- The 10.56pm Southminster to Liverpool Street service will be retimed to depart at 11.16pm and will operate as bus replacement from Wickford to Liverpool Street.
Greater Anglia have also confirmed that c2c are not accepting GA tickets on their lines over the evening weekday engineering works.
Article by Piers Meyler, Essex Live