MANY LONDONERS had their post-holiday return to work blighted by a series of closures across London’s transport network.
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Rail and tube bosses traditionally use the Christmas break for a series of urgent upgrades to their networks. Several of these engineering projects have overrun leading to delays across the capital. Liverpool Street – one of the capital’s busiest – stayed closed through the morning rush hour as bridge demolition work remained unfinished. The cuplrit is Bridge GE19 (pictured) whose demolition is part of TfL’s East London Line Extension project.
It was not just commuter services that have been hit by the slower-than-expected work. Regional services to and from the capital on Network Rail have been hit too. “I’m staggered it has gone into another day,” said Virgin’s Chris Gibb speaking to the BBC. “Our advice is not to try to travel with us.”
Network Rail have apologised for the disruption. “Network Rail apologises to passengers who were hoping to travel on these lines and understands how frustrating this situation is for everyone. These are extremely complex projects and we are working around the clock to get trains running again as soon as possible.”
They estimate ‘that long distance services will be restored from Liverpool Street station through to Norwich this afternoon, with a full service expected from Thursday morning’.
To add to the misery, returning commuters have also had to stomach annual fare increases averaging 4.8 per cent on the very day many trains are not running.
Road users have generally got off better, as traffic levels are expected to remain below normal levels until more Londoners return to work next week. The exception is for those planning to travel on the M3 motorway which has been closed following the discovery of a woman’s body earlier today.