Easter travel plans could be hit by the same kind of chaos that occurred at Christmas as Network Rail gears up to close multiple lines.
Work planned over the bank holiday will affect all routes to and from London Euston station, some lines out of Charing Cross and Paddington stations, London Bridge station and Watford and Reading areas.
Earlier this month, Boris Johnson warned Network Rail that contingency plans must be put in place for Easter travel so that the holiday period is not spoilt by late and cancelled trains.
Last year, Network Rail’s chief executive Mark Carne surrendered his bonus and Britain's railway watchdog was brought in to investigate the chaos caused around the country as thousands of people tried to head home after Christmas.
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Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said they had chosen Easter as a quieter time on the line between Euston and Hemel Hempstead to make improvements. “There is never a good time to carry out this type of work,” Frobisher said. “We apologise for the inconvenience caused but the work is essential to improve the network and maintain reliable services on the West Coast main line.”
Meanwhile Terry Oliver, London Midland's head of West Coast services, advised passengers not to travel at Easter if possible. “My advice to passengers would be to postpone travel to another date if possible.
“London Midland will be running rail-replacement bus services over the Bank Holiday weekend, but journeys will involve changes and will take much longer than normal,” he said.
Work is also taking place between Manchester and Bolton via Farnworth between 3 April and 7 April as part of a billion-pound investment in railways the north of England. Passengers are advised to check the following lines:
• All routes to and from London Euston and between Milton Keynes Central and Clapham Junction
• Between London Paddington and Greenford, Slough and Windsor & Eton Central, Maidenhead and Marlow, Twyford and Henley-on-Thames
• All routes to and from Reading
• Between London Charing Cross and Tunbridge Wells, Hastings,Dartford, Hayes, Ramsgate and also between London Cannon Street and Ramsgate, Sevenoaks, Orpington, Hayes
• Between Norwich, Ipswich and London Liverpool Street. Also between Southend Victoria, Southminster and London Liverpool Street
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