Easter train travel disrupted

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Services on some of Britain’s busiest rail routes will be suspended during the Easter weekend due to engineering work.

More than 400 projects are to be carried out as part of a £118 million investment by Network Rail.

Passengers travelling between London and Scotland via the West Coast Main Line from Saturday March 31 to Monday April 2 will be forced to use replacement buses between Glasgow and either Carlisle or Preston, depending on the day of travel.

Significant work in the Bristol area means no trains will run between Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads and Yatton/Bath Spa from Friday March 30 to Tuesday April 3.

There will also be disruption to services between London Liverpool Street and Norwich, as well as routes serving London Paddington.

The engineering projects will hamper the plans of many people hoping to take advantage of the four-day weekend by embarking on leisure breaks with family and friends.

Network Rail says it schedules engineering work for bank holidays as there are fewer passengers than normal on those days.

The public sector company’s chief executive, Mark Carne, said: “This Easter, thousands of rail workers will be working round the clock to deliver crucial upgrades to the rail network as part of the £50 billion railway upgrade plan.

“This huge investment programme will provide faster, better services and help relieve overcrowding to respond to the huge growth on Britain’s railways.

“While most of the network is open for business as usual, some routes are heavily affected and so we strongly advise passengers to plan ahead this Easter.”

Anthony Smith, chief executive of watchdog Transport Focus, said: “For passengers wanting to travel over the Easter period, engineering works can be a major inconvenience, especially if it means having to use rail replacement bus services.

“Investment in maintenance and improvement is necessary, and passengers understand that. 

“But our research is clear: passengers want to be kept on the train wherever possible, they want to know before buying a ticket if part of the journey will be by bus, and they want plenty of staff on hand to help.”

Analysis by Transport Focus in December last year found that passengers may have been “misled” about whether their festive train trips would involve a replacement bus.

It discovered more than 2,600 omissions or errors in online journey planners.

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