Commuters forced to wake up hours earlier due to Greater Anglia chaos
PUBLISHED: 17:14 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:14 13 December 2019
Commuters are waking up two to three hours earlier to get to work after days of chaos on Greater Anglia services.
Delays and cancellations - in part linked to the introduction of the train operator's new £1.4bn fleet - have left people "tired, stressed and frustrated" as they wake up at the crack of dawn to get to work in time.
For James Hadfield, who has commuted from Wymondham to Cambridge for 13 years, the past three months have been "abysmal".
The 48-year-old must now take the 5.45am or 6.45am instead of the 7.46am or 8.52am service and said his days are incredibly long.
Cancellations have also wreaked havoc on his work schedule.
Mr Hadfield said: "Last week I had to absolutely be in the office for 9am because I was interviewing. To cover myself I went for the 5.45am service. I got to the station and it was cancelled so I had to rush back home and drive."
"The service is just awful at the moment."
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Fellow Wymondham to Cambridge commuter Dr Nicholas Payne said the disruptive service has had a "significant impact".
He added: "We have to build our schedules around Greater Anglia's timetable and my evening plans have often been disrupted due to the unreliable service.
"Delays are often initially presented as minor on timing boards and apps. But a two-minute delay will become a four-minute delay, then a seven-minute and so on. This means we diligently arrive and wait on the platform for a service which may well turn out to be cancelled."
The delays and cancellations have spawned a Whatsapp group, GreaterAnglians, where commuters share travel information.
Mr Hadfield added the group offered more reliable updates than Greater Anglia's website and app and called for the train service provider to be more open and efficient with timetable changes.
A Greater Anglia spokesperson said: "We are very sorry for the disruption customers on our rural routes have experienced due to signalling problems this week. We have been working 24/7 to resolve these issues. For a majority of the week, customers have been able to travel by train between Norwich and Ely, and then by bus between Ely and Cambridge. From today, we have been able to run trains between Norwich and Cambridge. We are working with Network Rail, who is responsible for managing and maintaining railway infrastructure, to investigate the cause of the problem.
"We're very sorry that we've let passengers down and promise them we are determined to restore the good service they deserve.
"Customers needing service updates can tweet us @GreaterAnglia or see the Greater Anglia website. Both of these channels are updated using real time information from our railway control centre"