England

MP slams 'worn wheels' cancelled trains

Rail passengers
Image caption Abellio Greater Anglia, which runs the services, apologised for the cancellations

An MP has criticised train operator Abellio Greater Anglia for cancelling up to 80 train journeys a day.

Over the next three days, rail services between Great Yarmouth and Norwich, Marks Tey and Sudbury, and Ipswich and Felixstowe are being replaced by buses.

The company has apologised for the cancellations, which it said were due to trains needing repairs to damaged wheels.

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said the situation was "unacceptable".

'Not good enough'

The rail journeys have been cancelled due to Abellio's diesel trains suffering wheel damage as a result of poor rail conditions.

"This situation leads to excessive wear on the wheels which must be repaired before the trains can re-enter service", a spokesman for the train operator said.

"On average we are continuing to see two trains arrive back at the end of each day with wheel damage, more than double the rate we have experienced in previous autumn periods."

Conservative MP Mr Lewis said: "At a time when we are trying to encourage people into the centre of Great Yarmouth, this is just not good enough.

"It is an important time of the year for the high street, with new shops opening."

He said Abellio "should be able to manage their stock" to prevent this situation arising.

Ian Edwards, chairman of the Marks Tey and Colchester Rail Users Group, said: "They (Abellio) have not invested enough. All they are looking for are cost savings. This is not good enough."

An Abellio spokesman said: "We apologise for the ongoing impact of train service cancellations affecting our local routes.

"We are doing everything possible to repair the trains affected as fast as we can. We are working with Network Rail to try and improve rail conditions to prevent further damage."

A Network Rail spokesman said: "We are running extra rail cleaning trains and have had extra staff out on track to keep things moving. We are doing everything we can to minimise disruption and will continue to work with Abellio."

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