Disruption for train passengers as pandemic and maintenance hit Greater Anglia services
Train operator Greater Anglia is cutting services as it responds to more passengers working from home and staffing shortages caused by the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
The measures come as train travellers in Bishop’s Stortford, Stansted and Sawbridgeworth face a January of disruptions because of engineering works on the West Anglia line between London Liverpool Street and Cambridge.
So far, the cancelled trains this week are confined to the operator’s Eastern mainline services affecting Colchester, Clacton, Ipswich, Harwich, Braintree, Southend Victoria and Southminster to Liverpool Street, its intercity routes between Norwich and the capital and wider regional services from Norwich and Ipswich that may affect journeys to Cambridge and Stansted Airport.
Greater Anglia told passengers the changes were “due to falling passenger numbers as people follow advice to work from home”.
It added: “We also have to plan for our staff being affected by the Omicron variant, especially as we’re already starting to see the early signs of its impact, to ensure we can continue to provide a reliable service.”
A spokeswoman told the Indie: "The timetable changes do not affect Cambridge to Liverpool Street services. We’re continuing to monitor passenger numbers and if we need to make further revisions we’ll let people know in advance."
On Saturday (Jan 8), buses will replace trains all day between Broxbourne and Stansted Airport. Trains will run from Liverpool Street to Broxbourne and Stansted Airport to Cambridge North. On Sunday (Jan 9), the same measures will be in place, but before 9am buses will replace trains from Waltham Cross to Stansted Airport and Broxbourne to Hertford East.
On Sunday night, Greater Anglia trains that normally operate via Tottenham Hale (Lea Valley route) will be diverted via Seven Sisters (Southbury route) from 11.15pm to 5am on Monday (Jan 10).
From Monday to Thursday (Jan 10-13), track maintenance work means West Anglia trains that normally run via Tottenham Hale will be diverted via Seven Sisters from 11.30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights through to 5am.
On the weekend of January 15-16, buses will again replace trains between Audley End or Stansted Airport and Broxbourne, with trains from Cambridge North/Cambridge to Audley End and Hertford East to Liverpool Street.
On the Sunday morning (Jan 16), Greater Anglia services will be diverted via Seven Sisters until 8.15am and on Monday from 12.20am to 4.45am.
Late-night services from Bishop’s Stortford to Cambridge will be disrupted from Monday to Thursday, January 17-20 because of maintenance work. The 11.28pm Liverpool Street to Cambridge train will be replaced by a bus between Stortford and Cambridge on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Track renewal and tunnel lighting work on the weekends of January 22-23 and 29-30 mean buses will replace trains from Audley End or Stansted Airport to Broxbourne all weekend. Buses will replace Stansted Express services between the airport and Broxbourne while trains will remain in operation between Cambridge North/Cambridge and Audley End and between Hertford East/Broxbourne and Liverpool Street.