Busy bank holiday weekend warning

Published on: Monday, 22 July 2019
Last updated: Monday, 22 July 2019

Passengers travelling between Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and London on Saturday and Sunday of the August Bank Holiday weekend are being warned to expect trains and stations to be much busier than usual.

The Greater Anglia line between Ely and Cambridge, and Cambridge Bishop’s Stortford and London Liverpool Street will be fully open.

However, other train operators including Great Northern and London North Eastern Railway are affected by major engineering work on the line between King’s Cross and Peterborough and Cambridge and London St Pancras, meaning no trains are able to run on this portion of the line on their routes.

As a result, Greater Anglia trains and stations on the West Anglia line between Ely, Cambridge and Liverpool Street are expected to be even busier than usual, if passengers opt to use services to Liverpool Street instead of the rail replacement services organised by other operators.

Extra trains have been scheduled from Cambridge, but passengers are being warned that they will be very busy – as will stations along the route, particularly Cambridge.

Mike Barry, Greater Anglia Area Customer Service Manager for Cambridge, said: “We are doing what we can to carry extra passengers.

“We are planning for so many people we will be putting extra crowd control measures in if we need them at Cambridge station.

“We are expecting trains to be full when they leave Cambridge, so that when they stop at stations along the route, such as Bishop’s Stortford, it could be standing room only.

“We will have extra staff at stations to make sure customers catch the right train and to keep everyone safe.

“I would like to ask customers to be patient, especially if they are asked to queue to get into the station or to catch a later train.”

Since trains and stations are expected to be so busy, only fold-up bicycles will be permitted on trains.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Major work to upgrade the East Coast Main Line between King’s Cross and Peterborough will mean services from Liverpool Street will be busier than usual over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

“We appreciate that this will impact on people, however this work is absolutely to vital to make sure we continue to provide a railway which is fit for purpose and this upgrade will bring significant benefits to passengers once completed.”

On Saturday 24 August, Greater Anglia will run two trains an hour between Cambridge and Liverpool Street for much of the day. In addition the normal XX.44 Bishops Stortford to Stratford service has been extended to start at Cambridge.

The usual Cambridge to Stansted Airport trains will also run to connect with the Stansted Express service into London Liverpool Street.

On Sunday 25 August, Greater Anglia will run two trains an hour between Cambridge and Liverpool Street, as well as the Cambridge to Stansted Airport service.

Network Rail is carrying out major work as part of the East Coast Upgrade on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August.

The £1.2bn upgrade plan is set to create capacity for up to 10,000 extra seats a day on long-distance services, see faster journeys and improve reliability for passengers.

Customers can check before they travel on the Greater Anglia website and app.