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Decision looms over Ipswich station’s proposed closure

PUBLISHED: 10:37 28 August 2014

Ipswich train station

Ipswich train station

A decision was due to be announced today on whether Sunday’s proposed railway closure at Ipswich will go ahead as planned.

Engineers from Network Rail met last night to look at what went so disastrously wrong over the weekend, causing major hold-ups for travellers from Norfolk on Monday morning.

They were attempting to work out whether they could be confident that next Sunday’s work could be completed on time, and were today due to report their decision to Abellio Greater Anglia.

Network Rail area director Andy Boyle said this week that he would only allow the work to go ahead if he was certain that it would be completed on schedule.

He said: “I am not going to cause carnage on the rail network.”

The line is due to be closed until 3pm on Sunday to allow new signalling to be installed at Ipswich freight yard, just north of the town’s station.

On Tuesday the line re-opened seven-and-half hours late after engineers struggled to connect new signals to existing signalling equipment in the station area.

Following the delays, an East Anglian MP has said Network Rail directors should get no bonuses next year after this summer’s chaos on East Anglia’s main rail line.

Colchester’s Sir Bob Russell said there would be no justification for a bonus of about £50,000 which was paid to directors of the state-owned infrastructure company last year.

Sir Bob said that after three major problems with engineering work over-runs this summer, any bonus for this year would not be justified.

He said: “I would like to see them forfeit some of their salary, but I accept that cannot happen. However, it is totally unacceptable for them to get any bonus after this.”

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said this summer’s problems in East Anglia would not have a direct impact on the bonuses.

She said: “The bonus scheme does not measure specific pieces of work on a day-to-day basis, rather the overall delivery of our investment programme.

“That said, over-runs like the one on Tuesday caused disruption to passenger services and negatively impacts on punctuality, which is also a significant measure within the bonus scheme.”

• What do you think? Write to Norwich Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email giving your full name, address and contact details.

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