'Do not travel' message as 130 miles of train lines will close over bank holiday weekend

PUBLISHED: 12:21 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:21 21 August 2019

St Albans council demand more Govia trains stop at Harpenden for a fairer service

St Albans council demand more Govia trains stop at Harpenden for a fairer service

Archant

Train operating company Govia Thameslink Railway is strongly advising people not to travel by train over the bank holiday weekend due to the planned closure of lines.

There are expected to be 130 miles of line closures, including on lines from Moorgate to Stevenage/Welwyn Garden City and from King's Cross and St Pancras to Cambridge and Peterborough - with closures going beyond the GTR network to Doncaster.

Work to upgrade the signalling throughout the area means the entire route south of Cambridge and Peterborough is closed.

Paul Codd, stakeholder manager for GTR, told councillors at a Hertfordshire County Council meeting there is a strong "do not travel message".

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He said there would be a very limited replacement bus service designed for essential journeys only, that would run from 5am to 11pm.

And he estimated it could take up to two hours to make the journey into London during this weekend.

Much of the work scheduled relates to the East Coast Mainline upgrade, with work taking place at Stevenage, Newark, St Neots and King's Cross stations on Saturday and Sunday.

Passengers are advised to travel on either Friday, August 23 or Tuesday, August 27, as work at Newark will continue on Monday when a heavily reduced service will be in place - meaning services will be incredibly busy.

Network Rail says the East Coast upgrade is a vital £1.2 billion investment into the railway, which will bring significant benefits for passengers once completed. This includes faster and more reliable journeys, more seats and more frequent services, transforming travel along the route. The work has been carefully co-ordinated to limit disruption to passengers, which is why multiple pieces of work are taking place at the same time.

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