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Train Company to Provide Buses
Wednesday, 14th Jan 2015 04:18

Abellio Greater Anglia will lay on buses to get fans home if Wednesday’s FA Cup third round replay against Southampton goes to extra-time and penalties. Abellio had previously announced that trains will not be held back if the match goes beyond the 90 minutes.

Now buses will be laid on for supporters going back to Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft and Felixstowe.

A statement from Abellio Greater Anglia reads: "We have now considered this further and we will be providing stand-by buses to operate to Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe and Lowestoft in the event of the cup replay going to extra-time and/or penalties. There are later trains to Stowmarket, Diss and Norwich and these will run at the scheduled time.

"As explained, we are unable to run the last scheduled trains later because of the considerable delay this would cause to other passengers using these services, and also because of late-night engineering works that Network Rail is carrying out north of Ipswich on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, which prevents the last trains departing any later.

"Should the match finish in 90 minutes, we are also running an extra train at 22.15 to Stowmarket and Diss, in addition to the scheduled last services to Bury, Felixstowe and Lowestoft."

Supporters Club chair Liz Edwards said: "This is a common-sense outcome that will help many fans in the event of extra-time being needed.

“As soon as fans realised that there was going to be a real problem lots of people mobilised via social media, contacting the Supporters Club, ITFC and Abellio Greater Anglia, as well as the local media.

“The rail company had previously warned that trains would not be held back, but now they have promised to get fans home."

Tuesday’s Mark Murphy mid-morning show on Radio Suffolk will be discussing the issue from around 10am.

Photo: Action Images

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BLUEBEAT added 22:30 - Jan 12
Liz Edwards in the house yo

theblueginger added 22:31 - Jan 12
Small recompense. Personally i find their incompetance great as it got me and my broter free travel to and from Beccles to the Charlton game;)

However i am not sure this will work. They won't know if buses are neede till very short notice, so where are they geting them from? Or are they going to be there anyway? What is so difficult about keeping behind a couple of trains to wait for 95% of their passengers? These buses mean the company have clearly identified that people are relying on them to get home? By having to bring buses in they are just making life more difficult and more expensive for themselves surely?

If the game goes beyond 90 mins, i can see Ipswich Station turning into a complete clusterf*ck

bluefeast added 22:31 - Jan 12
If we win i will run home

rambohambo added 22:40 - Jan 12
There still a bunch of wan***s !

linhdi added 22:42 - Jan 12
They said they can't hold trains because of the engineering works. No doubt the provision of late night rail replacement buses to cover those works makes it a bit easier to divert them to Ipswich station if needed.

factual_blue added 22:43 - Jan 12

This will be as nightmarish as the Carling Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

Realising the number of passengers after the match had started, the rail company arranged buses to "replace" the 22:19 service to Bury St Edmunds. I put replace in quotes because rail staff at Ipswich station lied - whether under instruction or not is irrelevant - to their customers. They said the train had been cancelled. It hadn't. They just didn't want an train that they couldn't or wouldn't find an additional carriage for full of football supporters.

Finding the correct coach to board was a nightmare. When I eventually found a coach that would be stopping at the intermediate stations to Bury (I travel to Thurston), the coach driver told me he didn't know how to find Needham Market, Elmswell or Thurston stations. I actually had to sit there and give him directions.

I finally got to Thurston station an hour late. My 100% compensation for this one hour delay was £1.00 as I had a matchday rail season ticket. My request for £50 for an hour's work giving the coach driver directions was of course ignored.

It won't be any better this time. Abellio are just trying to back-pedal on their appalling customer service.

Marcus_Evans added 22:43 - Jan 12
1 bus for the whole of East Anglia.....

Benters added 06:02 - Jan 13
So poeple are still moaning even though they doing something about it now !


itfcjoe added 08:29 - Jan 13
Well done to all involved in getting something done......Abellio really are absolutely hopeless and this will be carnage.

I imagine it has been very frustrating for Supporters Club having to deal with a company that seem to have no awareness of what will actually be happening - I'm glad I'll be walking home.

Count_Arthur added 09:18 - Jan 13
Yes, it’s nice that Greater Anglia are finally doing something for Wednesday, but it shouldn’t take pressure from Town fans to get them to revise their plans.

A group of four of us travel to games from Stowmarket, mostly by the train. Not because we all drink but we try our best to use public transport and do our bit for the environment, also it used to work out quite cost effective.

At the beginning of this season, we were categorically told that the usual train we took back to Stowmarket from Ipswich (the Cambridge train) would NOT stop at Stowmarket and we would have to wait an additional half an hour for the next one (the Norwich train).

After several weeks of waiting on the Ipswich platform we discovered the Cambridge train DID stop at Stowmarket (although Stowmarket wasn’t listed on the screen, or by the announcers) - we discovered the reason they told people it DIDN’T stop there was that the train was “too full of Ipswich fans getting off at Stowmarket” and they’d rather fans waited for the larger, Norwich train.

I wrote to Greater Anglia and they ‘explained’ that . . .

“although it DID stop at Stowmarket, it was only a connecting stop and therefore you could only get off if you had a connecting train from Stowmarket and therefore they didn’t tell people it stopped there”?????

- in other work, a total load of b*llocks! Greater Anglia actively tried to discourage Stowmarket commuters from using this train by LYING to commuters. However, after my letter our usual Cambridge train had Stowmarket mysteriously reintroduced to its list of stops.

I know this sounds a bit of a rant - sorry - and I’m straying a bit off topic - sorry, again - but why the hell don’t Greater Anglia make provisons for Ipswich match days, more carriages, a special football train etc. rather than do their upmost to put people off using the service.

On top of this, with the latest fare increases, it is now significantly cheaper for us to drive, and park, when we come and see the games.

(I also add, that there is one ticket office window at Stowmarket station, that’s invariably closed, which means I usually buy our ‘Group Save’ ticket from Ipswich station, in advance, as you can’t but this type of ticket from the solitary machine on Stowmarket platform).

thebeat added 09:36 - Jan 13
I know train services are normally poor but i really dont get the outcry about this.
They have a set timetable every day, why should they change it just because we are in the cup and it may go to extra time?
If people were going to see a show at the theatre which didnt finish till after the last train would they expect trains to be held back? No, theyd find another way of getting home.
If the timetable doesnt run late enough then its tough, its like phoning the local shop half hour after closing asking them to open up because you are out of milk.
Honestly its just whinge whinge whinge.....


shoopdelang added 10:05 - Jan 13
Thebeat: Its supply and demand. The vast majority of passengers using he trains at this hour will be coming from portman road. So Greater Anglia rail service should take this into consideration to supply the service, like they now are but with buses.

Remember Greater Anglia is a business the more people they get on their trains or in this case buses, the more money they make. That is the reason. Its a bit different to going to the theatre pal.

Count_Arthur added 10:11 - Jan 13
thebeat - I don’t necessarily expect any train company to delay their service in order to accommodate late events (sporting or otherwise) - my issue with Greater Anglia is that they make it increasingly hard for people to use their service, especially on match days. As I’m sure anyone who travels to or from the games will testify. If G.A want to encourage people to use the train they may be a bit more accommodating to passengers needs?

JoeDickerson420 added 10:21 - Jan 13
100% spot on @thebeat
just make sure you have a back up.. failing that, BBC1 HD will keep you updated... simples

JoeDickerson420 added 10:21 - Jan 13
100% spot on @thebeat
just make sure you have a back up.. failing that, BBC1 HD will keep you updated... simples

phillo added 12:09 - Jan 13
@thebeat - because most decent business' would see that there are differing circumstances every now & then and look to accommodate them because of a) customer service & b) opportunity to increase business.
Abellio Anglia have a history of this unfortunately - which I think is why there is an outcry now to something that as others have said (& here I agree with you @the beat) would mean altering a normal timetable & inconveniencing passengers who aren't going to the football by just holding back trains - HOWEVER a half decent/business focused organisation would have seen the problem & come up with a solution ..... not seen the problem & once again essentially said .... "tough luck" !
I too travel from Stowmarket by train & every game I attend stand with 100's of others there & back ..... they seem surprised by the amount of passengers every 2 weeks/game day ...... as if they don't really realise what's going on !!! Historically they haven't dealt with "events"out of the norm such as this game also eg when we had the u21's international last year again they were completely surprised by the number of people travelling by train that night & I know of a number of people & groups of kids that missed the start of the game (& the whole game in some cases) as they were unable to board full trains at Stowmarket ... they also had about 20 "ticket enforcement" agents at Ipswich station that night & only 1 member of staff at Stowmarket station ... hence massive queues to pay for tickets at Ipswich !!!! another delay .....
I think all people are asking/saying is Abellio try to use some commen sense ..... & at least plan something for these events/occasions (they MUST have people in jobs to do that surely !!!! ?? ?) ..... it's not that hard & you might even make some money out of it & convert more people to try & use your service at other times !!!!!

radiogaga added 13:51 - Jan 13
I urge anyone thinking of commuting by train tomorrow night to seriously reconsider and drive/ get a coach in. Anything but train! They will be a nightmare tomorrow night, especially bus replacement services are laid on. There's no order of queuing or prioritising for the buses so it's basically he/ she who gets to the front quickest gets onto the coaches. I'm speaking from experience, the bus replacement staff only seem bothered about getting the coaches filled and on their way as quickly as possible, rather than prevent people waiting ages. Either way, a shoddy service. If you want to be out of Ipswich quicker, drive. I have such little faith in Greater Anglia in general that I drive from Stowmarket to Ipswich to get to work, having got fed up of their ineptitude...

coolcat added 14:04 - Jan 13
No buses for London bound fans? Agree vast majority are local but there are a fair number, like myself, who come up frm London after work, travel back late and then go to work next day. I'm staying overnight for this reason as I'm on my own & don't like the thought of being stranded there unable to get back. Am sure not alone with this and cld put people off going.

greenkingtone added 16:18 - Jan 13
Last Saturday the platform was filled with supporters all laughing in disbelief at the tatty warning notices handed out be railway staff at Ipswich station, which simply advertised that the company was not providing a service to its customers. The normal Felixstowe train times are not ideal with trains departing at two minutes from the hour. It is almost as if they do not want football supporters to use the trains. Sadly, driving in is the only option.

Count_Arthur added 19:54 - Jan 13
Agree Greenekingtone. I'll be driving too. You can tell who the commuters are on this page!

Isn't it ironic that despite Greater Anglia's apparent unwillingness to help us Town fans, ITFC is the predominant theme on the massive Welcome to Ipswich sign above the ticket office!

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