By Casey Jones, Railways Correspondent
A direct train route from Ipswich to London would be “too boring” for passengers, it was revealed today.
And campaigners say losing the cherished network of replacement buses that relay weary passengers through strange little towns in rural Essex could be damaging for business.
But although Greater Anglia announced it would like to introduce trains that went straight from Ipswich to the capital without any infuriating diversions to Billericay, the concept could be a smokescreen.
A spokesperson for Railway Strategy UK said: “It’s a bit like the plug sockets on the trains that don’t provide electricity. While Greater Anglia sell tickets for an actual real life service between Ipswich and London, they believe to actually do so would be boring, predictable and make the journey far too quick.”
An Essex tourist board spokesman added: “A direct service between Suffolk and London would rob customers of important cultural interchanges that happen on buses between Witham, Shenfield and much undervalued stop-offs like Newbury Park.
“It would also turn places like Billericay into a ghost town because no-one would need to go there ever again.”
Passengers were delighted that diversions and buses would continue after all. One said: “We can still enjoy the unpredictable odyssey of setting out early in the Suffolk morning without the fear of arriving in London before late afternoon.”
Network Rail were also delighted as a direct route would only increase wear and tear on the rails and creaking signalling system. “We are closing the line every weekend for months as it is, and we don’t need more trains running along it to mess it up further,” he explained.
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