Commuters in Rugby have been spared severe disruption on the railways – but families planning a bank holiday getaway will still be affected.
Network Rail had originally planned a 16-day closure in August 2014 and a nine-day closure in February 2015 to carry out significant upgrade work at Watford.
But following criticism from passengers, the work will instead be carried out over three weekends in August and two weekends in February next year.
The news has been welcomed by Rugby Rail Users Group chair Stephanie Clifford. She said: “These plans caused uproar from passenger groups, which it seems has been heeded. I am pleased that common sense has now prevailed, and that business travellers and commuters will not have their vacation plans dictated by Network Rail’s engineers.
“We should not forget that even after this change of plan, there will be no trains some weekends, including Christmas 2014. This is all to cover upgrade work that should have been done in 2007. I just hope they finish the job this time.”
The group has arranged meetings with Network Rail management to attempt to minimise the impact on Rugby passengers. Network Rail will then present its plans to group members at a meeting on Thursday March 27. Non-members can attend this meeting by joining the group on the door.
Rugby MP Mark Pawsey was also encouraged by the news. He said: “Rugby’s excellent rail links are essential to our town’s economy and growth and many of my constituents use the railways every day to commute to and from work. I welcomed the planned engineering work as it will have a long-term beneficial effect for Rugby’s commuters but I was concerned about the affect the initial plans would have had on my constituents.
“I am delighted that the necessary works will now ensure that our rail links are not excessively affected and I am sure that the news will also be welcomed by all of Rugby’s many rail users.”