Fans face weekend travel disruption

PUBLISHED: 08:50 15 February 2007 | UPDATED: 10:05 14 September 2010

Hundreds of Canaries fans heading to the big match by rail on Saturday will have to board a bus from Norwich rather than a train.

Hundreds of Canaries fans heading to the big match by rail on Saturday will have to board a bus from Norwich rather than a train.

Maintenance on the Norfolk stretch of the London-bound track means all passengers will travel from the station by road and then join the Liverpool Street train at Diss - adding half an hour to the journey time.

Network Rail had already planned its weekend works timetable long before Chris Martin slipped the ball past Blackpool keeper Rhys Evans - and cannot re-schedule now City are heading for Chelsea.

Peter Meades, spokesman for One, said it would not lay on extra trains between Norwich and London, but he was "hopeful" that the bus shuttle service would not let anyone down.

"The work is planned in a very regimented way so Network Rail can get as much work done as possible in the time, and there was no chance they could re-schedule it," he said.

"In terms of the football, we will be providing sufficient buses between Norwich and Diss for people going to the match in London, and back-up buses and coaches as well.

"It is a well rehearsed plan and we are doing everything we can to minimise the inconvenience. The journey time will be longer, about 30 minutes on the normal journey time."

He added that about 10pc of away fans tend to travel by rail, equating to 500 to 600 supporters needing to board a bus at Norwich and again at Diss on the return leg.

The work, which started last weekend and will continue on February 24, includes track renewal work and other essential upkeep.

It is set to be even more of a busy day on the Norwich-Liverpool Street on Saturday as Ipswich are away to Watford in the fifth round.

While there are no scheduled engineering works on the King's Lynn-Kings Cross route, anyone travelling from West Norfolk to Liverpool Street will be affected by the closure of the Liverpool Street line between Audley End and Bishop's Stortford.

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