Commuters and leisure train travellers on GREATER ANGLIA services have been warned to expect ‘severe delays and disruption’ after a bridge strike at Rochford earlier this morning. Shortly after 6am local time, the bridge slightly to the west of Rochford station declared that it was taking ‘unplanned industrial action’ over working conditions and road users who don’t look at the height restrictions before trying to drive under it – all of the major rail unions have come out in support of the action.
Our Chief Reporter arrived on the scene at around 6.15am to speak to the bridge, and we caught him just as he was rotating to stop rail traffic from being able to pass. He only gave his name as ‘Network Rail Infrastructure Point 234561/AG/7,’ and he said: ‘On behalf of every rail bridge in the UK, I am proud to be taking a stand and hitting the railway where it hurts the most – nothing says ‘listen to me’ like crippling one of Britain’s busiest commuter rail lines in the middle of Monday morning rush hour. Things have been getting worse for a number of years now, with more and more lorry drivers ignoring the height restriction signs and assuming that their vehicles have come out of a Lego set, and three days ago a Polish lorry got stuck under me. When the emergency services turned up, 13 illegal migrants jumped out the back, and the police had the nerve to fine me as the driver denied all responsibility. This was the final straw!’
He added: ‘I have heard that c2c are accepting our tickets while the chaos is ongoing over here. Those sanctimonious air-conditioned buggers won’t be laughing when my good friend at Valkyrie Road in Westcliff decides to come out in support of our cause – he has promised to lower himself down to rail level at 8.30am today if ACAS aren’t called in for immediate talks.’
A spokesperson for the South Essex Train Confederaton, the government-appointed body that is responsible for the smooth running of both c2c and Greater Anglia services, slammed the ‘reckless and illegal wildcat action.’ He added: ‘Once again the good people of South Essex are being held to ransom by troublemaking rail bridges who think that they have he power to cause utter chaos – we can assure the public that their actions will not be tolerated. We already have a temporary rail replacement bridge on its way to Rochford, and while it was manufactured in 1963 it will do the job, albeit in a very bumpy and uncomfortable manner.’