It has been confirmed this evening that the rail operator Greater Anglia are ‘in advanced talks’ with the government to launch a direct train service between Shenfield and Southend.

Industry analysts believe that the move could drastically reduce the number of people using South Essex’s bus network.

A source said, ‘After months of research, we have concluded that a rail link serving Wickford, Rayleigh and even London Southend Airport could save business and leisure passengers a huge amount of time every single day.’

‘There is even a pilot scheme in the works that could see the airport served by trains that depart at a timetabling point that will allow flight passengers to reach the platform in time without the need for teleportation or some sort of Tardis.’

The plans have been described as ‘utter madness’ by one Greater Anglia executive, who added, ‘Everyone knows that nobody south of the River Crouch needs to get to London.’

An artist’s impression of how the new station at Southend could look is above.