Christmas Travel and Parking News for Brentwood and Ongar Travellers

If you're travelling by train over the Christmas and New Year period, Network Rail have issued an update on what will and will not be open and running;. Find out here now:

"This year the majority of the rail network in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and east London will be open over the Christmas and New Year period.

However, passengers are still being advised to check before they travel, as there will be changes to some services due to our work to maintain and upgrade the railway. We do this work at this time of year, as the network tends to be much quieter.

The main work that will affect passengers is:

  • Southend Victoria branch: From close of service on Christmas Eve until 20.00 on New Year’s Day, we will continue the replacement of the overhead wires on the branch. From Friday 27 December until 20.00 on New Year’s Day, a bus replacement service will be in operation between Southend, Southminster and Shenfield or Newbury Park.
  • Great Eastern main line: On Saturday 28 and Sunday 29th December, trains from Norwich, Ipswich and Clacton will only run as far as Ingatestone, while we carry out overhead line power supply upgrades. There will be a bus replacement service operating between Ingatestone and Newbury Park, where Greater Anglia customers can use their tickets on the Central Line to Stratford and London Liverpool Street.
    Colchester: On Wednesday 1 January, services will not be able to run through Colchester. A bus replacement service will be in operation between Ipswich, Manningtree, Colchester and Marks Tey on the main line, and between Hythe and Marks Tey on the route from Colchester to Clacton-on-Sea.
  • West Anglia main line: On Friday 27, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 December, engineering work between Stratford and Lea Bridge, means that West Anglia services to/from Stratford will be diverted to Liverpool Street via Hackney Downs. In addition, services between Stratford, Lea Bridge, Tottenham Hale, Northumberland Park and Meridian Water will not run. Customers are advised to use local bus services.
  • Stansted Express: On Boxing Day, Stansted Express trains will run every 30 minutes between the airport and Tottenham Hale due to engineering works between Stratford and Lea Bridge. Passengers can take the Victoria line into London from Tottenham Hale underground station.

There are no trains running on Christmas Day and only a revised Stansted Express service on Boxing Day.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel at or on the Greater Anglia and Great Northern websites. 

A breakdown of how journeys will be affected by improvement work across Britain over the Christmas and New Year period can be found by visiting"

And in good news for those choosing to do their Christmas shopping in the Epping Forest District Council area, there's free parking at the weekend throughout December:

"From Sunday 1 December to Sunday 29 December residents and visitors will be able to use any of the EFDC-run car parks free of charge at weekends while they do their Christmas shopping or enjoy the many eateries across the district.

Car parking team manager, Peter Charman said: “Free parking on weekends in the run up to Christmas has become a tradition in Epping Forest District. Given the pressures on high streets everywhere we aim to make life just a little bit easier for our residents and visitors.”

Please note: Saturday 30 November is a chargeable day. Free parking does not begin until Sunday 1 December."