1. ITV Report

Rail misery for commuters

Overhead lines cause rail delays Photo: Press Association

Rail commuters endured more travel misery this morning on one of the country's busiest lines.

Further overhead wire problems were found on the East Coast Main Line in Hertfordshire which meant trains were unable to run between Stevenage and Hitchin - affecting services to and from Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

Train companies were hoping to put buses on to operate between Letchworth/Biggleswade and Stevenage.

The continuing problem, which had led to hours-long delays to evening rush-hour commuters yesterday, affected passengers with four train companies - East Coast, First Capital Connect, First Hull Trains and Grand Central.

The problem last night involved 14 "droppers", which are part of the overhead wires and which were found to be broken with contact wires damaged, causing damage to trains.

The Hertfordshire overhead wire problem is the latest, and one of the worst, incidents which have plagued passengers in recent weeks.

After a comparatively trouble-free early autumn, rail services have been hit by numerous rush-hour problems just as the darker days and colder weather arrived.

The East Coast problem meant that a main London to Scotland route suffered major delays.

East Coast, Grand Central and First Hull Trains had to start and terminate at Peterborough, meaning they were unable to run between Peterborough and King's Cross station in London.

The next thing for passengers will be average season ticket rises of 4.2% on January 2.