THE boss of Britain’s railways has admitted north Essex commuters deserve a better service than the one they are getting.

Thousands of commuters were left stranded after engineering work ran on longer than it should have on the first weekend of a £7million upgrade track upgrade.

Speaking in a House of Commons Transport Committee hearing yesterday, Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “The Colchester over running was totally unacceptable.

“It caused problems for many thousands of passengers that morning.

“It was part of a transition from one contractor to another.”

The delays happened on Monday, May 19.

The track was due to be clear by 4am yesterday, but set backs meant passengers were told to stay away during the morning peak.

In total, 17 services from Colchester to London were cancelled between 5am and 9am, leaving commuters unable to get to work.