PASSENGERS faced yet more cancellations and delays in the second day of commuter chaos.

The aftermath of a track-side fire between Colchester and Manningtree on Monday led to delays for thousands of passengers.

The situation was made worse after a person was hit by a train between Romford and Ilford.

By 12 noon yesterday, more than 20 trains had been cancelled, affecting passengers travelling from Harwich to Manningtree, Braintree, Witham and Colchester to Liverpool Street.

Wheelchair user Hollie Brooks, 29, was among those inconvenienced.

She tweeted she felt “utterly broken” and “disgusted” by how she was treated at Colchester North Station, where she waited for a pre-booked wheelchair-accessible taxi for hours.

She eventually arrived at Wivenhoe by rail replacement bus shortly after 8pm, having left London at 5pm.

The freelance journalist has already cancelled a future solo trip to the capital because she does not trust Greater Anglia to get her home safely.


Hollie Brooks' experience has gained her much support online

She said: “The thing they don’t realise is you end up hating yourself and your situation.

“At the time I wasn’t mad at Greater Anglia. I was mad at how my life had turned out and how I’d ended up in this situation, and how I felt like it ruined my life, and that’s something I struggle with a lot.

“Obviously, I was furious with them, because at the same time they have a responsibility.”

Hollie is learning how to be a wheelchair user after becoming disabled just months ago after contracting meningitis.

She plans to make a formal complaint to Greater Anglia, whose staff she says need more training on the Disabled People’s Protection Policy.

She added: “There’s no way I’ll be travelling on my own again, which makes me lose more of my independence, job opportunities, and makes it harder to see my friends.”

A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “We did make arrangements for Ms Brooks, but the ongoing disruption meant there were problems in getting a taxi at the appropriate time. 

"As soon as our staff met her at Colchester, amongst the many people delayed by the problems, they brought her into the customer service office where she could wait while we organised suitable alternative transport.

"As there were then major delays securing a suitable taxi, due to the high volume of additional taxi journeys resulting from the rail disruption, we arranged for a double decker bus to personally collect her from Colchester station and take her to Wivenhoe, as this was the quickest way to take her to her destination, and a member of our staff accompanied her on this journey.

"We’re very sorry Ms Brooks was inconvenienced and we apologise to her again for the delays she encountered. Our team did what they could to arrange her onward journey as soon as possible, in extremely challenging circumstances.”

A full service is expected today as Network Rail has fixed the signalling faults, the company added.