A RAIL user group boss claims poorly-timed rail maintenance could have affected tourism in Tendring over Easter.

Network Rail carried out vital maintenance work on the Tendring train line on Easter Monday.

The work meant trains could not run between Colchester, Clacton and Walton, with a replacement bus service organised instead.

But it has been claimed the work could have kept tourists away from the coast.

John Smock, chairman of rail user group Ontrack, said: “A lack of consultation over this work meant that it was badly timed for Tendring.

“It was a nice, sunny bank holiday and this is a major tourist area.

“With the replacement buses increasing journey times by up to 40 minutes I think it would have had a big impact on tourism, which we rely on in Tendring."

A Network Rail spokesman said: “Route improvement work took place on Easter Bank Holiday Monday to upgrade the tracks between Colchester, Clacton and Walton.

“There is never a good time to deliver the work but, it was planned carefully to ensure the least disruption for passengers.

“We continue to deliver more reliable and improved journeys on the railway.”