An MP has criticised Network Rail over its response to disruption experienced by passengers.

Commuters travelling through London Liverpool Street faced severe delays up until June 17 because of a crack in a bespoke piece of track.

The rail operator had already identified the piece of track as needing to be replaced six months ago, but said it was expected to remain at a safe quality until a new section could be installed in October.

Priti Patel, MP for Witham, wrote to Network Rail urging it to permanently fix the track as soon as possible.

She said: “It is unacceptable Network Rail identified this track defect in January and a temporary fix was not put in place immediately to ensure the track did not deteriorate further.

“This raises significant safety concerns because train operators were still allowed to run their services over this section of track potentially putting passengers and train staff at risk.

“I have called on Network Rail to confirm how often this piece of track was monitored by engineers following the discovery of the defect and have also asked them to confirm Greater Anglia was immediately made aware of this defect.”

Ms Patel also contacted Greater Anglia to ensure passengers are properly compensated.