PRITI Patel has slammed railway bosses after reports emerged the roll-out of new trains has been delayed until autumn.

Witham MP Ms Patel has criticised Greater Anglia over the introduction of new Bombardier trains, which were set to enter service this spring before being fully rolled out by the end of the year.

However the firm has now revised this date to late summer or early autumn due to “software issues”.

The Home Secretary said: “I led efforts to secure over £1 billion for these much-needed new trains and I am extremely disappointed the roll out of them, due to serve stations across my constituency, is to be delayed until the autumn.

“This significant delay is unacceptable and Greater Anglia needs to take urgent action with Bombardier to resolve the outstanding software issues as a matter of priority and to ensure the roll out of these new trains is not delayed any further.

“Commuters across my constituency have been eagerly awaiting the roll out of these new trains and there will be widespread anger and frustration the service improvements which have been promised are not being delivered on time.

“I have called on Greater Anglia and the Secretary of State for Transport to challenge Bombardier and impose financial penalties on the manufacturer for the failure to deliver the new trains in live with its contractual obligations.”

Ms Patel said commuters were already paying more for the service and the financial penalties should be used to fund refunds or service upgrades.

The full roll-out of the new trains across the network may take a further 12 to 18 months.

A spokesperson from Great Anglia said: “Bombadier has now built 231 of 665 carriages for Great Anglia. We have two of the trains on our network and testing is due to start soon.

“There has been a delay to the project which Bombadier says is due to a range of factors including software development.

“It is essential we and Bombardier get the build and testing phase right, so that when the trains enter passenger service they are reliable so that they can improve the performance of our railway.”