C2C commuters fear tensions are so high at train stations that violence could flare up.

Frustrated passengers have reported they, and others, are so angry at the almost-constant queues and problems at c2c train stations that nasty incidents could erupt.

There have been increasing problems at c2c stations, including the failure of the ticketing software, Smart card and Flexi ticket issues, while the Echo has reported on customers being charged five weeks’ worth of ticket payments all at once.

These issues have caused almost daily queues which snake out of some stations’ entrance doors, causing customers being delayed several hours in rush hours.

Commuters have also had to put up with aggressive beggars on c2c trains, something which British Transport Police officer are trying to combat.

It is understood passengers were left waiting outside Benfleet station in the rain this morning, as some guards were not allowing customers through the gates, as they hadn’t received their smart card.

One commuter, who travels from Benfleet station, said: “If the situation continues I wouldn’t be surprised if patience ran out and the staff will bear the brunt. People have been very patient so far but this is making people late to work so I can imagine it’s only a matter of time before someone loses their temper.”

The frustrated commuter added: “There are massive queues for people buying tickets as no one trusts the smart cards; then there are people with smart cards which aren’t working but that have tickets on them and people are struggling to explain their situation at the barrier.

“I have an annual ticket loaded on to a smart card but the smart card no longer works and a replacement smart card has not arrived in post after several weeks.”Unfortunately it takes longer than most are willing to wait to get through to customer services at the moment so I’ve just been showing the barrier guards my online account as proof I have an annual ticket.”

“I always manage to get through but one guard was particularly unhelpful and wouldn’t even look at my online account. Fortunately another guard was more sensible.”

A c2c spokesman said: “We know our new ticket retailing system has endured some instability in recent weeks.

“We have been working hard with our suppliers IBM to resolve these technical issues, and we thank our customers for their ongoing patience while we ensure c2c has the modern ticketing systems they expect from us.

“We are very proud of the hard work of all our staff and will not tolerate any threats against anyone who works for c2c.

“If any threats like this are made, we will report them to the British Transport Police and initiate legal proceedings to ban offenders from travelling on the c2c network.”