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South Ribble MP Katherine Fletcher has met the managing director of Avanti West Coast to discuss the operator’s poor service.
Katherine talked with Andy Mellors in Westminster last week about services which have improved a little but are still plagued with cancellations and delays.
The government extended the operator’s franchise for six months until October this year but the MP made it clear in the meeting in parliament that passengers need to see further improvements.
“I thank Andy for speaking to me about my concerns over a continued poor service on this line,” said Katherine.
“He has only been in post since March and assured me the performance will continue to improve.
I am happy to give him time but I will be holding him to this pledge on behalf of South Ribble rail users.
“Passengers are fed up with this operator right now and it needs to win back their trust as soon as possible.
“A failure to do so by October will very likely lead to me pushing the government to strip Avanti of its franchise.”
Katherine was told about positive news regarding the refurbishment programme of rolling stock.
Trains servicing Preston are typically 11 car trains and now all but three have been refurbished with the much welcome new seating. The upgrade also adds increased capacity as one first class carriage has been converted to the new improved standard specification.
“In fairness to Avanti I am pleased to hear this investment is ongoing and starting to make a difference.
“Comfort and being able to get a seat are important but not as important as actually having a train arrive on time.”