Following months of disruption to the rail service on the West Coast Mainline, Avanti West Coast has been put on notice to improve its service.
Over the past few months, major operational issues have created enormous disruption to the service – much of this caused by a shortage of drivers. 100 additional drivers will have entered service this year between April and December – and Avanti has started to add new services as drivers have come on board.
Avanti’s contract is coming to an end – and the Government has allowed a six month extension to give Avanti the opportunity to improve their service before the extension expires on 1 April 2023.
Avanti’s service improvement plans also include:
• The successful delivery of its timetable recovery plan and a significant, sustained and reliable increase from about 180 trains per day to 264 trains per day on weekdays as new and retrained drivers become available.
• Continuing to deliver on its traincrew recruitment and plans to reduce reliance on rest day working to operate services.
• Extending booking options for passengers, making the full range of tickets available as early as possible.
The West Coast Line is a vital artery for us in South Ribble linking us to London and Glasgow. It’s how we see our friends and family – as well as an essential piece of infrastructure for businesses to thrive.
Everyone who uses it – including me – knows that Avanti is not providing us with the service we deserve – or even one close to it.
This is the first step to getting transport in the North West up to standard – and I’m glad to see the Government pushing to get these services.
Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP said: “We need train services which are reliable and resilient to modern day life. Services on Avanti have been unacceptable and while the company has taken positive steps to get more trains moving, it must do more to deliver certainty of service to its passengers.