News

Chaos for West Coast rail passengers as Avanti cancels HUNDREDS of Saturday trains… even though the Transport Secretary insisted the firm was ‘back on track’ last month


  • Operator Avanti was last month given a new nine-year deal to run services

Long-suffering West Coast rail passengers face more chaos as Avanti is cancelling hundreds of Saturday trains.

The much-criticised operator was last month given a new nine-year deal to run services, with the Transport Secretary insisting the firm was ‘back on track’.

It has already said it was cutting up to half its Saturday services from December 9 to 30 as it didn’t have enough drivers. Now it’s claimed similar cuts will be made from now to the end of the year.

The Department for Transport accepted arguments put forward by Avanti that it had no option other than to extend the period of a reduced service.

Fifteen Saturday services have already been axed, and more could follow, it was claimed. 

Avanti had already cut hundreds of trains last year. Over the last fortnight as many as 23 services were axed in a single day

Avanti had already cut hundreds of trains last year. Over the last fortnight as many as 23 services were axed in a single day

The much-criticised operator was last month given a new nine-year deal to run services, with the Transport Secretary (pictured) insisting the firm was 'back on track'

The much-criticised operator was last month given a new nine-year deal to run services, with the Transport Secretary (pictured) insisting the firm was ‘back on track’

Contracts require operators to keep cancellations below a specified level, or lose the right to run services. 

But when a firm convinces the Government it has a ‘short-term planning’ need to cut services, it can escape sanction.

Avanti had already cut hundreds of trains last year. Over the last fortnight as many as 23 services were axed in a single day.

The firm said it is ‘working hard’ to minimise disruption, citing ‘resourcing challenges… due to historic leave agreements and ongoing industrial disputes’. 

But it refused to discuss cancellations from now to December.

A source told The Sunday Times the trains have not actually been cancelled, but ‘removed’, as they never went on sale. 

The ‘removed’ trains all run to Birmingham, Manchester and North Wales, with Scotland and Liverpool so far unaffected.

The DfT said Avanti ‘still needs to further improve’.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button