‘Disappointment’ over Avanti contract extension

Transport for the North says it is disappointed that Avanti West Coast has been given a six month extension to its National Rail contract, which has been on Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement terms since 2020, in the wake of controversial service cuts.

The decision was announced by the Department for Transport on Friday and it has already been criticised by the RMT, which is to stage two strikes of Avanti train managers in a dispute over rosters.

TfN chair Lord McLoughlin said: ‘Our Members are naturally disappointed, as it’s communities and businesses across the North that are being impacted by this sub-par level of service that is undermining economic growth and the well-being of many people who haven’t been able to rely on this service for far too long now.

‘Returning to having a good, reliable service on the West Coast Main Line is a pro-growth policy that will benefit the North of England’s economy, and as such it should be a priority as the current level of service is just not acceptable.

’There now needs to be a clear action plan with transparent targets and consequences for the company if they do not meet them – and TfN are ready and willing to help provide oversight if called upon. What matters above all else is getting back to putting passengers first.’

Avanti has said the changes were needed so that its services would become more reliable. Some of the trains withdrawn in August have now been restored, with more improvements planned for December’s timetable change.

source= http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2022/10/11-disappointment-over-avanti-contract-extension.html