Avanti makes u-turn over Shropshire trains axe

Through services are running between Shrewsbury, Telford, Wellington and London, after Avant West Coast said it had found the ‘resources to run daily trains’.

Avanti services between London and Shrewsbury were to be withdrawn as part of wide-ranging service cuts which began on Sunday. Avanti blamed the cuts on ‘unofficial’ strike action by some ASLEF members and a lack of drivers willing to work voluntary overtime.

The decision to make all Shrophire passengers change at Wolverhampton had sparked protests from Conservative MP for The Wrekin Mark Pritchard and also Labour politicians. The RMT had denied Avanti’s claims, and accused the operator of making ‘unsubstantiated’ allegations, which were ‘something that RMT and other unions strongly deny’.

Mr Pritchard had warned that Avanti had ’in one ill-advised decision, just lost a huge amount of goodwill throughout Shropshire’.

Telford and Wrekin Council had also protested, saying that last week’s announcement came with ’no notice, no consultation and no date by which the service will be restored’.

Avanti is now offering four trains an hour from London Euston to each of Glasgow Central, Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street. A train continues to Edinburgh every second hour via the West Midlands. There is a shuttle service between Crewe and Holyhead, and a single through service between London Euston and Chester which runs once a day.

Avanti said: ‘This decision was not taken lightly, and we are sorry for the enormous frustration and inconvenience this will cause. We urge the rail unions to engage in meaningful industry reform discussions around modernising working practices and developing a railway fit for the 21st century and we look forward to further talks on this.’

source= http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2022/08/16-avanti-makes-uturn-over-shropshire.html