Avanti West Coast strongly advises customers to only travel if absolutely necessary on strike days
Avanti West Coast confirms issues travel advice ahead of national rail strikes.
- Avanti West Coast publishes amended timetable for national rail strike days
- Customers who have to travel advised to expect disruption and plan ahead
- Significantly reduced service means trains expected to be very busy, with shorter hours of operation, and less frequent services
Avanti West Coast is strongly advising customers to only travel if absolutely necessary on upcoming strike days as it prepares to operate a significantly reduced timetable.
The amended timetables for the first two strike days are being published today on Avanti West Coast’s website: https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/travel-information/plan-your-journey/strike. Further timetables will be published on that page in due course.
On strike days the intercity operator is running approximately 25% of its typical weekday timetable on Tuesday 21 and Thursday 23 June, and around a third of its typical Saturday timetable on 25 June, as part of the industry’s response to coordinated industrial action by the RMT union across train operators and Network Rail on those dates.
With fewer services running, trains are expected to be very busy, and customers are being strongly advised to only travel if absolutely necessary on a strike day. Customers are being advised to expect severe disruption and plan ahead if they do travel. The day after industrial action is also likely to be affected.
As part of its contingency plans, Avanti West Coast expects to run one train per hour from Euston to each of Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Preston with a limited service to Glasgow.
These trains will operate during limited hours* – with the first train of the day departing Euston just before 8am and the last train of the day from Euston departing mid-afternoon.
The significantly reduced timetable will mean North Wales, Shrewsbury, Blackpool and Edinburgh have no Avanti West Coast services on strike days (21, 23 and 25 June).
Customers who need to travel on strike days are advised to plan ahead, make a reservation when they are available and check the Avanti West Coast website and those of other train operators, before travelling.
Customers with tickets for travel from Tuesday 21 June to Sunday 26 June, can use those tickets anytime between now and Monday 27 June. Alternatively, a full refund can be claimed with no admin fees if you have tickets for Tuesday 21 June to Sunday 26 June.
Managing Director of Avanti West Coast, Phil Whittingham, said: “We are disappointed with the decision to go on strike, which we believe is premature and will cause untold misery for customers. We would urge the RMT not to press ahead with industrial action and to work with us on securing the long-term future for the rail service.
“We’ll be running an amended timetable on strike days with fully-trained staff onboard and at stations across our network for our customers, but we’ll be operating a significantly reduced service. As a result, our trains may be very busy and destinations will be served less frequently, if at all. We’re strongly advising customers to only travel where absolutely necessary on our route on strike days and instead make their journeys on alternative days or claim a full refund.
“We understand some people will have no choice but to travel and they should check our website for the latest updates before travelling. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our customers in advance for their patience.”
Due to the different signalling system in use on some parts of the West Coast Main Line, which is more resource-intensive to operate, the intercity operator is unable to stop trains at Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield, Stockport, as well as Runcorn, on strike days and these stations will not be open.
Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “We’re working hard with all train operators including Avanti West Coast to run the best service we can for passengers and freight users next week despite the actions of the RMT. If the damaging strikes go ahead as planned a special timetable will be in place.
“Thousands of trained and fully qualified back-up staff will step in during the planned RMT walk-outs. With a fraction of the usual workforce available, including signallers who safely move trains around the network, there will be a severely limited service, and many routes won’t be served at all. We’re asking passengers to plan ahead, follow the advice of their train operator and only consider travelling next week if it’s really necessary to do so.”
Avanti West Coast will also not serve Wilmslow due to operational reasons.
Avanti West Coast
Notes to editors
Notes to Editors
*On Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June Avanti West Coast will operate 68 trains between 07.30 - 18.30. The first and last trains for each route/destination are:
|Birmingham New St
|Liverpool Lime St
|Birmingham New St
|Liverpool Lime St
Avanti West Coast’s amended timetable can be found here.
For more information about the impact of the strike action on Avanti West Coast’s services, visit: https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/travel-information/plan-your-journey/strike
About Avanti West Coast
Avanti West Coast, operator of intercity rail services on the West Coast Main Line, is a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, delivering a cleaner, greener railway that drives the West Coast forward.
We’re on a mission to revolutionise train travel, linking together the towns and major cities of the UK to create an iconic railway the country can be proud of. We’ve got big plans including a fleet of new intercity trains, as well as the complete refurbishment of the existing Pendolino train fleet. We will introduce more train services every week with new routes added, and a much-improved onboard service with enhanced free Wi-Fi, plug sockets, 25,000 brand new seats and improved catering. Since 8 December 2019, passengers have benefitted from improved passenger compensation, available for journeys delayed by just 15 minutes.
For the latest news, visit the Avanti West Coast Media Room: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/
Press Office: 0845 000 3333