Avanti West Coast urges customers to only travel if absolutely necessary on Saturday
Avanti West Coast reaffirms 'only travel if necessary' message ahead of planned third day of strike action.
- Avanti West Coast will only run a third of its normal Saturday timetable
- Trains expected to be very busy, with shorter hours of operation, and less frequent services
- Customers are asked to pay particular attention to the times of the last trains
Avanti West Coast is advising customers to travel only if absolutely necessary this weekend amid further industrial action on Saturday (25 June).
The west coast operator is expected to only run around a third of its normal Saturday timetable, as part of the industry’s response to coordinated industrial action by the RMT union across train operators and Network Rail.
Customers who do need to travel during industrial action are advised to plan ahead, make a reservation and check the Avanti West Coast website for details of the train times. Passengers should pay particular attention to the times of the last services, as these will be much earlier than normal. Services on Sunday will also be impacted.
On Saturday the last departure from London Euston for Manchester will be at 15:40, Birmingham at 15:43, Liverpool at 14:56 and Glasgow at 13:30. Last southbound trains to London will depart at 12:22 from Glasgow, 14:47 from Manchester, 15:50 from Birmingham and 15:56 from Liverpool.
Details of the amended timetable for Saturday, and Sunday when services are expected to start later than normal, can be found on Avanti West Coast’s website:
As part of its contingency plans, Avanti West Coast will run one train per hour on Saturday 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 on Saturday will mean North Wales, Shrewsbury, Blackpool and Edinburgh have no Avanti West Coast services.
Avanti West Coast also confirmed there will be no onboard catering facilities on its services. The onboard shop will also be closed.
Customers who chose not to travel on Saturday can use their tickets anytime between now and Tuesday 28 June. Alternatively, a full refund can be claimed with no admin fees for customers with tickets dated Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June.
Managing Director of Avanti West Coast, Phil Whittingham, said: “Weekends have seen very strong growth in passenger numbers over recent months and we’re concerned that many who travel at weekends will be less frequent rail users and may not realise the huge impact industrial action will have.
“We’ll be running a significantly reduced timetable on Saturday as result of the strike. There will be fully-trained staff onboard and at stations across our network but our trains may be very busy, and destinations will be served less frequently, if at all.
“The first trains will leave later in the day and the last train to destinations will set off much earlier than normal. The reduced timetable will also have a significant impact on Sunday. We’re strongly advising customers to only travel if absolutely necessary and instead make their journeys on alternative days or claim a full refund. If customers have no choice but to travel they should check our website for the latest updates, and to double-check their journey times, before setting off.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their patience as we try to keep the network moving. No one wins in the event of a strike. Staff lose pay, the industry loses vital revenue making it harder to afford pay increases, and customers and businesses are disrupted. We urge the RMT’s leadership to work with us to ensure a fair deal for our people and for the taxpayer while securing the long-term future of the railways.”
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 Saturday and these stations will not be open.
Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “We’ve been working hard all week negotiating with the RMT union and it’s hugely disappointing our two sides have not been able to reach a compromise, leading to a third, damaging day of strike action which will now impact weekend rail travel.
“I’m hugely sorry that people’s family and leisure time will be disrupted, and for those who will once again struggle getting to work. Our advice is to please only travel if you must and regularly check National Rail Enquiries as the few services which will be running will finish early in the afternoon and I don’t want people to be caught out unable to get home again from a day trip.”
Avanti West Coast
Notes to editors
*On Saturday 25 June Avanti West Coast will operate 69 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