Avanti West Coast Manchester Piccadilly-2

Avanti West Coast urges customers to only travel if absolutely necessary with strikes set to disrupt services

Avanti West Coast to operate a significantly reduced timetable on the upcoming December strike days. 

  • Avanti West Coast will operate an amended timetable for six days from 13 December until 18 December
  • Customers are urged to claim a full refund if due to travel on days affected by the strikes
  • Shorter hours of operation, less frequent stops and a significantly reduced service means trains could be busy

Avanti West Coast is strongly advising customers to only travel if absolutely necessary on the upcoming strike days as it prepares to operate a significantly reduced timetable.

Two 48-hour strikes by RMT and TSSA members across train operators and Network Rail next week (13/14 December and 16/17 December) will result in the intercity operator running less than a third of its new December timetable.

With fewer services running and a significantly reduced operation, trains could be busy, and customers are strongly advised to only travel if absolutely necessary. Customers who chose not to travel are able to claim a refund from their point of purchase. Those who have to travel should plan ahead, expect disruption, and check the details of their last train home.

As part of its strike contingency plans, Avanti West Coast will run one train per hour between Euston and each of Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Preston with four of the Preston trains extended 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 the strike days.

In addition, services on the days following the strikes (15 and 18 December) will start later. Trains running these days are likely to be extremely busy and a seat cannot be guaranteed, so customers are encouraged to get a full refund and rebook onto an alternative service.

Tickets for 13, 14, 16, 17 December can be used the day before the date on the ticket, or up to and including Tuesday 20 December.

Barry Milsom, Executive Director of Operations and Safety at Avanti West Coast, said: “This latest round of strike action is designed to cause maximum impact to our customers. At a crucial time of the year, when the railway plays a vital role, the RMT has shown no regard for those looking forward to spending time over the Festive period with their family and friends.

“We’re strongly advising customers to only travel where absolutely necessary on the days affected and if possible, 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 making their journey.

“I would like to thank our customers for their continued patience and understanding and urge the unions to accept the offer that was put to them last week, and work with us to modernise working practices and develop a railway fit for the 21st century.”

Due to the different signalling system used by Network Rail 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 the strike days and these stations will not be open.

Avanti West Coast will also not serve Wilmslow and Motherwell due to operational reasons.

Contact Information

Richard Stanton

Avanti West Coast


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Avanti West Coast’s full revised timetable for the December strike days will along with travel advice can be found here: 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. Our refurbed Pendolinos are returning to the rails, with a £117m investment that’s delivering best in class comfort. Rebuilt using sustainable materials wherever possible, including tables made from recycled plastic bottles, our upgraded fleet offers 25,000 brand new seats, free Wi-Fi, onboard recycling and much more.

New Hitachi trains are set to replace our Voyager trains from 2023, leading to a 61% cut in carbon emissions. Quieter and roomier, with more reliable Wi-Fi, wireless charging for electric devices and a real-time customer information system, the new 23-strong fleet is the result of a £350m investment in sustainable travel.

We’re tackling climate change wherever we can, from reducing energy and water use to training drivers in eco-driving techniques and sourcing food and drink from local suppliers. Our goal is to be net zero carbon by 2031. We’re on track.

For the latest news, visit the Avanti West Coast Media Room: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/

Press Office: 0845 000 3333