New timetable for Avanti West Coast passengers
Avanti West Coast introduces more services as part of major timetable change.
- New December timetable adds significantly more seats and services
- All major routes have more services than before the August timetable step-down
- Timetable delivered following full and extensive consultation with unions, colleagues and industry partners
Avanti West Coast has introduced more services across its routes this month as part of its major timetable change.
From this week (starting Sunday 11 December), the intercity operator is scheduled to run 1,789 services each week, delivering a 40 percent increase in services each day.
Manchester will return to three trains per hour to and from London while services between London and Birmingham will operate every 30 minutes, with a third service per hour during busy periods. North Wales will see more direct services a day than in May 2022, before the timetable step-down in August.
The introduction of these services will increase the number of seats on a typical weekday from 104,000 to 146,000. On Saturdays, seats will go up to 135,000 from 94,000 and on Sundays to 111,000 from 77,000.
To coincide with the December timetable, Avanti West Coast has also made significant improvements to train times and calling patterns as part of its commitment to deliver better connectivity between towns and cities along the West Coast Main Line. In what is the biggest timetable overhaul since 2008, these changes, which have been designed in collaboration with industry partners and other train operators, include:
- Rugby – doubling of services (Mon-Sat) to London plus an hourly direct service to Manchester.
- Nuneaton – Additional calls at Nuneaton will provide an hourly service to London Euston with fast journey times of less than one hour, as well as a new direct service to Manchester.
- Stafford – doubling of services (Mon-Sat) to London plus an hourly direct service to Manchester.
- Milton Keynes – new direct service to and from Liverpool.
- Liverpool – later train from Euston at 2200.
- West Midlands/Birmingham – hourly fast train between Birmingham and London with a journey time of 1hour 16mins, as well as improved connectivity with stops at Rugby, Milton Keynes, and Watford Junction in the second hourly service.
A full and extensive consultation process has taken place with unions to deliver the new timetable. An extensive driver training programme has also delivered an additional 100 new drivers since April.
Customers are also able to buy their tickets earlier, up to 12 weeks in advance for midweek travel. Weekend travel dates are also available at least a month in advance with the booking window to be extended further in the coming months.
Barry Milsom, Executive Director of Operations and Safety at Avanti West Coast, said: “We know in recent months our customers have not been getting the service they deserve. We are sorry for the enormous amount of frustration and inconvenience this has caused and are grateful for the patience our passengers have shown.
“Over the last few months, our sole focus has been to do everything we can to return to a more resilient operation which delivers more services for our customers and communities.
“This timetable is based on a robust and sustainable roster for our staff, achieved by working with our people and the unions. It provides a better working pattern for staff and our customers will benefit from more trains, greater connectivity and tickets on sale much earlier. Crucially, the new timetable is not dependent on overtime.”
Starting on Tuesday, 13 December, there are strikes scheduled for four days of the first week of the new timetable. This will mean services are significantly reduced. Avanti West Coast, along with the rest of the industry, urges the RMT leadership to stay at the negotiating table so we can build on progress and end a dispute that is harming passengers and businesses, the industry, and their members.
Avanti West Coast
Notes to editors
More information about the major timetable change is available on the attached Factsheet, which can be downloaded here: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/resources/avanti-west-coast-december-timetable-factsheet
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