Avanti to cut Liverpool to London services

Train operator Avanti West Coast says its Liverpool to London service will operate from a reduced timetable from next week blaming staff shortages and industrial action. Tony McDonough reports

Avanti West Coast
An Avanti West Coast train at Lime Street Station in Liverpool. Picture by Tony McDonough


Trains between Liverpool and London will operate on a reduced timetable from Sunday, August 14.

West Coast mainline operator Avanti West Coast says staff shortages and the “current industrial relations climate” are the cause of the reduced timetable. However, its claim of “unofficial strike action” by members of train drivers union ASLEF was dismissed as “lies”.

Advanced ticket sales on routes between Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston are temporarily suspended between August 14 and September 11. In a statement Avanti West Coast says: “From 14 August until further notice, we will be introducing a reduced timetable on our services.

“This is due to the current industrial relations climate which has resulted in severe staff shortages in some grades through increased sickness levels, as well as unofficial strike action by ASLEF members.

READ MORE: Rotheram to take control of Merseyrail network

“As a result of the above, including the majority of drivers declaring themselves unavailable for overtime, our customers have faced multiple short-notice cancellations on our network which has had a severe impact on their plans.

“The reduced timetable is being introduced to ensure a reliable service is delivered so our customers can travel with greater certainty. This decision was not taken lightly, and we are sorry for the enormous frustration and inconvenience this will cause.”

Avanti urged rail unions to “engage in meaningful industry reform talks”. It said there was a need to modernise working practices. However, in a statement to the Liverpool Echo, ASLEF has denied any action by its members.

It said: “There is no strike – official or unofficial – on Avanti West Coast this week. The truth is that the company does not employ enough drivers to deliver the service it has promised passengers it will run. The company should stop lying and start recruiting.”

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.