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Labour threatens to strip Avanti West Coast’s contract over ‘woeful service’

12 Jun 2024 2 minute read
An Avanti West Coast train. Photo Luciana Guerra PA Images

Labour has said it will urgently consider stripping Avanti West Coast of its train operating contract if it wins the General Election.

Shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh claimed the company has provided “woeful service” on the West Coast Main Line.

“Third worst reliability”

Office of Rail and Road figures show Avanti West Coast had the third worst reliability of all operators in Britain in the year to the end of March, with the equivalent of one in 15 trains (6.9%) cancelled.

The Conservative Government awarded Avanti West Coast a new long-term contract starting in October last year.

The agreement is for up to nine years but can be terminated with three months’ notice at any point from October 2026.

Asked about Labour’s plan to bring train services into public ownership, Ms Haigh told Sky News: “Our commitment is to bring in those contracts as they expire or when they are breached.

“I anticipate I will be seeking advice early on whether Avanti has been in breach of its contract given the woeful service that it’s been providing to passengers down the West Coast Main Line.”

She added: “No ifs, no buts, October 2026 will be the last date Avanti will have notice of that contract (ending) but I will ask for early advice about whether they have already breached their contract and whether it can be brought in any earlier.”

Boosted capacity

Avanti West Coast – owned by FirstGroup and Trenitalia – was approached for a comment.

Earlier this month the operator boosted capacity by launching the first six of 23 new Evero trains.

The West Coast Main Line runs between London Euston and Glasgow, with branches to locations such as Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and North Wales.


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Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
1 month ago

Cytuno. Hen gwmni ofnadwy. Teithiais i Lundain – hen brifddinas y Brytaniaid – yn ddiweddar. Am straffîg. Trenau wedi eu canslo, rhai eraill yn whyr, crocbris am docynnau, trennau gorlawn, cyswllt gwe ofnadw. Dw i’n difarru na yrrais yno.

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