Rail misery for passengers in north Wales this weekend
Rail passengers using north Wales train service, Avanti West Coast will be hit by more rail misery this weekend with widespread train cancellations.
The company – whose reliability recently sank to an all-time low – warned it will not have enough available staff to operate its timetable.
An alert to passengers stated: “Due to unseasonably high staff shortages, we are unfortunately expecting a large number of cancellations on Saturday 28th January.
“Trains are likely to be extremely busy, and passengers should check their journey online before coming to the station.”
It added: “We are sorry for the frustration and inconvenience this will cause.”
Passengers with a ticket for Saturday can travel on either Friday or Sunday instead when “more services will be running”, according to the operator.
Anyone who no longer wishes to travel can claim a fee-free refund.
It’s understood that a lack of available staff is being caused by more people than normal taking annual leave and training that could not be postponed.
The situation has been exacerbated by strike days causing annual leave and training in recent months to be rescheduled.
The operator – a joint venture between FirstGroup (70%) and Italian state operator Trenitalia (30%) – was given until April 1 by the Department for Transport to improve its services when it was awarded a short-term contract extension in October 2022.
Figures published this week show the company cancelled the equivalent of about one in five services during the four weeks to January 7.
The company said “performance has steadily improved” since then.
On Tuesday, rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road ordered Avanti West Coast to submit an improved recovery plan to stop releasing tickets just a few days ahead of travel.
Passengers wanting to book tickets for weekend travel this month have only been able to purchase tickets a few days in advance, leading to claims that many people are being denied cheaper tickets.
Avanti West Coast said the delay has been caused by the requirement to produce bespoke timetables – which happens in partnership with Network Rail – during engineering work.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.
“…the situation has been exacerbated by” PRIVATISATION OF A PUBLIC SERVICE AND THE “ALL THE MONEY CAPITALISM” OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY.
…Don’t thank me, I like correcting people because I am that kind of truly annoying person and I am not ashamed.
No mention of the fact that the Heart of Wales line is closed for several days once again because of a landslip near Llanwrda which was badly repaired back in mid-November. But then I don’t suppose the Heart of Wales line matters.
By the way Cathy Jones, TfW is a company owned by the Welsh Government and look what a mess they’ve made of the railways since taking control. Network Rail is owned by the UK Government. Need I say more?