Upgrade Now

FirstGroup's Avanti gets West Coast contract extension despite poor services

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Monday 20 Mar 2023

FirstGroup's Avanti gets West Coast contract extension despite poor services

(Sharecast News) - FirstGroup's troubled Avanti West Coast rail contract has been controversially extended to October despite calls for it to be stripped of the franchise for unreliable services and cancellations.

Opposition lawmakers said the company was being "rewarded for failure" after the contract was extended on essentially the same terms until October 15.

The troubled rail operator, runs services between London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow, prompted outrage last August when it slashed train numbers and imposed an emergency timetable after drivers stopped doing overtime and passengers suffered widespread disruption.

Services on the key London to Manchester route were cut to one an hour from one every 20 minutes. Avanti West Coast has come under severe criticism already this year, with about a quarter of its trains cancelled in the first two months of 2023.

Louise Haigh, shadow transport secretary for the main opposition Labour Party said: "Avanti has literally broken records over the last six months for delays and cancellations, and the Conservatives' answer is to reward failure with millions more in taxpayer cash."

"If this is what success looks like to ministers, it shows that under the Conservatives our broken railways are here to stay."

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com


Email this article to a friend

or share it with one of these popular networks:

Top of Page