Sports field with goal posts and houses in the distance

Statement from the Mayor of Greater Manchester following Avanti talks

Following a meeting with the senior management of Avanti West Coast today (Wednesday 17 August), alongside the Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, Cllr Luthfur Rahman and Transport Commissioner, Vernon Everitt, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:

“Today we met Avanti to discuss the downgrading of the timetable for its services between Greater Manchester and London.

“We made clear to them in no uncertain terms our deep unhappiness at the way in which our city-region has been treated.

“The severe reduction of services at this time of year is seriously detrimental to our economy. Avanti’s decision to take this action without any prior consultation or even notification shows a lack of respect for our city-region and its people, businesses and visitors.

“We have asked Avanti to produce a recovery plan that helps passengers in the short-term but which also commits to providing more trains per hour between Greater Manchester and London as quickly as possible.

“In the immediate term, we have asked Avanti to consider the declassification of trains – suspending first class restrictions – to make more seats available on the booking system at an affordable price.

“We also called for much clearer communications with customers about how and when to purchase tickets and for an end to the inflammatory language which is damaging workforce relations.

“More broadly, we asked them for a timetable to return to the previous levels of service as soon as possible and a firm commitment that we will not find ourselves in such a position ever again.

“When we receive Avanti’s plan, we will consider whether it is acceptable for our residents and businesses and, if it isn’t, we made it clear to the company that we will ask the new Prime Minister to strip them of this contract.”

Article Published: 17/08/2022 18:29 PM