The Mayor Transport

Statement from the Mayor on Avanti contract extension

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has responded to the announcement today (Friday 7 October) that the Department for Transport has placed Avanti West Coast on a short-term contract to give them the opportunity to improve services.

The Mayor said: "Putting Avanti West Coast on notice marks a significant shift in tone under the new Secretary of State. At last, there is a clear recognition of the crisis engulfing the country’s most important railway line and the management failure that has led to that.

"However, the lack of an acceptable rescue plan from the company - and clear conditions from the Government - means very few people in Greater Manchester will support this extension.

"The damage that Avanti’s failing service is inflicting on our economy, and the huge disruption to passengers, is completely unacceptable. The company has shown itself to be unable to stabilise their service and fix problems with ticketing and the on-board experience for passengers. The thought of another six months of what we’re currently experiencing is a huge concern.

"From here, Greater Manchester is calling for a new approach from the Government. First, we want day-to-day monitoring and week-to-week public reporting on performance to be introduced. Second, we ask the Government to set a review point in mid-December in consultation with Mayors and leaders from London, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh. If Avanti are still not delivering the full timetable and an acceptable service at that point, that will allow time for arrangements to be made for a new operator to be place from April 2023."

Article Published: 07/10/2022 11:52 AM