The crisis on Avanti West Coast is escalating

6th September 2022 | News / Petition

Make West Coast Public

The crisis on Avanti West Coast is escalating.

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On 14 August 2022, Avanti – part-owned by FirstGroup and Trenitalia (Italy’s state-owned rail operator!) – drastically reduced the timetable on our West Coast Main Line.

Avanti is now running less than half of the usual services between London and our big north western cities: Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, Carlisle, Glasgow and more.

On 2 September, Avanti’s £273,000-per-year boss Phil Whittingham announced he was leaving to “pursue other executive leadership opportunities”.

The company is in total disarray.

Meanwhile, on 4 September it was reported that the Department for Transport (DfT) is still planning to renew Avanti’s contract (which expires on 16 October) for another 10-years.

This is not any old rail contract either – it’s the so-called ‘West Coast Partnership’, which could see useless profiteers Avanti handed the keys to run the first services on our new HS2 line that will have been built with close to £100 billion of public money.

This must be stopped. Today our lawyers written to the DfT to demand they take these concerns seriously and act urgently to bring our West Coast Main Line back into public ownership (like LNER, Northern and Southeastern already are).

Sign the Petition

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