Almost one third of Avanti trains delayed or cancelled over the last week, new data suggests

Picture: Avanti West Coast
Avanti West Coast Credit: PA Images

Almost one third of Avanti trains have been cancelled or delayed over the past week, new figures have revealed.

The latest industry figures from across all Avanti West Coast services show that over the last eight days 31.8% of trains were cancelled and\or delayed.

This is based on an already reduced service offering, after the operator announced a number of cuts to services from 9-31 December.

Transport for the North (TfN) has written to the Transport Secretary asking for a critical review into Avanti West Coast's operations.

TfN is calling for the trains to declassify the First Class and Standard Premium accommodation until their performance level can be deemed acceptable.

Recent data also revealed punctuality and reliability is at 46.3%.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said: “This torrent of cancellations and delays on Avanti services is simply unacceptable.

"This is one of the most important times of the year for many families and businesses, all of whom are being let down by this deteriorating rail service without an end in sight.

“This cannot be allowed to continue. That is why we have written to the government to ask for them to conduct a critical review of Avanti as a matter of priority.

"Given the critical importance of this service at this time of year, it is also vital that all seats on Avanti West Coast services are made available for use by declassifying all First-Class accommodation until an acceptable service can be restored.”

An Avanti West Coast spokesperson said: “Declassifying our trains will not solve the current challenges we are seeing on our network.

"Our Train Managers already have the discretion to declassify our services if they are busy due to disruption and have done so several times recently.

“As well as disruption, we have been seeing some short-notice cancellations on our network and would like to apologise to our customers for the inconvenience caused as we know this is not good enough.

"These service changes are a result of resourcing challenges where we have seen a shortage of train crew due to historic leave agreements.

"We are working hard to make sure we can minimise these cancellations.”

Want more on the issues affecting the North? Our podcast, From the North answers the questions that matter to our region.