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Avanti West Coast urge rail passengers not to travel during Wednesday strikes

Posted on - 25th July, 2022 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston News, Preston Railway Station
Avanti West Coast LGBTQ+ Pride Train
Avanti West Coast LGBTQ+ Pride Train

As the rail network prepares for more strikes, customers are advised to only travel if absolutely necessary on Wednesday 27 July.

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Avanti West Coast will be running approximately 25 per cent of its typical weekday timetable during the fourth national strike.

The timetable will be available on the Avanti West Coast website from Saturday, 23rd July.

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With fewer services running, trains could be busy, and customers are being strongly advised to only travel if absolutely necessary on 27 July. Customers are also being advised to expect a significantly reduced operation and plan ahead if they do travel. The day before and after industrial action will also be affected.

The strike will affect those intending to travel by rail to the Women’s Euros semi-final in Milton Keynes that evening and attending the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Thursday, 28 July.

As part of its contingency plans during the strike, Avanti West Coast expects to run one train per hour between Euston and each of Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Preston with a limited service to Glasgow.

The front of Preston Station Pic: Donna Clifford
Preston Railway Station Pic: Donna Clifford

These trains will operate during limited hours – with the first train of the day departing Euston just before 8am and the last train of the day from Euston departing mid-afternoon.  Customers should make sure they check the details of the last services if they absolutely must travel.

The significantly reduced timetable will mean North Wales, Shrewsbury, Blackpool and Edinburgh have no Avanti West Coast services on the strike day.

Customers who absolutely must travel during the strike are advised to plan ahead, make a reservation when they are available and check the Avanti West Coast website and those of other train operators, before leaving home.

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Any customers with existing tickets for travel from 26 to 28 July can use those tickets anytime between now and 29 July. Alternatively, customers with tickets for the affected days (26 – 28 July) can claim a full refund.

Managing Director of Avanti West Coast, Phil Whittingham, said: “I would like to thank our customers for being patient and understanding during the last set of strikes in June. It’s extremely disappointing that the RMT and TSSA have decided to disrupt customers lives once again and cause more misery and frustration.

“This is the beginning of the summer holidays and will ruin plans for people intending to use our services to get away on a well-earned break. It also falls on the day of the UEFA Women’s Euros semi-final and the day before the start of the Commonwealth Games, which will welcome thousands of visitors from around the world.

“We urge the unions not to press ahead with industrial action and to work with us on securing the long-term future of the railways.

“We’re strongly advising customers to only travel where absolutely necessary on our route during the strike and instead make their journeys on alternative days or claim a full refund. We understand some people will have no choice but to travel and they should check our website for the latest updates before travelling.”

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Tim Shoveller, Network Rail’s North West and Central region Managing Director, said: “With a fraction of the usual workforce available, including signallers who safely move trains around the rail network, there will be a severely limited service during RMT strike action next Wednesday. Many routes won’t be served at all, once again pointlessly causing misery for millions of rail passengers.

“We can only apologise for the impact another RMT strike will have on people’s lives, especially those travelling for holidays or attending events such as the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 semi-final in Milton Keynes and the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. It is frustrating to yet again ask our passengers to change their plans and only make essential journeys.”

Due to the different signalling system in use on some parts of the West Coast Main Line, which is more resource-intensive to operate, the intercity operator is unable to stop trains at Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield, Stockport, as well as Runcorn, on the strike day and these stations will not be open.

Avanti West Coast will also not serve Wilmslow due to operational reasons.

Services on the West Coast route will be further impacted on Saturday 30 July because of strike action by the train driver’s union, ASLEF, affecting several train operating companies. Drivers at Avanti West Coast are not taking part in this industrial action, but services are expected to be very busy as a result.



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