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South Ribble MP tells Avanti West Coast passengers are ‘fed up’ of continued poor service

Posted on - 30th May, 2023 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston News, Preston Railway Station, South Ribble News, Transport
Avanti West Coast LGBTQ+ Pride Train
Avanti West Coast LGBTQ+ Pride Train

The managing director of Avanti West Coast has spoken to the South Ribble MP about the train operator’s poor service.

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Andy Mellors talked with Katherine Fletcher in Westminster last week about the service, which remains plagued with cancellations and delays.

The government extended the operator’s franchise for six months until October this year but the MP made it clear in the meeting in parliament that passengers need to see further improvements.

“I thank Andy for speaking to me about my concerns over a continued poor service on this line,” said Katherine.

“He has only been in post since March and assured me the performance will continue to improve. I am happy to give him time but I will be holding him to this pledge on behalf of South Ribble rail users.

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“Passengers are fed up with this operator right now and it needs to win back their trust as soon as possible.

“A failure to do so by October will very likely lead to me pushing the government to strip Avanti of its franchise.”

Read more: Final M55 overnight closures for Preston Western Distributor junction

Katherine was told about positive news regarding the refurbishment programme of rolling stock.

Trains servicing Preston are typically 11 car trains and now all but three have been refurbished with the much welcome new seating. The upgrade also adds increased capacity as one first class carriage has been converted to the new improved standard specification.

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Katherine said: “In fairness to Avanti I am pleased to hear this investment is ongoing and starting to make a difference.

“Comfort and being able to get a seat are important but not as important as actually having a train arrive on time.”

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