Avanti West Coast urges rail passengers to check before travelling as train managers strike

Rail passengers are being warned of fresh travel disruption due to further strikes

Avanti West Coast is urging rail passengers to check before travelling as train managers prepare to strike on Sunday.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will walk out in a row over rosters meaning a significantly reduced timetable will be in operation, with fewer services running during limited operating hours.

The RMT said Avanti train managers are angry at having their work-life balance ruined, with significant cuts to rest days and short notice changes to shift patterns.

General secretary Mick Lynch said: “Avanti’s treatment of their staff is some of the worst we’ve seen in the industry and their overall mismanagement of the franchise is causing repeated cancellations for passengers.

“Avanti continue to operate with a siege mentality hoping that our members will simply give in. The truth is they need to negotiate rosters properly with our union and run the railway in a professional way. That seems a long way off and our industrial campaign will continue into next month.”

Rail passengers are being warned of fresh travel disruption on Sunday (Photo: Getty Images)

Which train services are running?

On Sunday (20 November), the inter-city operator will run one train per hour from London Euston to each of Manchester, Glasgow, and Liverpool, with services to Liverpool going via the West Midlands – including calls at Coventry, Birmingham International, Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton – due to planned upgrade work by Network Rail between Rugby and Stafford.

Due to limited operating hours, the first train of the day will depart Euston just after 8am and the last train of the day from Euston will leave mid-afternoon at around 4.30pm. Services to some destinations will also have longer journey times as trains are diverted due to the major upgrade work.

Fans attending the Comic Con event in Liverpool are being advised to find alternative transport due to the limited journey options, while North Wales, Shrewsbury, Chester, Blackpool and Edinburgh will have no Avanti West Coast services because the timetable is significantly reduced.

Trains are expected to be busy due to fewer services running during shorter hours of operation so customers are strongly advised to check before they travel, including the details of their last train home.

More strike disruption this month

More strike action will cause further disruption later this month as members of the drivers union Aslef at 11 train operators are due to walk out on 26 November.

Union members are striking in a long-running dispute over pay which will cripple services across the country. Passengers are being warned that some services will be severely disrupted and some will not run at all.

The strike will affect the following train operators:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Chiltern Railways
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Great Western Railway
  • Greater Anglia
  • London North Eastern Railway
  • Northern Trains
  • Southeastern
  • Transpennine Express
  • West Midlands Trains

Rugby fans travelling to England v South Africa at Twickenham and to Cardiff for the Autumn International match Wales v Australia will be affected.

Some disruption is expected on Sunday 27 November as workers return to their duties, and members of the RMT at Thames Valley Signalling Centre in Didcot are on strike on Saturday and Monday over the sacking of one of its local officials.

A spokesman said: “We do not want to disrupt passengers but employers should follow proper procedures and our members feel that was not done in this case. The union is also considering its options including legal action and will not be commenting further.”