Avanti West Coast reduces timetable: what this means for trains between Liverpool Lime Street to London

Liverpool services hit as Avanti West Coast reduces timetable and suspends tickets in backlash to ASLEF strike.

Avanti West Coast (AWC) have announced a temporary ticket suspension for its services including London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street and have slashed timetables from August 14.

Services have now been dramatically affected “until further notice”.

The company revealed that the measures were taken following “unofficial strike action” by ASLEF and higher reports of staff sickness. Due to this, there have been several “short-notice cancellations” affecting services.

ASLEF have responded to claims of unofficial strike action. An ASLEF member accused Avanti West Coast of “lying” and not employing “enough drivers to run services they have promised to run”.

AWC plans to temporarily suspend ticket sales for travel between 14 August and 11 September.

In June, Avanti were affected badly by RMT strikes, with Liverpool to London Euston experiencing the largest operational cuts. The company ran 25% of its usual timetable.

How will this affect services from Liverpool Lime Street?

AWC has issued a revised timetable from August 8 - August 12 on their website. They are currently finalising a reduced timetable that will commence August 14.

The train routes affected by the new timetable are:

  • London Euston - Liverpool Lime Street (One per hour)
  • London Euston - Manchester Picadilly (One per hour)
  • London Euston - Glasgow Central Station (One per hour)
  • London Euston - Birmingham New Street (One per hour)

Further additions include a service to Edinburgh via West Midlands every two hours and a shuttle service to Crewe and Holyhead. There will be a limited service between Euston and Chester, once a day.

AWC have amended their reduced timetable for this week (August 15 - August 19), with the following revisions:

Liverpool Lime Street - London Euston (August 16 and August 17)

  • 5:27, 7:07 and then every hour until 16:03, 17:03, 17:19, 18:20, 19:00, 20:07, 21:07, 22:00

Liverpool Lime Street - London Euston (August 18)

  • 7:47, 8:56, 10:05, 10:43, 11:38, 12:56, 13:56, 14:56

Liverpool Lime Street - London Euston (August 19)

  •   8:07 and then every hour until 16:03, 17:03, 18:03, 19:00, 20:07, 21:07

London Euston - Liverpool Lime Street (August 16 and August 17)

  • 5:26, 7:00, 7:47 and then every hour until 20:48

London Euston - Liverpool Lime Street (August 18)

  • 8:45, 9:47, 10:45, 11:50, 12:56, 13:55, 14:47, 15:56 

London Euston - Liverpool Lime Street (August 19)

  • 7:47 and then every hour until 20:48
RMT held strikes at Liverpool Lime Street back in June

What If I have already booked to travel with Avanti West Coast?

Passengers who have booked travel from August 14 are recommended to check the revised timetable.

If your train is removed from the timetable, you will be able to board an alternative AWC service either before or after your booked train.

If any passenger no longer wishes to travel, they can claim a full, fee-free refund from their point of purchase. You can find out more about how to claim your fee-free refund by visiting the AWC website.

Why are Avanti West Coast introducing a reduced timetable?

According to AWC, “unofficial strike action and staff sickness” is the primary reason for reduced services:

“From 14 August until further notice, we will be introducing a reduced timetable on our services. This is due to the current industrial relations climate which has resulted in severe staff shortages in some grades through increased sickness levels, as well as unofficial strike action by ASLEF members.” It reads.

The company has emphasised that this decision has been made to resolve severe “short-notice cancellations” affecting customers.

“The reduced timetable is being introduced to ensure a reliable service is delivered so our customers can travel with greater certainty. This decision was not taken lightly, and we are sorry for the enormous frustration and inconvenience this will cause.”

How has ASLEF responded?

Mick Wheelan has hit out at AWC “lies”

ASLEF General Secretary, Mick Whelan, hits back at claim that drivers are declaring themself unavailable for overtime:

“It’s a time of year when many people are on holiday. Drivers do not have to work overtime and do not wish to volunteer to work on glorious summer days.

“They are a cheapskate company that will not train enough drivers and rely on rest day working. The company is selling its customers short.”

ASLEF union members are planning a 24-hour walkout at nine railway companies on Saturday August 13.