Avanti West Coast is increasing its services as the first stage in a recovery plan to step up the timetable on its network.
The intercity operator will be adding around 70 extra services a week on its busiest route between London and Manchester, compared with the current timetable. Introducing these additional services will provide around 40,000 extra seats a week on the West Coast Main Line. There will also be additional services on the London – Birmingham route.
There will then be a further increase of the timetable in December which will see three trains an hour on the London to Manchester route, an additional service to the West Midlands taking services to / from Birmingham to at least half-hourly, and the return of direct services to North Wales.
These extra trains follow an intensive analysis of the number of additional services that can be provided in a reliable and sustainable fashion. They also take account of the significant number of drivers who will be entering passenger service following recruitment and training – nearly 100 between April and December this year. The services are being targeted at the busiest routesnd times and are not dependent on overtime working.
From next week until early December, up to ten extra trains a day, over and above the existing timetable, will run between Manchester and London on both weekdays and weekends. These services will begin to be introduced on Tuesday 27 September, from when Avanti West Coast will run an additional ten trains on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and six additional trains on Wednesdays.
At the same time, on the Birmingham route, Avanti West Coast will introduce four additional trains a day (two in each direction) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Tickets for these services will be available for purchase over the coming days. The remaining additional services will be introduced as soon as possible.
Following this, in mid-December, Avanti West Coast will continue its recovery with a significant step up of the timetable. Further additional services will be added to Manchester, Birmingham and North Wales as well as maintaining regular services to Liverpool and Scotland. Overall, there will be more than 260 services a day on weekdays, compared with around 180 a day before December and 245 in May 2022.