Posted: Wed 8th May 2024

Deeside politicians slam Avanti Trains for poor service in Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

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Deeside politicians Jack Sargeant MS and Mark Tami MP have strongly criticised Avanti Trains for its substandard performance on routes across North Wales to major cities including London, Manchester, and Birmingham.

The criticism follows numerous complaints from residents about Avanti’s reliability.

The train services, which fall under the responsibility of the UK Government, have experienced significant levels of cancellations.

In March of this year alone, 21% of Avanti’s North Wales services were cancelled.

In response, after a Written Question from Jack Sargeant, a Welsh Government Minister penned a letter to Avanti, labelling the situation as unacceptable.

The issue was escalated in the Senedd on Tuesday when Sargeant raised the matter with the First Minister.

Jack asked: “The poor performance of Avanti trains in north Wales is extremely concerning, as the First Minister says.”

“In March this year, 21 per cent of services were cancelled.”

“Myself, the local MP Mark Tami, and train users in north Wales are absolutely fed up with an operator that seems incapable of turning things around.”

“First Minister, will you use your office, as well as the office of the Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport, to stress to Avanti how unacceptable this situation is for residents in north Wales?”

“And do you agree that the Avanti example further underscores UK Labour’s points that change is needed on a UK level?”

First minister Vaughan Gething responded saying: “I’m happy to set out that I will, of course, fully support the Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport in looking to see urgent improvement made within the performance of Avanti West Coast.”

“More than one in five of their services are cancelled. In contrast, just 2.4 per cent of Transport for Wales services were cancelled in the same time period.”

“Now, that’s a fact that can’t be ignored, and the Member and his constituents will, I’m afraid, be subject to that very poor performance from Avanti West Coast.”

“It seems that Avanti are more concerned about improving their services to Manchester and to Liverpool than they are to Llandudno, Bangor and Holyhead, and in fact the UK Government Department for Transport hardly ever mentions the Welsh side of the franchise.”

“I want to see real improvement made, real investment made. I want to see real investment made by Network Rail as well as the franchise itself. I believe change is desirable as well as inevitable.”

“I hope that people can look at the significant investment that we have made in TfW and recognise that it is a real success story now for passengers in every part of Wales.”

“It requires a long-term plan and long-term investment to deliver real improvement, as we already see in Transport for Wales services right across Wales.”

Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami commented on the ongoing issues: “This really is unacceptable and shows how Avanti and the Tory Government are failing North Wales. My colleagues in the North West have faced exactly the same problem, but the UK Government has done nothing.”

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