Paula Disappointed at Avanti Franchise Renewal

Parliament has been dissolved until after the general election and I am no longer an MP.

28 Mar 2023
On behalf of my constituents, travelling commuters and our North West region, I find myself angry and disappointed at the decision to renew the franchise for Avanti trains on the West Coast mainline. They have manifestly failed to deliver a service that is acceptable for the travelling public.
As passengers, we are entitled to expect better. Minor improvements do not in any way justify the renewal of the contract and I am of the firm belief a different course of action should have been pursued.
During the debate in Parliament, I was able to make an intervention and ask the following of the Government:
During the period of Avanti’s improvement plan, the operator had the highest proportion on record of trains running more than 15 minutes late. By the Secretary of State’s own admission, Avanti has also lost the confidence of its customers. Why are the Government rewarding this gross incompetence with yet another six-month extension?
Time and time again, the North of England have been failed by a transport system unfit for purpose. As with other operators like TransPennine Express, there must be firm consequences for poor performance.

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