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Avanti Third Class Plan 'Leap Backwards' - Cortes

10 December 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has lambasted Avanti - the new operator of the West Coast Mainline rail service over plans to offer three classes of travel on its routes.

Third class travel has not been seen on UK railways for more than 60 years. Avanti – Italian for forward –which replaced Virgin Trains at the weekend has said it plans to offer premium economy as well as standard and first tickets.

The operator – whose parent company is a partnership between FirstGroup and Italy’s Trenitalia - has not yet revealed the cost of the new fares.

Cortes said: “Creating a third class of train passenger is completely unacceptable – a leap backwards from Avanti. It’s a trick even Virgin didn’t try, and that’s saying something.

“Premium economy is likely to reduce the amount of seats available to standard fare paying passengers, and that will particularly be the case during peak times.

“Avanti have had the franchise in their hands only a matter of days and already they are cooking up new ways to screw more out of passengers. These privateers will stop at nothing to continue fleecing the public.

“Avanti should be ashamed – what we need on our railways is more equality not less. Only putting the network back into public hands will raise standards for all.

“A vote for Labour on Thursday will end the gravy train which has gone on for far too long at our expense.”

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