On 9 December last year, FirstGroup and Trenitalia embarked on a journey that will play a frontline role in levelling up the UK economy by helping to deliver one of the largest investment programmes the rail industry has ever seen.
Our investment plans for Avanti West Coast, and the work of our West Coast Partnership Development business on an exciting future of High Speed services, makes the West Coast Partnership a unique undertaking. It is also an undertaking we intend to deliver in close collaboration with our customers and stakeholders across the whole network. Our mission is to deliver a progressive railway service that generates nationwide prosperity and pride, in line with FirstGroup’s overall vision of providing easy and convenient mobility, improving quality of life by connecting people and communities.
As we all grapple with the impact of coronavirus, whilst our vision remains unaltered and as exciting as it was six months ago, our immediate sights have naturally shifted towards the safety of our customers and our people during these challenging times.
Therefore, the focus of our first newsletter is the steps we are taking to make travel as safe as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic. For our passengers travelling with us on our Avanti services during these difficult times we would like to assure you that our trains are being cleaned using the latest innovation and cleaning materials. Also, following the recent Government announcement, we have issued all our staff with face masks to ensure their and our passengers’ safety whilst on board our trains. We continue to maintain safe social distancing, wherever possible, by encouraging our customers to travel during quieter periods. We are also strongly recommending that passengers book a reservation on their train when they purchase a ticket. This has successfully ensured that we provide a safe environment for our passengers and our people when travelling with Avanti.
Our station teams are also working hard to reconfigure passenger flows at stations to maintain safe distances between passengers and staff. Passengers are also being urged to take all necessary hygiene precautions, including frequent hand washing and wearing face coverings if they can. Full details of the Government’s updated guidance for passengers using public transport can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#public-transport
Your support and cooperation thus far have been incredible, for which we thank you. As we slowly emerge from lockdown, we look forward to establishing with you the new relationships that will help to deliver major plans for new trains, more services, and a High Speed future on the West Coast.