Full timetable to be honoured on Virgin Trains east coast route despite strike action
Virgin Trains has announced it will run a full timetable during the industrial action declared by the RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport) trade union.
The union says its members will walk-out for 48 hours on 28 and 29 April on Virgin Trains’ east coast route, which runs between Edinburgh and London.
However, Virgin Trains’ detailed contingency plans mean a normal timetable will run and the attempt by the RMT leadership to disrupt communities the length of Britain will fail.
Virgin Trains has made changes to customer-facing roles on board which see a single person on each train take overall responsibility for the customer experience on our trains, supported by a team of hosts.
It says this will mean a better experience for customers. It also has zero impact on safety. We have repeatedly assured the RMT that the safety critical role of the guard will remain on board, with the new Train Manager role taking responsibility.
David Horne, Managing Director for Virgin Trains on the east coast, said: “I’m pleased to announce that we will be able to run a full timetable during the RMT strike, and would like to reassure customers that they can plan and book their journeys as normal and with confidence.
“The Bank Holiday weekend sees a number of exciting events on our route including the Tour de Yorkshire, so we wanted to do everything we possibly could to ensure we offer a full timetable, and continue to support communities and local economies along our network.
“The changes we have made are part of the customer-centric revolution that’s underway. We’ve already completely refreshed our entire fleet of trains with all new interiors, and next year we will have our ground-breaking Azuma trains coming into service.
“Alongside more modern trains, we want a modern customer service proposition – one that focuses firmly on the customer.
“The on-board changes came into force on March 31st 2017 and have already seen us achieve our second highest customer satisfaction score since taking over the franchise, so we are confident the changes are benefitting customers.
“With our guarantees that there will be no compulsory redundancies, no impact on safety and a full timetable in place during the walk-outs, this pointless strike will cost RMT members pay for no reason.”