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Avanti West Coast Announces £600 Pay For Train Drivers Overtime

Train drivers at Avanti West Coast will now receive £600 for an overtime shift per day, following a deal reached with the union Aslef.

Avanti expressed its hopes that the improved compensation for additional shifts would enhance the reliability and resilience of its services, addressing concerns over cancellations, delays, and service quality.

The new agreement, effective March 29 and lasting for 12 months, sees a significant increase from the previous £125 fee for rest day working.

Although initial reports suggested some drivers could potentially earn up to £100,000 annually, neither Aslef nor Avanti confirmed these figures.

Avanti operates the West Coast Main Line, connecting London Euston and Glasgow Central, with extensions to Birmingham, North Wales, Liverpool, Manchester, and Edinburgh. A company spokesperson highlighted that the deal aims to bolster service reliability and resilience while ensuring drivers receive training on new trains.

However, Avanti has faced criticism regarding its performance, prompting calls for contract termination. Aslef’s general secretary, Mick Whelan, noted that Avanti’s staffing levels had impacted its ability to deliver advertised services, though the union accepted the company’s offer.

Rail minister Huw Merriman emphasized in Parliament that the government would not terminate Avanti’s contract, stating the importance of addressing underlying issues rather than changing operators.

The settlement with Avanti is distinct from the broader dispute between Aslef and several rail companies across England regarding drivers’ pay and working conditions. The ongoing disagreement has led to numerous one-day strikes, upcoming walkouts, and overtime bans.

In 2021, the median salary for train drivers stood at £59,189 per year.

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