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Commons speaker tells West Midlands rail operator Avanti West Coast: "Your services are appalling"

Avanti West Coast has been told to "do better" by the rail minister amid warnings HS2 cutbacks could "badly hit" services north of the West Midlands.

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Avanti West Coast has faced major delays and cancellations

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who represents Chorley, criticised the "appalling service" on the West Coast Main Line.

MPs heard one Manchester business owner often travels to London the night before a meeting as he "can't rely" on Avanti.

The operator, which runs trains from the West Midlands to Glasgow in the north and London to the south. It was recently forced to apologise for the number of cancelled trains over the Christmas period, saying a combination of strikes, sickness and bad weather had all played a role. Only 44 per cent of trains arrived on time over the festive period.

Executives at the operator were also criticised recently for boasting about the "free money" it received from the taxpayer.

The performance of Avanti West Coast was subject of a debate in the Commons.

Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, says the service provided by Avanti West Coast is 'appalling'