Farron: Avanti Oxenholme lock-in an “unacceptable farce”

On Tuesday night, around 30 passengers alighted from the Avanti West Coast service from London Euston to Glasgow at Oxenholme. Alas, the station was closed. One of the passengers described the situation . They could scale the 8ft high gate, walk across the live tracks or “pick somewhere to try and sleep on a pavement until the morning”. Some reports suggest some passengers “took to climbing the 7-foot spiked gates and fences surrounding the station in order to get out.”


The hour was late but one passenger has the wits to ring Tim Farron, who got onto Avanti. “It was only when someone contacted Mr Farron that any help came, with a Network Rail worker opening the gate 45 minutes after the passengers arrived.”

Tim Farron said workers were told by the train operator that they could leave before the delayed train arrived. He said it was an ‘unacceptable farce’ and added:

Additionally, there was the concern that passengers would be forced to cross the live tracks to find an alternative route out of the station.

This is just a further example of the failures by Avanti.

We have seen a mass of cancellations of Avanti services, failures in the reservation systems, and now a locked station.

There are clearly systematic failures going on at Avanti and we cannot let it go unchecked.

Avanti have turned one of the best services in the country into one of the worst. What happened last night could have very quickly become dangerous and I have already written to Avanti to demand an explanation for their oversight.

We must now ask the question whether Avanti are a fit and proper outfit to run a franchise. The Department for Transport should seriously consider removing the franchise from them.

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  • Helen Dudden 18th Aug '22 - 11:35am

    I never realised Palmerston had retired to the country.
    My cat Rose, and two Havana cats plus two other’s were known as the rat pack. I lived previously in a flat where rats tried to rule. My neighbours spoke highly of the free rat catchers as they daily patrolled the area.

  • David Goble 19th Aug '22 - 9:09am

    I find this unbelievable from an organisation that is supposed to provide a “service”. Surely, the staff at Oxenholme MUST have known that this train was going to be delayed and that any disembarking passengers would need to leave the station!

  • Christopher Burden 20th Aug '22 - 1:54pm

    In BR days, station staff would have stayed ’til train arrived. Indeed, I remember this happening fairly often on the Thames Valley route out of London Paddington.

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