Andy Mellors has been appointed managing director of rail operator Avanti West Coast with immediate effect. Andy has previously held senior roles at Great Western Railway, South Western Railway and most recently as managing director of FirstGroup’s non-franchised rail businesses. He takes over from Steve Montgomery, First Rail managing director who has been acting Avanti managing director since September 2022.
From August 2022 Andy has been supporting the senior team at Avanti West Coast in developing and delivering their recovery programme. Performance at Avanti is steadily improving and since the introduction of the new timetable in mid-December, the number of services operated has increased by more than 40% compared to last summer, with more seats and better frequencies.
FirstGroup has also announced today an agreement with the Department for Transport to extend the current arrangements for the West Coast Partnership rail contract until October 2023. The West Coast Partnership rail contract comprises operation of Avanti West Coast and acting as shadow operator to the HS2 programme.
Steve Montgomery, First Rail Managing Director, said: “Andy Mellors brings with him a wealth of experience gained over many years in the industry and has worked hard to improve services for customers at Avanti since he began supporting the team from last summer. Performance at Avanti is steadily improving and the number of services we run has significantly increased since the new timetable was introduced in December, with more seats and better frequencies. Andy is well-placed to take on the role of managing director and lead the business through the next period, which will include further progress on our train upgrade and refurbishment programme.”
Image credit: FirstGroup