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Avanti train drivers to be paid £600 for overtime shifts

The settlement comes amid ongoing scheduling disruption (Getty Images)
The settlement comes amid ongoing scheduling disruption (Getty Images)

Avanti West Coast train drivers will receive an increased fee for working overtime shifts as part of an agreement with the Aslef union.

The “rest day working” deal means drivers will now be paid a flat £600 to work an extra shift on top of their standard four-day week.

Before the agreement, drivers received a flat payment of £125 in addition to their paid hourly rate – earning from £421 to £495 depending on whether they worked an eight or 10-hour shift.

The Sunday Times reported that the pay increase could take some drivers’ average annual salary to an unconfirmed figure around £100,000.

According to Avanti recruitment, a typical train driver salary “of circa £70,000” without overtime pay, can be reached “within just a few years”.

The new deal will remain until 13 March 2025 and hopes to improve the “reliability” of the train operator’s services.

Last month, rail minister Huw Merriman said that Avanti West Coast will “never be able to deliver a proper service” due to its current drivers’ contracts.

A spokesperson for Avanti said: “We are pleased to reach agreement on rest day working... It will help ensure our services are more reliable and resilient while we continue training our drivers on our brand-new trains.”

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan confirmed that the overtime conflict had been settled with Avanti.

The settlement comes amid ongoing scheduling disruption and 22 months of industrial action due to disputes between UK train operators and Aslef over pay and working conditions.

Members of the Aslef union plan to halt thousands of trains on 5, 6 and 8 April. The aim is to disrupt services on the 14 rail firms in England that are controlled by the UK government and represented by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).

The industrial action is set to bring the capital to a standstill on Monday 8 April when the majority of Tube and commuter trains will be cancelled.