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Transport Committee Chair responds to DfT rolling stock report

Responding to the publication of Rolling Stock Perspective by the Department for Transport, Cllr Keith Wakefield, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“While I welcome the publication of this report, it only states what local passengers already know and have been telling us; that there aren’t enough trains to meet demand, and that a significant number of those that are available are long past their sell-by date."

Rolling Stock Perspective - Moving Britain Ahead sets out the Department for Transport's (DfT) viewpoint on rolling stock and their aspirations for the sector as a whole.

It aims to make DfT act as better client of rolling stock for passengers and taxpayers, drive improvements in terms of passenger quality and offer improved information and transparency for stakeholders with regard to passenger rolling stock.

“The new Northern franchisee will have to supply at least 120 new-build diesel carriages", continued Cllr Wakefield, "but Northern has over 100 Pacer ‘railbuses’ which will need to be withdrawn after 2020 when accessibility legislation comes into effect – so all those extra carriage will be used to replace existing stock, not provide much-needed additional seating.

“Meanwhile, passengers on TransPennine Express trains – one of the fastest-growing rail markets – face overcrowding for most of the day, and will soon find some of their trains being sent to a different operator. They could have been replaced by electric trains, but the Department for Transport has paused that scheme.

“We want train travel to be an attractive, affordable option as a strong local rail network will help build economic growth and make the Chancellor’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ a reality and passengers  need assurances that there will significant improvements in the next five years.”

Read the publication on the DfT web site (opens in new window).

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