Plans announced this week by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to scrap ‘Pacer’ trains have been warmly welcomed by Andrew Stunell MP & Lisa Smart, Prospective MP for Hazel Grove.
New trains will replace the Pacers, originally based on bus designs from the 1980’s, giving Stockport rail passengers more seats, more services and a brand new fleet of modern trains over the next five years.
Commenting, Lisa Smart, Prospective MP for Hazel Grove said –
“This is great news for rail commuters in Stockport. Finally we can leave the old, rickety pacer trains in the past where they belong and replace them with more fit-for-purpose, modernised trains.”
“More and more people are choosing to make their way to work, school or college on the train, and it is only right that the service they receive is up to the job. These plans will go some way towards achieving a new and improved rail service for all Stockport rail commuters.”
Andrew Stunell MP said –
“Whoever wins the new franchise they are now instructed to scrap the Pacers. This is excellent news for travellers on the lines from Romiley, Rose Hill, and Marple into Piccadilly, and will also much improve passenger experience on the Hazel Grove and Buxton line. With over 200 new carriages on order we should also see an end to the severe overcrowding facing commuters on these lines, too.
“Lisa and I will still be pushing for better evening and Sunday services, but this is a clear signal that the Lib Dems are serious about investing in top class local public transport.”
From now on, any bidders for the new Northern and TransPennine Express rail franchises will have to satisfy further requirements that intend to modernise and improve the railway service in the north.
This includes -
- replace outdated Pacer trains;
- introduce a brand new fleet of modern trains;
- tackle crowding;
- invest in stations;
- accommodate over 19,000 more commuters in Manchester during the morning peak;
- add over 200 new train services every day across both franchises;
- provide over one-third more capacity across both franchises;
- introduce free Wi-Fi.
The publication of the Invitations to Tender is the first step in the transformation of train travel between the northern cities. It is also a significant step in the creation of a northern powerhouse for the UK economy.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said -
“This is an historic moment for the North. These old trains have been rattling across rails in the North for over 30 years; a constant source of complaint which have held the region back.
“These plans include a new fleet of trains and improved services that will better connect our great Northern towns and cities. Modernising rail in the North will encourage business, boost tourism and give commuters the journey they deserve; one that is fit for a 21st century metropolis.”
Bidders for the Trans Pennine Express franchise have until 28 May 2015 to submit their bids. For Northern, the deadline is 26 June 2015.