Assurances on train upgrades welcomed

Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox has welcomed assurances that rail commuters locally will see a huge difference in the quality of their trains by 2020.

Mrs Cox sought and received assurances from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority that rolling stock presently in use will be replaced and upgraded and that the old Pacer trains, which have been on local lines for the best part of 30 years, will be decommissioned.

Mrs Cox said: “The present rolling stock is old, uncomfortable and there isn’t nearly enough of it. I am very pleased to hear that by 2020 we will see the end of the Pacers, replaced by more modern, refurbished trains as well as new ones.

“Rail investment is not only important for commuters but it is also key to growing our regional economy. The government’s so called Northern Powerhouse agenda may have stalled but we must ensure that the north, and Yorkshire in particular, can grow and prosper.

“Better trains and electrification of the Transpennine route are integral parts of this and I am delighted we have been able to overcome Government resistance and secure commitments on both.”

Mrs Cox was one of a number of Yorkshire MPs who forced the Government to backtrack on plans to delay electrification indefinitely. The plans, promised by the government before the election but shelved immediately afterwards, will now go ahead but with significant delays.

Mrs Cox met with a director of the authority last week.

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