During Parliamentary Questions to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, I asked what guarantees he will give a guarantee that some of Northern Rail’s diesel stock will not be transferred to TransPennine Express (TPE) to supplement the gap left by an earlier stock transfer from TPE to the Chilterns Railways.
In response to my question Mr McLoughlin said:
“What we have set out to do is match, where we possibly can, the growing passenger capacity with the availability of the railway network. As I have pointed out, a huge amount of new rolling stock is coming on line in the next few years. I therefore hope that we will be able to relieve some of the initial problems that the hon. Lady has mentioned.”
Telling commuters who are squashed together like sardines day after day that new rolling stock is coming along in the next few years is little consolation and shows a complete lack of forward planning by the government’s transport department. The Government have just extended the Northern Rail franchise until 2016; it is disappointing that the Government didn’t use that opportunity more effectively to improve the quality and capacity of rolling stock for my constituents. There is little clarity on how this will improve for Saddleworth commuters.
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