Rolling stock

21.10.19

Sheffield City Region mayor backs compensation for rail passengers

Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis has called on Northern Rail to provide passengers compensation and cheaper fares on routes still where Pacer trains will be retained in the region into 2020 – long past the initial deadline for their retirement.

In a letter co-signed by mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority representative on the Transport for the North board, the leaders expressed their “deep disappointment and frustration” and say passengers have the “right to expect a reliable, quality service.”

The letter asks Northern to commit to reducing fares on those routes on which Pacer trains remain in operation, up until their replacement with upgraded trains next year.

Mr Jarvis said: “This is yet another example of rail passengers in the North being treated like second-class citizens.

“It’s unacceptable that people will have to continue travel on these relics, which should have been consigned to a transport museum long ago.

READ MORE: Upgraded Pacers for use past 2020 on track for April launch

READ MORE: Arriva signs £490m rolling stock contract to replace Northern’s Pacers

“A reduction in fares on affected routes, throughout the period that passengers have to travel on what are essentially buses on rails, is the very least that could be done. I expect Northern to do the right thing and compensate its passengers.”

Pacer trains had been introduced in the early 1980s, originally planned as a short-term solution to a significant lack of rolling stock in service.

However, many routes in the North have continued to run these trains up to this day, and despite pledges that all units would be retired by the end of this year, Northern has admitted they will still be running on a small number of routes until 2020. Those routes include in the Sheffield City Region.

Main Image Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Archive/PA Images

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