Cross-party support for more diesel trains for the North & Midlands

Northern Rail train for York

Cross-party leaders of the group of six Integrated Transport Authorities (ITAs) have today written to Secretary of State for Transport, Lord Adonis, to raise their concerns over the lack of new diesel rolling stock.

In their letter, Cllr Mark Dowd (Labour) from Merseyside, Cllr Gary Clark (Conservative) from the West Midlands, and Cllr Keith Whitmore (Lib Dem) from Greater Manchester said:

‘Our concern centres on the apparent discrepancy in provision between the limited amount of rolling stock we now seem likely to receive, the timetable for electrification which comes on stream and the pressing demand for rolling stock in the short term. We do not believe that the current plans under HLOS will deliver enough rolling stock in our areas quickly enough to meet passenger demands and assist with the economic recovery of our areas. As a result of our understanding of the situation, we believe that there continues to be a strong case for new diesel rolling stock to serve our cities.’

They have requested a meeting with the Department following the general election.


For more contact Jonathan Bray on 0113 251 7445


1. Facts on rail in the PTE areas:

  • Northern Rail has had no new carriages in the last 5 years. London Midland and the preceding franchise covering the West Midlands received 339 over the period. Meanwhile, franchises providing commuter services in London and the South East have had 580 new carriages over the last 5 years.
  • In 2007, the approximate average age of the fleet serving demand in PTE areas was 13 years old.
  • 49% of peak hour arrivals into Birmingham have standing passengers.
  • 30% of peak hour arrivals into Liverpool have standing passengers.
  • 21% of peak hour arrivals into Manchester carry passengers in excess of total capacity.