YORKSHIRE’S long-suffering rail passengers are uncomfortably aware that too many of the carriages into which they are packed like sardines should long ago have been sent on one final journey – to the scrapyard.
Yet even to commuters accustomed to travelling on clapped-out trains, the extent to which the railways are running rolling stock that falls woefully short of modern standards might come as a surprise.
Pacer train insult is proof that Yorkshire needs rail investment and HS2 now – Dan Jarvis
About 800 carriages do not meet accessibility standards coming into force next year, including the hated Pacers on the Northern network in our region. This is further evidence of a failure in long-term planning to run a railway fit for the 21st century. It effectively discriminates against disabled passengers – an unacceptable state of affairs.
And once again, it is the people who have no choice but to use trains to get to and from work who potentially face disruption. Unless the Department for Transport grants permission for these relics to remain in use, they will have to be withdrawn, leading to even more train cancellations on top of those being inflicted on the public on a daily basis.
Realistically, no Government could countenance that, so the result is likely to be that these carriages will stay in service until new rolling stock arrives. But for the future, train operators must be compelled to run modern trains that disabled customers can use without a struggle.
Yorkshire's trains are now less reliable than they were a year ago in the aftermath of the Northern timetable chaos
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris says he is “really cross” about this issue. Perhaps so. Not, however, as cross as the passengers.