Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Clegg Calls for Ancient Pacers to Go

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Clegg Calls for Ancient Pacers to Go

Article excerpt

NICK Clegg is calling for the Government to get rid of outdated "cattle truck" trains from rail lines in the North by 2025.

Dilapidated Pacer trains, some of which are 30 years old, were due to be replaced as part of the new franchise for local lines due to be introduced by 2016.

But in a U-turn in August, the Department for Transport said the Pacers could be "modernised" instead, to keep them running for at least another decade.

Mr Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, criticised the decision as he prepared to launch a summit in Leeds bringing together people from across the North East, Yorkshire and the North West to consider how northern cities can compete globally.

He called on the Chancellor, George Osborne, to ensure funding for replacing the trains was included in the Autumn Statement, due on December 3. Mr Clegg said: "I want significant improvement - government money to buy better rolling stock to improve commuter routes in the North - also by 2025.

"Ancient rolling stock and lines that have not been upgraded in 30 years are not fit for a 21st century metropolis.

"Decrepit trains such as the Pacers, which are literally ancient buses on rails, are not a fair way for people in the North to get to and from work. …

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