Outdated Pacer trains here to stay

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Ministers have come under fire for shelving plans to scrap the outdated Pacer trains which run on the Calder Valley line.

The 30-year-old trains were due to be replaced in 2016 as part of local franchise contracts, but replacement plans have been pushed back by at least three years.

The move comes following a pledge was made earlier this year by the then transport minister Stephen Hammond to remove the Pacer trains from the network by 2016.

The trains will fall foul of disability discrimination legislation if access is not improved by 2019.

Josh Fenton-Glynn, Labour parliamentary candidate for Calder Valley, said: “We have had bold announcements from this government about High Speed rail for the north whilse Brighouse is stuck with trains not fit for the twenty-first century.

“The lower Calder Valley is badly served by the rail system - we need political leadership that will fight for modern trains on the line, a better station at Brighouse and new train stations in Hipperholme and Elland.”

The trains will fall foul of disability discrimination legislation if access is not improved by 2019.

A DfT spokesman said: “We recognise that they fall short of many passengers’ expectations.

“We will specifically ask bidders for the franchise how they will replace, or modernise, these trains to give passengers a better experience.”

The revelation comes after news that most rail fares across the country will rise by 3.5 per cent in January, with some soaring as much as 5.5 per cent - largely to fund better, more comfortable trains routes in the South East.