Following the announcement today (9th December 2015) by the government that it intends to award the Northern franchise to Arriva Rail North Limited, local Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop urged the government that the “replacement of pacer trains currently operating on the tracks across Teesside can’t come soon enough.”
Under the plans, Arriva will invest £1bn in total, including £400m on 98 new trains to replace the outdated Pacer trains that were built from bus bodies in the 1980s.
Responding to the announcement Tom said:
“I’m sure commuters across Teesside who have ever had to use the pacer trains will welcome this announcement.
“Public transport across Teesside, and in particular the pacer trains, has been an embarrassment for too long and I have campaigned for upgrades for a number of years.
“For me, it is vital that we put pressure on Arriva and the government to ensure that Teesside is high on the priority list when it comes to rolling out the replacement programme. 2019 is still a long time away so I will do anything I can to speed up the process so that we see the back of these outdated pacer trains once and for all.”