Barbara has warned that Labour’s plan to supply extra rail carriages to reduce overcrowding on Greater Manchester trains is now under threat by the new coalition Government.
The Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has said that cuts will be made in the rail budget as part of the £638 million cut to the overall Department for Transport Budget. As a result the programme to buy 1300 new train carriages, nearly half of which had already been delivered by Labour, has been put on ice and will now be subject to an ‘urgent reappraisal”.
“The new Tory Transport Secretary says the predicted growth in passenger numbers has not materialised and therefore plans for new carriages are being put on hold. He should visit Worsley and Eccles South and other parts of Greater Manchester where rail services have seen a 50% growth in the past ten years, leading to there being only standing room on most peak time trains.
“We need to see more carriages on our trains to ease congestion. That is why I and other Labour MPs worked with Northern Rail and the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority to put the case for extra carriages in front of the previous Labour government.
“Unfortunately the swingeing cuts agenda of this new Tory and Lib Dem Government means that local rail commuters could lose out. I will oppose any attempt by the Government to cut the programme for new rail carriages for Northern Rail.”