News: Trains in Leeds ‘not fit for purpose’

Train services in and out of Leeds are not meeting the region’s needs and need a radical tranformation, a top transport official has admitted.

The man in charge of rail franchises was defending a consultation on the future of train services in the region which has been criticised by transport campaigners for lacking ambition. Peter Wilkinson, rail franchising director at the Department for Transport, said the Government was asking “honest questions” about the future of rail services in the North and how the costs of improvements can be met.

Mr Wilkinson told the YEP the competition was aimed at transforming the quality of rail services in the North. “I don’t believe that they are fit for purpose given the amount of growth we have now seen in rail usage in the North over the last 20 years,” he said. “What we need is a rail service that is fit for purpose and capable of withstanding what will inevitably be continuation in that growth. To achieve that we’ve got some challenges and part of the challenge is how to fund investment in the infrastructure and the rolling stock to provide capacity for that growth and so we’ve asked some very honest questions.”  Yorkshire Evening Post 7th August 2014