VIDEO: Southport MP welcomes the death of Pacer trains


Photo: John Pugh

John Pugh has welcomed the news that train services from Southport to Manchester are to be improved.

There will be a new hourly service from Southport right through to Leeds via Manchester and either Bradford or Dewsbury.

And there will be more trains from Southport to Manchester, with more evening services too. It is envisaged that the improved services will open up Southport to new markets and boost the town’s economy.

The Government announced yesterday (Wednesday) that the Northern rail franchise will be operated by Arriva Rail North, and that the TransPennine Express franchise will be delivered by First Trans Pennine Express from April 2016 until 2025 and 2023 respectively.

Arriva has already agreed to replace the controversial Pacer trains.

Southport MP John Pugh told the “This confirms the death of the Pacers and is a victory for those of us who have campaigned for their removal but within the small print the possibility of Southport losing a direct train to Manchester Airport is as real as ever.”

Cllr Liam Robinson, chair of Merseytravel and director of Rail North, said: “This is a big step forward, not only in better connecting the Liverpool City Region to other cities to make the most of employment and leisure opportunities to support economic growth, but also in driving up standards for people who live locally.

“I have always been conscious that the City Region’s rail network is in two halves and the standards people enjoy can vary greatly depending on postcode. This isn’t acceptable.

“The Merseyrail network is managed locally and scores consistently highly for reliability and customer satisfaction, while the City Line is part of the national rail network and standards lag behind.

“Being part of Rail North has given us the opportunity to influence the franchising process beyond a ‘like-for-like’ to better tailor it to support the Liverpool City Region’s transport and growth ambitions, and improve consistency and standards across the board.”

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