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Metro Chairman Cllr James Lewis has welcomed the
announcement by the Department for Transport that local train
operator, Northern, will be receiving additional trains, some of
which will be used to ease crowding on busy West Yorkshire commuter
"The introduction of six additional diesel carriages in
December, along with the 20 electric train carriages already
earmarked for local services will be good news for some of West
Yorkshire hard-pressed commuters," said Cllr Lewis.
"An extra 824 seats will be available each weekday for local
peak-time passengers on top of the 2,000 seats on the 20 carriages
"I am pleased to see that our urgent calls for more capacity are
being listened to, and that local passengers will at least see some
of the additional trains that they are being asked to finance
through the Government's national fare rise in December."
The additional carriages announced today will be used to provide
more seats on trains from Halifax and Harrogate to Leeds, and
journeys between Leeds and Sheffield, Huddersfield and York. The
electric trains which were announced in April will provide more
peak-time capacity between Doncaster, Wakefield, Leeds, Bradford,
Ilkley and Skipton.
"While today's announcement is good news, passenger numbers on
West Yorkshire's rail network have grown by over 50 per cent over
the past decade and will carry on rising," continued Cllr Lewis.
"It is important that we continue planning ahead to ensure that any
future franchises for local services includes measures to meets
that ongoing growth."
The introduction of 26 additional carriages in December will be
the first since significant increase in train since Metro's
innovative £20m partnership with Yorkshire Forward and
Northern, which initiative saw the introduction of 12 additional
carriages or 1,700 additional seats on peak-time trains into and
out of Leeds in 2006.