Page last updated at 17:39 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

'Progress' in talks on Northern Rail overcrowding

Crowded train
Some commuters have complained about overcrowding

Transport leaders in Greater Manchester are "confident" of getting extra train carriages to ease overcrowding - but not until later in the year.

The declaration from Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA) followed a meeting with Transport Secretary Lord Adonis.

They said progress had been made in the talks to secure "essential" extra stock for Northern Rail services.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it hoped to make an announcement later.

Last year, the GMITA secured 120 extra seats for five separate overcrowded services in the region.

But complaints from passengers have continued and a cross-party delegation from Manchester met Lord Adonis to press for extra short-term funding.

Although we have made some progress we understand that commuters' patience is wearing thin whilst this dialogue continues
Ian Macdonald, GMITA vice chair

Speaking afterwards, Councillor Keith Whitmore, chair of the GMITA, said: "As a first step we are confident that we are going to see additional rolling stock coming to Greater Manchester this year.

"We have successfully demonstrated through our work with DfT that GMITA was right all along that extra carriages are essential if we are to meet current and future demand for rail travel."

The group has invited Lord Adonis to come to Manchester in the next few weeks, when they hope to make a further announcement.

Councillor Ian Macdonald, GMITA vice chair, said: "Although we have made some progress we understand that commuters' patience is wearing thin whilst this dialogue continues.

"We would like to give passengers an absolute assurance that we will continue to put pressure on government to end the misery of their daily journeys."

A DfT spokesperson said: "We are currently involved in detailed commercial negotiations to deliver additional trains for the busiest services in the north of England.

"We hope to make an announcement about this in due course."



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