Talking Politics: Some decent trains will help ease traffic chaos

The easiest way to manage traffic congestion is to get people out of their cars and on to public transport. Easier said than done.

Yet, so much more could be done to ease the rush hour chaos that so often snarls up main roads in and out of Halifax.

We have an excellent rail service from the town, with frequent trains to and from key centres like Bradford, Leeds and Manchester.

If only the regularity of the trains was matched by their quality. The ‘pacer’ units, which must be the worst designed trains in railway history, are still in service.

Frankly, they should have been discontinued years ago. This week a new £1.2 bn train contract was announced for East Coast Mainline. That’s the second set of new rolling stock in 20 years for that line.

Yes, it’s a premier route but are the provincial and branch lines being forgotten by the Department for Transport? The line through Halifax has not seen new rolling stock for decades. This urgently needs to change. I am continuing to campaign for action to improve the quality and the quantity of rolling stock.

Judging by the discussions I have had with passengers at Halifax Railway station, they are in agreement that improvements are essential and need to be made.

Similar sentiments have been expressed by Sowerby Bridge users, who also lament the number of trains that don’t stop.

So, what is to be done? In a way things have come a long way in the last two decades.

Halifax Station had crumbling buildings, infrequent trains and a lack of staff. Yet the glass is still only half full.

With some decent trains we really could have a local service to be proud of and get more people out of their cars and on to the trains.

At the moment, too many must be thinking the opposite.