THE Welsh Lib Dems have called the extension for the use of Welsh pacer trains a disgrace.
A Welsh Lib Dems spokesperson said: “These trains are on display in the National Rail Museum and Iran has ditched them, yet Welsh passengers will continue to use them daily
“Following the announcement today from the Department for Transport that Class 142 trains have been given their third dispensation in just over a year to continue in service, Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on Transport for Wales and Ken Skates to apologise to travellers across South Wales.
“Pacer trains were built by British Rail in the early 1980s with a planned lifespan of 15-20 years. Following decades of under-investment in rolling stock, they were given extension after extension but were finally due to be disposed of last year as they did not meet disability regulations that came into force on 1 January 2020. Yet passengers in South Wales face many more months of travel on these unsuitable trains.
“British Rail sold 12 pacer trains to Iran in 2001, where they served Tehran’s suburban lines continuing in service before being scrapped around 2005.”
The Department for Transport has now given the Welsh Government its third extension in 2020 due to a failure to secure replacement stock.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Rodney Berman said:
“The news that passengers will continue to travel on these dilapidated and unsuitable trains for many more months will be a blow to thousands of passengers who have been let down time and time again with the promise of replacement trains.
“South Wales is now the only part of the UK and indeed the world where these pacer trains are in use. They are so old that one is currently on display at the National Rail Museum in York!
“Before the COVID pandemic passengers were regularly complaining of overcrowding and the Welsh Government have had years to prepare for this yet are no closer to scrapping these trains once and for all.
“Passengers are owed an apology.”