Transport “chaos” has fuelled new questions over future investment in Rochdale’s trains.
Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd has hit out at the government and claimed Ministers are “running scared” after scaled back plans for electrification between Manchester and Leeds were revealed on Friday.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Lloyd attempted to get across local frustration before MPs broke-up for the summer and demanded that the government allow a debate on Rochdale’s “grossly inadequate” rail system.
Mr Lloyd, who has long-campaigned for a ’case for change’ as the Interim-Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “With recent announcements of cutbacks and chaos in government investment across the country, it is important to secure reassurances that the quality and quantity of public transport serving my constituents are not further reduced. We must also ensure the quality of rolling stock.
He added: “My constituents are right to complain that by the time trains reach Littleborough and Rochdale stations each morning, there is barely room to stand up. It addition, the rolling stock which serves Rochdale and the surrounding areas is out of date.
The government’s climbdown came as the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling visited the latest expansion of Manchester Airport, but Mr Lloyd took a swing at the government over an attempt to “avoid” Parliamentary scrutiny. He said: “Given that the Secretary of State for Transport has made an announcement about cuts affecting various parts of the UK, the government is running scared and avoiding questions. Mr Grayling should have been in Parliament to answer concerns from MPs across the country, including from Rochdale.”
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