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Leeds gets extra carriages by Katie Silvester

Northern Rail is to get 20 additional carriages for use on its Leeds to Skip- ton/Ilkley and Leeds to Doncaster services from December this year. The Class 322 units, which are

equivalent to five trains, will be used to add extra services as well as lengthen some existing trains. Their introduction will free up some

diesel units for use on Northern’s Calder Valley line from Leeds to Manchester Victoria. Ian Bevan, managing director,

Northern Rail said: ‘We are delighted with today’s announcement. We’ve attracted 36 per cent more passengers since we began operating in 2004 and have been working closely with the Department for Transport and other partners to

introduce much needed additional capacity.

‘These carriages will enable us to

provide an extra 600,000 seats every year for passengers on peak time services in and around Leeds from December.’ Transport secretary Philip

Hammond added: ‘Even at a time of severe pressure on public spending, we cannot afford not to invest in Britain’s future – and that’s why we are investing more than £10m in providing these extra carriages for Yorkshire commuters. ‘These extra trains will ease crowding and provide passengers with more comfortable journeys.’ The carriages, which will be

cascaded from Scotrail, form part of the 650 extra carriages that the government has pledged to introduce by 2014, according to a DfT statement.

Leeds station

n See Philip Hammond interview on pages 18-21 for his comments on rolling stock cascades

Hammond: Government procurement systems need reforming


Government procurement needs to be simplified,

transport secretary Philip Hammond has said, and Whitehall needs to be able to build relationships with clients to discourage them from submitting inflated bids. Hammond was speaking in

response to a report by the Business Infrastructure Commission, an independent group of business leaders, which suggests recommendations for improving the UK’s infrastructure. The report makes five

recommendations, including ‘a review of infrastructure procurement capacity in government to drive down complexity, inflexibility, over- specification and unnecessary costs’. Hammond told the Financial

Times: ‘As a public procurer, you can’t build relationships with people. Every time you procure

something, you have to start from scratch again. I am urging colleagues to look at this to develop a collaborative regime that works so well for the private sector.’ Professor David Begg, chairman

of the Business Infrastructure Commission, said: ‘There are savings of £2-3bn annually to be found through more efficient procurement.’ The report’s other

recommendations were to produce a 10- to 40-year national infrastructure plan, closer scrutiny of ministerial planning decisions, attracting more private sector finance and developing a strategy to address skills.

‘Savings of £2-3bn annually could be found through efficient procurement’

ECML improvements begin south of York

Improvements to the East Coast Main Line will see York station get faster journey times, with work beginning in April. An additional line and a new junction are being installed at Holgate, south of York. Richard Lungmuss, route

director for Network Rail, said: ‘At the moment, trains heading from Leeds to the north east and Scotland conflict with other passenger services, often resulting in trains being forced to stand before they can access a platform. ‘This has been a frustrating

bottleneck for many years and this scheme will bring direct benefits to many thousands of passengers.’ Network Rail has been

working closely with train operators to minimise disruption to services. The works will be completed in October.

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MAY 2011 PAGE 5

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