MP Eric Pickles has backed calls for new trains to be introduced on the London Liverpool Street line.
Tory Mr Pickles, MP for Ongar and Brentwood, wants to see new rolling stock made a condition of the franchise which will replace Abellio Greater Anglia,awarded a two-year extension to its contract as revealed in last week’s Weekly News.
Mr Pickles said commuters deserve a better deal.
He said: “Although Abellio has promised an upgrade for rolling stock used on its commuter services, I would like to think any future franchisee would consider the comfort of its passengers and introduce modern rolling stock which will match up to the expectations of those people using the route on a daily basis.”
He backed calls from Chelmsford MP Simon Burns, who’s asked transport minister Patrick McLoughlin in Parliament to make new rolling stock a requirement of the franchise.
Mr McLoughlin said it would be something he would look at.
Most trains operating on the line are at least 20 years old.
Derek Monnery, chairman of the Essex Rail Users Federation added commuters felt cheated with fares going up despite shabby conditions.
He said: “Successive governments have starved the area of the cash needed to keep our trains up to date and in good condition.”