'Red tape' delays new trains

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The Independent Online

Campaigners today called for action to speed up the number of new trains after a survey revealed delays in the introduction of rolling stock.

Campaigners today called for action to speed up the number of new trains after a survey revealed delays in the introduction of rolling stock.

Despite pledges that 500 new trains would be put into service this year, only 93 are in operation, according to a BBC poll.

Some operators have not delivered a single vehicle, it was reported.

Pressure group Save Our Railways said it was "hugely disappointing" that the pledge had not been met.

"Heads need to be banged together because some of these trains have been built but are stuck in factories because of red tape," said campaign director Jonathan Bray.

The Association of Train Operating Companies said: "The vast majority of delays to the new rolling stock are due to vigorous safety inspections which each vehicle must undergo before it can run on the network.

"There will be 1,000 new vehicles on the network by the end of next year."

Ken Bird, managing director of London-based LTS Rail, said: "My customers demand absolute safety and absolute reliability. I will not let them down. I insist that these tests are passed before they are introduced into service.

"If that means delays then so be it."

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