MP calls for newer trains in the South East

A Labour MP has urged the Transport Secretary to encourage the roll out of new trains in the South East, after he said a new fleet in the South West is set to 'retire' after just two years.

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove
Peter Kyle, MP for Hove

This comes as a fleet of 30 Class 707 trains were ordered by South West Trains, with all the trains set to be rolled out by the end of 2017.

But Hove MP Peter Kyle said the new operator of the South-Western franchise has since confirmed that all of the new Class 707s will be replaced by Aventra trains from 2019.

In a letter sent to the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling today (November 6), Mr Kyle, said: “I am deeply concerned that the new trains could be retired from service after barely two years, at a time when rail infrastructure and rolling stock in the South East region is suffering from chronic under-investment. This would constitute appalling value-for-money for passengers.

A busy Brighton railway station (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)

"As such, I urge you to take steps to encourage the use of the Class 707 trains on coastal routes in the South East. As the busiest and most economically important rail network in Britain, the South East route is in dire need of modernisation, and I hope you will agree that the introduction of new train stock would be an important step."