A passenger group is calling on all commuters to lobby their MPs over outdated carriages being sent by the Government to ease overcrowding.

Wharfedale Rail Users’ Group is urging Wharfedale Line passengers to tackle their elected representatives, calling for the promised extra trains to be up to same standards as the line’s current trains.

Replacing existing trains with older, less comfortable carriages is a ‘slap in the face’ for local passengers, says WRUG, which had hoped for new purpose-built carriages for trains, connecting Guiseley, Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston with Leeds and Bradford.

The group has started leafleting passengers in a bid to pile the pressure on the Department for Transport, and has already won support from Shipley MP Philip Davies who has written to Transport Secretary, Lord Adonis, over the issue.

The DfT made a commitment in July 2007 to provide more rail carriages, to help ease overcrowding as passenger numbers continue to grow on the local line, an essential link for many Wharfedale residents to their places of work.

Extra coaches bound for the line are second-hand, at least 12 to 15-years-old, and do not conform to current accessibility standards for the elderly or disabled, says WRUG.

The passenger group says these carriages have smaller door openings, cramped vestibules, limited space with tip-up seats for pushchairs and bicycles, no automatic information systems or air conditioning.

To meet current disability legislation, they must be modified or be taken out of service by 2020, says WRUG.

The group said: “WRUG argues strongly that to replace our existing trains with older, less comfortable and non-compliant vehicles is a slap in the face for our users, who are still going to face higher than average fare increases to fund ‘new vehicles’ for West Yorkshire.

“It is also, we feel, contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of disability legislation.”

Metro chairman Councillor Ryk Downes urged local MPs earlier this year to prevent the Government ‘short-changing’ the wider Leeds City Region, fearing the DfT had reneged on its commitment.

“At a time when the economic situation will make arguments to spend nothing attractive to Government, when we have already started the next election campaign, the voice of users must be heard, and we must involve our local MPs,” said WRUG.