MORE forward planning is needed by the government to avoid a national shortage of carriages, a Bolton MP has warned.

MP for Bolton West Julie Hilling chaired a Rail In The North meeting, where members of parliament from across the north shared their constituents’ horror stories of overcrowded services and outdated carriages.

The Bolton News received assurances from Prime Minister David Cameron that more carriages will be put on the services from December this year, following our Let’s Get Back on Track campaign.

But Ms Hilling said Bolton and towns across the north of England were victims of a lack of planning by the Department for Transport.

She said: “It is even more apparent that there is a national problem with diesel trains for the next five years, and we will be asking to meet with the secretary of state because there needs to be better planning at the top.

"We can’t continue this ad hoc approach.

"If you want new trains to be running in 2016, then you need to order them now. Really the problem is that nobody is even building diesel trains at the moment — even if operators wanted to buy them, they can’t because they are not compliant.”

An extra 200 seats will be added on Bolton’s morning rush-hour trains following the electrification of the Manchester to Liverpool line, which will free up diesel carriages.

The Bolton to Wigan railway line, running through Westhoughton, Hindley and Ince, will be electrified by 2017, and the electrification of the Manchester to Preston line is set to be completed by December 2016.