PASSENGERS should be compensated for being made to use outdated trains, regional mayors have demanded.

Rail firm Northern has repeatedly promised to have Pacer trains removed from the tracks but it has since been revealed that the 1980s stock will continue to run into 2020.

The announced has prompted an angry reaction from Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Leeds City Council Leader Judith Blake and Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis.

The trio have penned a letter to Northern managing director David Brown where they speak of their "deep disappointment and frustration" in the delay and ask that passengers are given compensation or reduced fares.

It said: "The retention of Pacers beyond 2019 is an insult to the passengers of the North and underlines the unceasing disparity between transport investment in the North, compared to the South.

"We are concerned that as part of your Pacer withdrawal plans it appears that there will be a potential short-term reductions in capacity on some lines; we reiterate that our first priority remains the delivery of a reliable railway with sufficient capacity to meet demand."

Pacers were first introduced by British Rail between 1980 and 1987 as the answer to a shortage of trains. They were made using the same parts as buses and were intended as a short-term solution on smaller rural lines.

Northern had planned to remove the final Pacers as its new fleet was rolled out but says a manufacturing delay means this will not be possible.

A spokesman said staff are "working hard to improve performance and reliability for customers".

They added: “As a result of further delays in the construction and delivery of our new trains from manufacturer CAF, a small number of Pacers units will need to be retained for a short period of time in 2020 to deliver the planned daily timetable with the right capacity for our customers. This situation is not unique to Northern.

“We understand that customers will be disappointed and we are finalising proposals for customer support and offers for customers on those routes on which Pacers will be used in 2020."

The firm says the majority of Pacers will be removed from tracks by the end of the year, with 29 of the 101 new trains now in use across the North.