Welsh Government extends life of non-compliant Pacers

Class 143 Pacer at Cardiff Central (Image: Jeremy Segrott/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA2.0)
Class 143 Pacer at Cardiff Central (Image: Jeremy Segrott/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA2.0)

Welsh Government-owned Transport for Wales (TFW) has extended the life of its Class 143 Pacer trains despite them not meeting the minimum requirements to be disabled compliant.

The type, which was retired by countries including Iran 15 years ago, should have been sent for scrap this year some 20 years after their expected lifespan when introduced in the 1980s.

The extension from the Department of Transport was needed due to the failure to get new disabled compliant rolling stock on the network in time to allow the railbuses to be phased out.

Welsh Liberal Democrats described the situation as a disgrace.

Bus on Rails

The class 143 Pacer is literally a Bus on Rails using a Walter Alexander bus body, normally found on a Leyland National bus, mounted onto non-pivoting axles, something which gives them their notorious screech when rounded bends.

In service in the 1985 25 sets were built with 18 still in service, all with Transport for Wales.