Nick Clegg

The north of England needs to update its transport links as commuters do not deserve "ancient" and "decrepit" trains, according to Nick Clegg.

The Deputy Prime Minister made the remarks as he plans to unveil a package of measures designed to improve rail and road links in the north of England and has promised to push the Chancellor George Osborne on the issue ahead of his Autumn Statement.

The Liberal Democrat leader said he wants to see electrified cross-Pennine links between Liverpool and Manchester on one side and Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Hull on the other by 2025.

Clegg claimed that the electrification of key routes will shorten journey times to up to 40 minutes between any two of Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.

"The roads and railway lines connecting our great northern cities have seen improvements in recent years, but I want more. Much more," Clegg said.

"I want significant improvement – government money to buy better rolling stock to improve commuter routes in the north – also by 2025.

"Ancient rolling stock and lines that have not been upgraded in 30 years are not fit for a 21stcentury metropolis.

"Decrepit trains such as the Pacers, which are literally ancient buses on rails, are not a fair way for people in the North to get to and from work.

"They would not be deemed acceptable on London commuter lines, and they are not acceptable in the North."

The comments come after the Prime Minister David Cameron said backed HS3, a new east-west rail line.

The proposed network could cut average travel times between Manchester and Leeds by almost half, according to experts.

A Labour government would grant new powers to cities and city regions to improve travel services and emulate the success of London's oyster card system, according to Ed Miliband.