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"Train services must be improved" says Farron

November 5, 2008 12:00 AM

Tim Farron MP & Cllr Andy Shine at Oxenholme StationLocal MP Tim Farron and Dick Smith from the Lakes Lone Rail Users' Group (LLRUG) met yesterday with the Chief Executive of Virgin train , Tony Collins, to discuss rail issues facing residents of south Lakeland.

Mr Farron asked Virgin trains for the meeting after they admitted that plans for trains to stop at either Penrith or Oxenholme station were insufficient and would require a rethink.

At the meeting, Mr Farron put forward concerns made by constituents about the lengthy waiting times for customers travelling from Cumbria to the South coast when meeting their connections at Birmingham and Crewe, for example ; the failure of certain Windermere bound trains to wait for Main Line trains in Oxenholme station; plans to reduce the number of stops made by Main Line trains to either Oxenholme or Penrith and plans to utilise the train network to boost tourist trade to the Lakes and Dales region.

Commenting after the meeting Tim said;

"This was a very positive meeting that provided a great opportunity to discuss the various problems facing travellers from the South Lakes with Virgin trains.

"Before the direct service to the south coast was removed, we were assured that adequate connections would be made available; but this has simply not happened.

"Current plans would lead to mainline services increasingly stopping at either Penrith or Oxenholme, but not both. This is a massive inconvenience for commuters and must be addressed. Reversing this situation and introducing cheap tickets for travellers at the weekend (something promised by Virgin managers at our meeting) will be a huge boost to both business and tourism in south Lakeland."