Local campaigners meet with Transport Minister in bid to boost rail services in South Lakes
South Lakes MP, Tim Farron today joined with Robert Talbot and Dick Smith of the Lakes Line Rail Users Group (LLRUG) as the three met with Liberal Democrat Transport Minister, Norman Baker MP, to discuss the future of rail services in the South Lakes, including mainline services at Oxenholme and services along the Lakes Line railway between Oxenholme and Windermere as well as the campaign to safeguard the service from Windermere to Manchester Airport.
Later next year, the franchise for the west coast mainline will be re-let. Tim was delighted that Norman confirmed that all bidders will have to maintain the current number of services stopping at Oxenholme each working week at 100.
Tim and the Lakes Line Rail Users Group will now seek to meet each of the 4 bidders for the InterCity WestCoast franchise again. They are: Virgin (the current operators), First Group, Abellio and Keolis; to lobby each to provide a better service for rail users.
Speaking after the meeting Tim said: "The work that Robert, Dick and the Lakes Line Rail User Group do to protect the service between Oxenholme and Windermere to date has been fantastic. Thanks to them this vital service is still available to carry as many passengers across the South Lakes daily in 2011as they did 10 years ago. They also work tirelessly to protect and enhance the number of mainline services stopping at Oxenholme.
"With the support of Norman Baker, we can now go away and see each of the 4 bidders individually so that we can push them to ensure a better future for all South Lakes rail users."