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MP calls Cumbria County Council leader to pledge not to cut bus routes

April 26, 2012 1:52 PM

TF KendalSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on Cumbria County Council leader Eddie Martin to publicly commit to protect rural bus services in the South Lakes.

Currently the County Council is discussing the future of bus provision inCumbriaand there are new indications that services could be slashed. Last year the county council proposed a series of cuts to services that would have left many communities isolated. The cuts were only stopped after a major community campaign and thanks to Stagecoach who were able to step in to help save services to Levens, Sedgwick and Natland.

Tim has called on the Conservative-Labour coalition at Cumbria County Council to commit to protect our vital public transport network. Eddie Martin called on the 14th March for 'all of the county's MPs to help press the case for fair funding for bus services, otherwise he fears commercial operators will start to walk away from providing services.'

Local MP Tim Farron has done just that. He has repeatedly lobbied ministers on this issue and has secured nearly £600,000 for rural transport to help protect the network.

Recently a grant of £288,000 was given to Cumbria County Council by Lib Dem Minister Norman Baker, to be spent on developing community transport services acrossCumbria. It is the second wave of Department for Transport funding for the council since April 2011, when they received another £288,000. The money will go to fund sustainable transport solutions in partnership with commercial and community groups.

Tim said: "Earlier this year a massive community campaign helped save these services at the 11th hour from cuts by the county council. Since then I have pushed the government to provide more funds to protect rural bus services in the South Lakes. The county council has now had nearly £600,000 for services like rural wheels and other community services, but we need to protect our vital bus routes too. I hope the county council will make the pledge and protect our public transport network."