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MP wins top meeting on plans to electrify South Lakes rail line

June 28, 2012 11:21 AM

Tim Farron MP & Cllr Andy Shine at Oxenholme StationSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has today used Transport Questions in the House of Commons to secure a meeting with the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, to make the case for the electrification of the Lakes Line and Furness Line Railways.

Tim's question this morning follows a week where Tim has lobbied senior members of the Government including the Deputy Prime Minister, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and other transport ministers asking them to agree to the electrification of the Lakes Line.

There is an economic and environmental case to electrify the lines. In his letter today Tim said: 'Trains running on electrified lines emit on average 20 per cent to 30 per cent less carbon dioxide than diesel trains. It costs around 60p a mile to maintain a diesel train compared with only 40p for a train running on an electrified line. The comparative fuel cost per mile is 47p for diesel compared with 26p for electric, while track wear and tear per mile is 9.8p for diesel and 8.5p for electric.' The Lakes Line was listed in 2010 in the top ten improved usage branch lines in the country.

Tim is also continuing to fight to protect to protect the direct train from Furness and from the Lakes Line to Manchester. The campaign called 'Cumbria Better Connected' has been inundated by people wishing to sign up and Tim has also placed a Commons motion down supporting the campaign and asking Transpennine to think again about their plans to axe the service.

Speaking this morning Tim said: "The electrification of the Lakes Line makes economic, financial and environmental sense. The plan will bring much needed construction jobs in the shorter term and in the longer term attract new businesses, boost tourism and create a better environment for job creation.

"Electrification of the line would also help to ensure that the direct link to Manchester Airport is protected as it shows us a regional hub; a place to visit and do business. I will push the government on both these projects and do all I can to ensure the upgrade of the infrastructure of our public transport network in the South Lakes."