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Farron calls for direct trains to the Lakes to be protected in light of today's rail investment announcement

July 16, 2012 12:57 PM

From left to right, Ian Stephens (Cumbria Tourism, Chief Executive), Cllr Peter Thornton (Leader, SLDC), John Woodcock MP, Tim Farron MP, Cllr Liz Lewis (Mayor of Grange) & at the front Cllr Frank Cassidy (Barrow councillor) South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today reiterated his call for direct trains from the Lake District to Manchester to be protected. The call comes as the Government announced the full details of the biggest investment in rail services since Victorian times.

Plans to electrify routes aroundManchesterto create a "hub" would ensure an hourly service from the city to Preston, Carlisle andScotland. However, direct services to the Lakes line and Furness lines in Cumbria do not form part of the Department for Transport's "High Level Output Specification" which lays out the Government's plans.

Speaking this morning, Tim said: "It's great news that the Government is committing such levels of investment into our railways - and capacity improvements on the West Coast Main Line, and more direct services fromManchesterup the West Coast Main Line throughCumbriaand beyond are great news.

"However, direct services fromManchesterto the Lakes line and Furness line are missing from the Government's specification - and this is not acceptable.

"Thousands of local residents have signed the 'Cumbria Better Connected' petition launched by Barrow MP John Woodcock and myself last month; and many in the tourism industry have raised their concerns directly with the Government and rail operators.

"I'll be continuing to talk to Network Rail and First Transpennine Express to push for the retention of a decent through service from the Lake District toManchesteras these plans are developed."