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Farron asks transport ministers to electrify the Furness Line too!

November 7, 2013 11:04 AM

Tim Farron MP & Cllr Andy Shine at Oxenholme StationSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has asked the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin MP to agree to electrify the Furness Line. Tim's asked his question on the floor of the House this morning, building on his campaign on electrify the Lakes Line.

Recently after much lobbying, and working with the Lakes Line Users Group, Tim secured agreement to conduct a feasibility study to plan the electrification of the Lakes Line. The campaign took twelve months and the project will cost an estimated £16 million. Tim is now working with the Furness Line Action Group to improve that line too.

The Furness line goes through many communities in our area, such as Silverdale, Arnside, Grange, Kents Bank, Cark and then on to Ulverston and Barrow. Recently, at the request of the Furness Line Action Group (FLAG), Tim invited the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) to South Cumbria to travel the route and see the need to improve services. The ORR is the independent safety and economic regulator for Britain's railways. The ORR advise the Government on the railways and help suggest improvements for the network.

Tim said: "This morning I pressed the minister to agree to look at electrifying this vital line. He said that he would look into the issue which is welcome news. I will keep pressing him for updates on that and action to move the project forward.

"I want to build on our success with the Lakes Line and try and improve the Furness Line too. We need to protect the through trains to Manchester and work to increase capacity on the line. I will keep working with campaigners and other local MPs to do all we can to improve the line."