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Tim Farron

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MP welcomes Virgin west coast announcement but calls for investment in Oxenholme station

June 19, 2014 11:21 AM

Tim Farron MP & Cllr Andy Shine at Oxenholme StationSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that Virgin Trains have won the bid for the West Coast Main Line. Tim is now calling on Virgin Trains to spend funds on improving Oxenholme Station.

The new West Coast franchise, announced today, will run until March 2017. The two year contract will see Virgin continue to run the franchise, with 21 first-class carriages converted to standard class - delivering 5,500 extra standard seats every day across the network.

Stations will also have free wi-fi. In December Tim wrote to Virgin to ask them to include this in any future tender.

Other improvements announced today by Virgin include more than £20 million invested to modernise and enhance stations, including improving waiting rooms, seats and shelters; £2.5 million to improve the interiors of the Pendolino train fleet, as well as £2.75 million spent on improving catering facilities; improved station cleanliness and accessibility; new targets for passenger satisfaction, train punctuality and cleanliness.

Tim will be pressing Virgin to invest funds in improving Oxenholme station. He has today written to senior bosses and asked them to come and meet with rail campaigners to discuss this and also the campaign to electrify the Lakes Line and what support Virgin can offer to the campaign.

Tim said: "This is good news and I really welcome today. A few years ago when it seem Virgin had lost the tender, thousands of residents contacted me asking me to do what I could in parliament to stop that. I proud that together we did that and today is the final leg of that campaign.

"I am now calling on Virgin bosses to help our community by investing in upgrading Oxenholme Station. For many it is the first sight of the Lakes and I want it to be a real shining example of the wonderful attractions and hospitality we have in the Lake District."