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Rail announcement increases Windermere train frequency - Farron

February 27, 2015 11:48 AM

Tim Farron MP & Cllr Andy Shine at Oxenholme StationCumbrian MP Tim Farron has welcomed plans for rail travel in the north, including a brand new fleet of modern trains. Passengers in Cumbria have been promised more seats, more services and new trains under franchise plans announced by the Government this morning.

The announcement means that from Monday to Saturday, Windermere will have 'two trains per day to Manchester Airport on the new 'Northern Regional' service by December 2017.' The Furness Line will also benefit from an increase to eight trains per day to Manchester and Manchester Airport on the new high-quality 'Northern Regional' service and extra trains along the Cumbrian Coast, timed to better serve Sellafield shift and other working patterns.

Documents published today set out how bidders for the new Northern and TransPennine franchises will be required to provide plans to:

  • replace outdated Pacer trains
  • introduce a brand new fleet of modern trains
  • tackle overcrowding
  • invest in stations
  • accommodate over 19,000 more commuters in Manchester during morning peak hours
  • add over 200 new train services every day across both franchises
  • provide at least one-third more capacity across both franchises
  • introduce free wi-fi on all services

These announcements builds on last year's news of the £16 million electrification project for the Lakes Line. Lib Dem transport minister Baroness Susan Kramer visited the Lakes to confirm the investment in the Windermere to Oxenholme branch line - and said that cleaner, faster electric trains would be on the line. This project was the result of five years of campaigning and hard work making the case for electrification by Tim and the Lakes Line User Group.

Tim said: "The direct train from the Lakes to Manchester Airport is vital. It is vital for business, our tourism sector and local residents. Protecting and extending this link is a top priority of mine. Today's announcement is a welcome first step, but we need to keep pushing for extra services.

"The franchise process still holds some concerns and I will keep working with both the Lakes Line User Group and the Furness Line Action Group to try and improve services on both lines. I will also keep working with other MP's to make the case for the electrification of the Furness Line and my longer term goal of a London service from Barrow."