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Farron Criticises Lakes Line Electrification Delays

February 11, 2016 5:11 PM

farron-oration jpgSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has criticised government delays which will see the electrification of the Lakes Line pushed back to as late as 2024, and urged the government to press ahead with the work.

The Lakes Line, connecting Windermere in the heart of the Lake District with the West Coast Main Line at Oxenholme station, had been due to be electrified by 2017. In 2014, during the coalition, Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Baroness Kramer had announced a £16 million investment package for the electrification of the line. At the time, it was announced that the line "could be completed as early as 2017".

However, following the Hendy Review in November 2015, a transport report for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority shows that the Conservatives have decided to postpone these upgrades. The works have been pushed back into 'Control Period 6', meaning that the electrification could be completed as late as 2024.

Tim Farron has written to the Transport Minister to set out the case for the electrification of the Lakes Line, and urge him to press ahead with the work.

Tim said: "The electrification of the Lakes Line is an important infrastructure upgrade which will provide a real boost to the local area. It makes economic and environmental sense, and will enable the line to be better integrated with the main line and routes to Manchester Airport.

"There is a sense of déjà vu in once more making the case for this to happen - it was given the go-ahead by the Lib Dems in government, but has now been delayed by the Conservatives. Once again, much-needed infrastructure investment in our area is being overlooked by the current Conservative government, but I will continue to campaign for this."