Conservative delay to Lakes Line electrification 'unacceptable'
South Lakes MP Tim Farron pressed rail minister Paul Maynard MP over the delay to the Lakes Line electrification at a meeting in Kendal yesterday evening.
Tim said it was very frustrating and disappointing that a scheme that had been signed off ready for development under the coalition government has been pushed back to only being half way through the sign off process under the Conservatives.
Electrification had originally been due to take place by 2017, but the minister yesterday refused to even commit to having the project completed by 2024.
Following the meeting, Tim will demand a meeting with the Network Rail Chief Executive to further press for work to start on the electrification as soon as possible.
Speaking after the meeting, Tim said, "These delays will be massively frustrating for local residents and the tourism industry which is relying on electrification to bring new trains and better connections to the Lakes Line.
"The Government are making us jump through hoops again, and Network Rail will now produce their 'single option' in March 2017 - that's simply not good enough. Network Rail and the Government must ensure this work is approved again without delay.
"It's a real shame that local Conservatives have not stood up for local people and told the minister this delay is unacceptable."