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‘If you back Cumbria, you back a winner’ - MP urges government for fair deal on infrastructure investment

November 7, 2017 1:56 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has urged the government to start seriously investing in transport services in Cumbria and the rest of the North.

In a debate in the House of Commons on Transport for the North, the Cumbrian MP said that regional inequality is "not just morally wrong, but a colossal waste of space and talent", and that local people had been "betrayed" by the government's decision to cancel the electrification of the Lakes Line.

Last month, the Chancellor Philip Hammond promised train services in the north just £300m extra

By way of comparison, the cost of HS2 is put at £400m per mile.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Tim said: "One of the consequences of the lack of prioritisation of Cumbria in particular has been the betrayal of our community with the cancellation of the planned electrification of the Lakes line.

"The fact that we now have downsized and reduced quality rolling stock-30-year-old Thames Links rejects-means that the bi-mode trains will be a Heath Robinson affair.

"The Lakes line has poorer quality rolling stock and many delayed and cancelled trains. I ask the Minister to focus on bringing back the electrification of the Lakes line, which was promised and then withdrawn.

"If you back Cumbria, you back a winner. It was given world heritage site status just a few months ago. Investment in the north and in our part of the north will build this country up and give a massive return on that investment."