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Conservatives promising unicorns while rail commuters are lumbered with a donkey

February 4, 2019 10:05 AM

Lakes Line walk at StaveleyLocal MP Tim Farron has hit out at Conservatives for celebrating promises of untried and untested hybrid trains for the Lakes Line while ignoring passengers who are still experiencing a poor service on the railways.

This week, Conservatives have hailed the news that 'South Lakeland is at the front of the queue' for the rollout of battery hybrid trains.

However, various experiments with hybrid trains, converting old stock from the 1970s and 1980s - have failed or are running hugely behind schedule, while similar plans for hybrid trains for the Lakes Line were axed just last year after the trains were so far behind schedule.

Meanwhile, passengers in the South Lakes have now entered the sixth month in a row with next to no services on a Saturday due to a long-running dispute between Northern and the RMT.

Tim said: "The Conservative's fanfare announcement is full of platitudes and promises of jam tomorrow, but devoid of any reality.

"The simple fact is this new technology is so far behind schedule that Northern - who let's face it aren't renowned for their ability to plan themselves - have given up on it and instead ordered more new diesel trains for the Lakes Line.

"But at the end of the day, local residents just want a train service that works. Thanks to this Government's complete mismanagement of the network we haven't had a reliable service for months.

"We're just about to enter the sixth month with virtually no services on a Saturday, and just this week it was announced that Northern is bottom of the heap for customer satisfaction.

"The Conservatives need to stop patting themselves on the back for promising unicorns and start dealing with the donkey that is Northern Rail."