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MP leads Parliamentary debate on better bus services for Cumbria

October 29, 2019 5:56 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron urged the Government to make rural bus services in Cumbria a major part of the Northern Powerhouse.

Speaking during his debate in Westminster Hall this afternoon, Tim said: "The concept of the northern powerhouse is great. But from Cumbria's perspective, it's not much of a powerhouse, and it's not very northern…

"If new platforms at Manchester Piccadilly is an investment that will boost the Manchester city region's economy, then a comprehensive bus service in rural Cumbria is the investment to boost the Cumbrian economy.

"So that is my proposal today: will the Minister ensure the direct commissioning of a comprehensive, affordable and reliable rural bus service in Cumbria? Will the minister do that as a key plank in the northern powerhouse?"

In response, the transport minister George Freeman said: "The points he has made about the Northern Powerhouse are well made and I will pass those on to the minister responsible for the Northern Powerhouse.

"He is right to highlight that rural areas demand a different solution to urban areas.

"And he's equally right that where a city like Manchester, heartbeat of the Northern Powerhouse, is growing and investing then we need to look at rural areas which are very close and to make sure that we are not creating a two-tier transport system."