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South Lakes MP meets with Transport minister to make the case for a comprehensive bus service for Cumbria

January 20, 2020 4:00 PM

Tim with Baroness VereLocal MP Tim Farron made the case for better bus services for Cumbria during a meeting with Transport minister Baroness Vere last week.

The minister asked Tim to work with Transport for the North to draw up a bid for the Government to fund a comprehensive rural bus network for Cumbria.

Speaking after the meeting, Tim said: "I'm really grateful to the receptive response the minister gave to our case.

"For too long, local people have been isolated from their surrounding villages and towns which is especially problematic in Cumbria when the average age for people in our area is 10% higher than the national average.

"And with more than eight in ten visitors coming to the Lake District in a car, there is a strong environmental case for a comprehensive, affordable and reliable bus service."

Tim also raised the issue during a speech on the floor of the House of Commons last week.

Speaking during a debate on the environment, Tim said: "It is utterly ludicrous that bus services in London receive a £722 million annual subsidy, when in Cumbria we receive nothing at all-not a single penny.

"The lack of subsidy has a catastrophic impact on fares, and the extortionate prices make commuting by bus a massive challenge, especially for lower-paid workers. How is it right, Mr Speaker, that the 5-mile journey from Ambleside to the neighbouring community of Grasmere costs £4.90, while a journey of equivalent length in London costs £1.50?

"If we are to entertain any hope of revolutionising public transport, the Government need to look beyond the M25-well beyond the M25. Indeed, it may come as a surprise to some in Government that the north does not stop at junction 32 of the M6."