Cumbrian MP’s plea over Lakes Line rail service
Published at 10:49, Saturday, 18 August 2012
A Cumbrian MP has called for First TransPennine to deliver on its promise of a "customer focused timetable" by agreeing to save the Lakes Line through trains to Manchester Airport.
Tim Farron, MP for South Lakes, has publicly challenged First Group to put the idea of cutting through trains out to consultation with local residents.
It has been announced that the majority of direct trains from South Cumbria to Manchester Airport using the Furness Line will be retained. Mr Farron is calling for the same certainty for the Lakes line.
Nick Donovan the managing director of First TransPennine Express, is set to announce that five out of the six direct trains from Barrow will be preserved. The business has not made the same commitment about the trains from Windermere to Manchester Airport.
Mr Farron will be meeting with transport ministers soon to discuss the issue. He will also be meeting with the management of FirstGroup to discuss this and this week’s announcement that they have been awarded the West Coast Main Line franchise.
In advance of his meeting with the government, Mr Farron has written to Transport Secretary Justine Greening.
In his letter he said: “Many of my constituents are very concerned at the prospect of losing their 'through' trains from Windermere and Barrow towards Manchester.
“I am also worried about the effect that a reduction of direct services from Manchester Airport to Windermere may have on the South Lakes' tourism industry. Passenger surveys conducted by local rail user groups have repeatedly found that passengers appreciate the convenience of being able to travel directly from the airport to their holiday destination.”
Mr Farron added: “After the West Coast Main Line announcement, I have been inundated with emails from people who are very disappointed that FirstGroup have been awarded the contract.
“The group has an incredibly poor reputation with local people. I think as a show of good faith to local residents they should agree to look again at this proposal.
“I think our through trains link is vital for business and tourism in the South Lakes.”
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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