Still time to join train campaign
Last updated at 16:32, Thursday, 05 July 2012
THIS is a time when services we rely on are coming under threat, and I know that people across Furness are determined to stand up to be counted.
First, the need to keep full maternity services at Furness General Hospital. My family’s own has personal experience there has underlined what I already knew as your MP: families would be devastated if FGH maternity unit was downgraded and mums-to-be had to travel 50 miles to Lancaster for a consultant-led birth.
With the review of health services under way, this is the time for all if us to make our voices heard. After all the turmoil and the tragedies from which some families are still reeling, we must not be left with a downgraded maternity unit.
So too with my campaign to save the Barrow to Manchester airport direct train service.
Thanks to everyone who has signed the petition to safeguard this key transport link.
And for those of you who are concerned about the proposed rail service cuts, but haven’t had the chance to sign up – don’t worry – there’s still time to climb on board and every signature counts.
I launched the initiative a fortnight ago because it had emerged that First Transpennine Express – the company that operates the through services – had signalled its intention to radically change its timetable from 2014.
Under the proposals half of the direct trains from Barrow to Manchester would be scrapped.
Meanwhile, ministers are considering removing the through service entirely when the franchise ends in 2015 and other Transpennine services are electrified.
That worrying scenario is one good reason why more than 700 people have gone towww.johnwoodcock.org and signed my online petition and why hundreds more have put their names to paper versions of the appeal.
I’m pleased that transport secretary Justine Greening has agreed to meet with Tim Farron and I on this issue, and I shall be holding a meeting at Ulverston Coronation Hall at 11am on July 18 with community representatives and business leaders to discuss how to take this campaign forward.
Allow me to close by giving a special salute to everyone who has been involved in delivering our superb carnival parades.
While curtains of rain have swept intermittently across Furness in one of the dampest starts to any summer in living memory, the parades have stood out in defiant colour and brought smiles to thousands of faces.
So take a bow, everyone who rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in – you are a credit to us all.
First published at 13:06, Thursday, 05 July 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
I appreciate Mr Woodcock's intervention on this, but it has to remembered that under the last Labour government, the Cross-Country services to places like Bristol, were diverted to the East Coast and now no longer call at Carlisle, Oxenholme, and Lancaster! Such is progress!