Severe cuts to rail services between Manchester and South Cumbria agreed
Last updated at 13:30, Tuesday, 03 September 2013
SEVERE cuts to the number of direct rail services between Manchester and South Cumbria have been agreed by the government.
Rail minister Simon Burns has told Barrow and Furness MP, John Woodcock, that the number of direct Transpennine trains from Manchester airport to Barrow will fall from nine per day during the week to just five, a change that could only happen with the approval of ministers. There will be six travelling in the opposite direction.
The minister broke the news in a follow-up call hours after a meeting during which Mr Woodcock tried to press the case for the future of the Furness line.
The frequency is greater than the two services each way that the rail company put forward in its draft timetable earlier this year, but the cuts can only go ahead after ministers agreed to change the government's service agreement with the rail company.
Mr Woodcock said: “It is extremely worrying that the government has sanctioned these severe cutbacks for our economically vital rail link with Manchester and the airport.
"Cutting direct services not only inconveniences passengers and businesses who use these direct Manchester trains today, but also sets in a worrying trend for the future.
“Everyone involved in the Cumbria Better Connected campaign now needs to work together to ensure that this trend is reversed when the new franchise is agreed in 2016 - the government must not be allowed to leave Furness cut off.
"It was welcome that the minister said he was open to the case being made for improved services in the new franchise and for future electrification, but so far the actions of this government speak louder than words.”
First published at 13:29, Tuesday, 03 September 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Chris Kirkby, you don't go through to Manchester in order to get to London! You will be changing at Preston or Lancaster so your journey will not change at all.
Ridiculous! I agree that the loss of trains to Lancaster is very worrying. If we can't connect to the WCM quickly and regularly then travelling by train will become even less appealing than it already is. It's actually quicker and cheaper for me to get dropped off at Oxenholme when travelling north. When will the government realise that we need a good, electrified,
overall rail network and not some fancy high speed line with dubious benefits and a high potential to destroy the countryside and waste taxpayers money. What is the point in being able to travel from Manchester to London in just over an hour if it takes 2 or 3 hours to travel from outlying areas to the high speed lines?
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