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South Lakes Lib Dems secure cross-party support to strip the Lakes Line from Northern

Local Lib Dem councillors Ian Stewart and Peter Thornton alongside former Transport Minister Baroness Susan Kramer and MP Tim Farron at Windermere station

County councillors in South Lakeland have agreed to support calls for the Lakes Line to be taken off the rail company Northern.

Over the past six weeks there have been well over 200 cancellations on the line which runs from Oxenholme to Windermere.

At a meeting of Cumbria County Council’s Local Area Committee for South Lakeland, councillors from all parties agreed to Cllr Ian Stewart’s proposal to write to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, calling on him to strip Northern of both the Lakes Line and the underperforming Furness Line.

Concerns about cancellations leading to children being stranded at school were raised by Cllr Shirley Evans, while Cllr Chris Hogg said the situation is causing serious damage to the Lake District’s reputation for tourists.

The issue was raised at yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament by local MP Tim Farron. Tim’s petition for the service to be taken off Northern has already gathered over 2,000 signatures.

Cllr Ian Stewart said: “It was great to see all councillors working together to recognise the appalling state of affairs on both the Lakes and Furness Lines with the franchises not performing.

“As Government has taken back the franchise on the East Coast mainline, we’re asking for them to do the same for these two vital transport links.”

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