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MP puts Transport Secretary on spot over Northern chaos

Tim Farron MP at Windermere station

[L]ocal MP Tim Farron has tonight pressed the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling to take action over unacceptable rail services in South Cumbria.

At a one-to-one meeting between Tim, Barrow MP John Woodcock and the Transport Secretary, Tim raised the suspension of services on the Lakes Line and cancellations to services on the Furness Line.  Tim called on the Transport Secretary to remove the lines from Northern, and give them back to Transpennine who operated them successfully until 2016.  Chris Grayling agreed to look at the proposal seriously.

Earlier, on the floor of the House of Commons, Tim demanded that the Transport Secretary refuse an extension to the two week suspension on the Lakes Line – which met with agreement from Chris Grayling.  Tim also called for funding for an ambitious marketing campaign for the Lakes and Furness Lines to relaunch them and to boost the local economy following colossal reputational damage.

Speaking tonight, Tim said: “Thousands of local residents and tourists are being let down by Northern, who appear to have simply given up – and also by Government decisions to cancel electrification which has meant that Northern’s plans on taking over the lines have had to be rewritten many times over.

“I’m grateful that Chris Grayling agreed to meet me and John tonight, and for his assurance that the Lakes Line suspension wouldn’t be extended.  I’ll be holding him to that – and look forward with interest to his views on the proposal to give the lines back to Transpennine.”

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