A cross party group of Cumbria’s MPs have come together to demand support from the Government for the upgrade of the Cumbrian Coastal Line in order to benefit from £60bn of future investment for the area.
Writing to the Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry MP, the six members of parliament for Cumbria, led by Copeland MP Trudy Harrison stressed the lack of significant modernisation or investment on the line since the 1960s, describing rolling stock as ‘in desperate need of replacing.’
The Cumbrian MPs say a number of impending projects including West Cumbria Mining, which will create 500 jobs and the construction of the £15 billion Moorside project will require the railway to be brought up to modern day standards.
It comes as frustrations continue to grow after it was revealed the planning application to create the £165m undersea coal mine has yet again been delayed and will not go before county council planners until early next year.
The planning application was lodged with the county council at the end of May 2017 and the project has been given the backing of Dr Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade and Northern Powerhouse minister, Jake Berry.
Mrs Harrison, said: “The revival of modern mining to supply the steel industry in West Cumbria has been welcomed at the highest levels.
“Hundreds of people have already showed their interest in working at Haig. As the grand-daughter of a former miner, I understand the cultural heritage importance, and the export and economic necessity for the go-ahead.
“West Cumbria Mining will be a massive boost to our area, but this privately owned company cannot be expected to wait forever”.
The Strategic Outline Business Case for the rail upgrade of the Cumbria Coastal Line was submitted to the Department for Transport in June.