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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Service must stay on track

BEING based on the Furness peninsula transport links are a huge issue.

This newspaper has always campaigned for better road links.

There have been campaigns on the A590 and the A595.

But we have also been just as vociferous about the area’s rail links. Barrow used to enjoy a direct rail service to London. Those days are long gone.

Travellers now accept they have to change at Lancaster to link up with the West Coast main line if they want to travel by train from the town.

Or they have the inconvenience of driving to Oxenholme and linking up with the main line there.

But Barrow in particular, and Furness in general, can ill afford to be shunted into even more of a siding when it comes to rail links.

And Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron is right to be concerned that the lucrative Cumbria to London franchise might lead to increased prices but reduced services.

This is a major decision which will affect Cumbria’s connectivity and ability to do business right through to 2026 – the length of the franchise having been extended to 14 years, instead of seven.

The franchise winner will be announced in August and take over services in December.

Cumbria needs to make sure it lobbies hard for a service fitting to transport the county efficiently, effectively, and affordably deep into the 21st century.

By North West Evening Mail
Published: January 24, 2012

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