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MP urges minister to tell rail bosses to back down over plans to shut the Lakes Line over Easter

Written by on 14/02/2019

On the floor of the House of Commons this morning, local MP Tim Farron urged the Government to tell Network Rail to scrap plans to close the Lakes Line over the busy Easter weekend.

Network Rail are planning on closing the line, which runs from Oxenholme to Windermere, for both Easter Saturday and Sunday to do maintenance work.

The section of the Furness Line which runs between Grange-over-Sands and Carnforth will also be closed during Easter Sunday.

Speaking during Transport Questions, Tim said: “Is the minister aware that there will be no stock rolling at all north of Preston during the busy Easter weekend because Network Rail are closing the line for maintenance?

“Doesn’t he know that the Lake District is Britain’s biggest visitor destination outside of London and that Easter weekend is our busiest time of year?

“Will he tell Network Rail to change their plans?”

In response, the Rail Minister Andrew Jones said he understood the importance of tourism to the Lake District economy and would pass on Tim’s point to Network Rail.

Speaking afterwards, Tim said: “Easter weekend is massive for Cumbria’s tourism industry so there is no doubt that this is going to be a huge kick in the teeth for our local economy.

“Network Rail could have literally picked any other time of the year to do this work but instead chose one of the busiest travelling weekends of the year – common sense has been well and truly chucked out of the window.

“This is a slap in the face for people wanting to visit our beautiful part of the world, as well as for local people wanting to visit family and friends at Easter, and especially for our vital hospitality and tourist industry.”