Improve Lakes and Furness Lines to help tackle climate change, MP tells ministers

December 10, 2021 4:55 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

On the floor of the House of Commons this week, local MP Tim Farron made the case for improvements to the Lakes and Furness railways lines to help the environment and boost the local economy.

During a debate on the Government's Integrated Rail Plan Tim called for:

  • A passing loop on the Lakes Line at Burneside
  • Step-free access at Staveley station
  • Electrification of the Furness Line and Lakes Line

Tim said: "I am encouraged by recent conversations with the Rail Minister about the possibility of a passing loop at Burneside, which would give us the opportunity to effectively dual the line again.

"Doing that would double the capacity on the Lakes Line and massively increase the number of people who could come to the Lake District and not come by car. That would be a huge positive.

"It is worth bearing in mind that there are many small things that are huge to us. At Staveley, the first station in the Lake District, there are 41 steps to get up to the station. Friends of mine who have disability issues, are elderly or need to use prams simply cannot use their local station, so I call on the Government to consider very carefully funding access to Staveley station.

"We have a world-class visitor destination in the Lake District, with what feels at the moment like a third-class rail connection. That is why I ask, finally, that the Government reconsider the electrification of the line from Oxenholme to Windermere, and of the Furness Line from Lancaster to Barrow through my constituency. That would be a positive, carbon-neutral thing to do, and it would be a massive boost to tourism and to local communities."