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Saturday, 01 November 2014

Electrified rail line would boost Lake District tourism - MP

Tourism in the Lake District could benefit if the Lakes Line was electrified, according to Tim Farron.

 Tim Farron photo
Tim Farron

The South Lakes MP is trying to canvass backing from fellow MPs and Norman Baker, a fellow Lib Dem and former shadow transport spokesman who is in Windermere meeting the Lakes Line group.

He believes the Lake District’s £2 billion-a-year tourism industry would benefit if electrified trains could use the branch line between Oxenholme, Kendal, Burneside, Staveley and Windermere.

He said it would mean overseas passengers enjoying the convenience of catching trains from Manchester Airport to Windermere without a single stop – making journeys easier, quicker and more attractive for Japanese visitors on long-haul trips to the area.

Mr Farron says any potential scheme would cost around £10 million – a cost shared between the Department of Transport and train companies like Virgin or First Group.

He said: “I will also be tabling an early day motion this week (EDM) to get support for the electrification of the Lakes Line.”

Mr Farron said initial discussions had seen the minister give initial ‘encouraging support without overly committing himself’.

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