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Campaign Launched To Improve Furness Line Service

The Cumbria Better Connected campaign is being relaunched because of the "dire" state of the Furness Line.

Barrow MP John Woodock says passengers are tired of "dreadful reliability", "clapped out carriages" and "ancient locomotives which break down".

In the Commons this week, operator Northern admitted the route between Lancaster and Barrow was their biggest source of complaints.

The campaign will be restarted at the Coronation Hall in Ulverston a week tomorrow (Friday October 20).

Speaking ahead of the meeting, John said: “I know passengers are sick to death of the dreadful reliability of services to and from Lancaster and up the coast and the clapped out uncomfortable carriages and ancient locomotives which break down, belch smoke and give a dreadful impression of the area. 

“So far, the warm words from the Conservative government about local transport improvements before the election have come to nothing but we are not going to put up with a situation where ministers can find huge sums for Northern Ireland but starve the north of desperately needed resources. 

“Re-convening the Cumbria Better Connected campaign next week will be a good opportunity both to quiz Northern Rail about the state of their services and to coordinate a renewed community wide push for the improvements we need from the government.

“When I saw managers from Northern in the House of Commons this week they acknowledged that the Furness line was the biggest source of complaints for the whole network. They need to put us top of the queue for better rolling stock and so do the government who robbed this area when they redirected decent carriages from here to the Chilterns. The situation is now so bad that many passengers are saying they are cancelling trips because they have no confidence in the service and potential inward investors risk being put off when their first impression of the area is a decrepit third world rail line.”

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