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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Ministry scuppers bid for Sunday train service

COPELAND Rail Users’ Group is “disappointed” that a bid for a summer Sunday service between Whitehaven and Barrow has been turned down.

Government funding had been applied for by Cumbria County Council, which was in talks with Northern Rail, to operate a 26 week trial service next year – with the change becoming permanent if there was a demand.

However, the Department for Transport announced this month the bid was unsuccessful.

But, David Andrews, secretary of Copeland Rail Users' Group, says hope is not lost as the group continues to make a strong case for a full service on the coast line.

He said: “This is the only rail line of any length in England without a Sunday service and is likely by this autumn to leave towns like Millom and smaller communities such as Seascale and St Bees without any public transport on Sundays.

“This just underlines the need to ensure the rail franchise from 2016 includes a full service for the Cumbrian coast line including Sundays, evenings and early mornings.”

Mr Andrews said the current partial service makes it difficult for tourism, students, hospital and prison visits for people living between Barrow and Whitehaven.

He said in addition to a lack of Sunday service, upcoming County Council cuts to bus services in rural areas will mean people living in St Bees down to Askam will be “completely cut off from any public transport”.

He said improvements have been made to rail services in recent years, with the raising of sections of platforms and the increase from three to four services between Whitehaven and Carlisle on Sunday. And the group wants to push for more improvements to be made. The group is urging passengers to look at, and respond to a consultation document for the new rail franchise from 2016.

Anyone wanting to view the document can go to www.gov.uk and search for The Stakeholder Consultation: TransPennine Express rail franchise and Northern Rail franchise.

People can make submissions by the closing date of August 18 online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/7L2NGR7.

Have your say

What about the much vaunted sellafield train that was going to be available to the public too. Hundreds of thousands ££££££££££££ have already been spent on carriages and the service was promised well over a year ago. Where has all this public money gone????????? Where is the service?????? this was supposted to be from carlisle through barrow. Where are Direct Rail Services (again public money) and sellafied, both promised the service with the nda????? Big promises and carriages bought for the purpose currently refitted at the cost of thousands and thousands ££££ busy rotting. No wonder there is no money....

Posted by lee on 1 August 2014 at 12:07

What about the much vaunted sellafield train that was going to be available to the public too. Hundreds of thousands ££££££££££££ have already been spent on carriages and the service was promised well over a year ago. Where has all this public money gone????????? Where is the service?????? this was supposted to be from carlisle through barrow. Where are Direct Rail Services (again public money) and sellafied, both promised the service with the nda????? Big promises and carriages bought for the purpose currently refitted at the cost of thousands and thousands ££££ busy rotting. No wonder there is no money....

Posted by lee on 1 August 2014 at 11:36

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