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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Anger over Cumbrian Sunday rail service snub

A rail group is disappointed a bid to run Sunday trains from Carlisle along the west Cumbrian coast has been rejected.

Train photo

An application had been made by Cumbria County Council to the Government for cash to fund a six-month pilot scheme that was hoped would establish a demand for a Sunday service on the line.

But the bid to run trains from the city to Barrow, taking in towns such as Whitehaven, was turned down by the Department for Transport.

The county council said it would carry on lobbying for this service.

A statement from the Copeland Rail Users’ Group said it was “disappointed” to hear the news.

“This is the only rail line of any length in England without a Sunday service,” added a spokesman.

The group said it underlined the need to ensure that a new franchise running from 2016 included “a full service for the Cumbrian coast line, including Sundays, evenings and early mornings”.

The spokesman added: “The current partial service makes it very difficult for tourism businesses, students, hospital and prison visits and is surely unacceptable for the future.”

The rail union RMT described the decision as “another kick in the teeth for rail services in the north”.

Mick Cash, acting general secretary, said: “Local people are right to be angry that a perfectly viable bid to expand much-needed rail services in west Cumbria has been snubbed by the Government.”

A county council spokesman said: “We were hoping by running the trial it would establish a clear demand for Sunday services.

“We will continue to lobby Government pointing out how essential it is to have Sunday services on that line.”

Have your say

I feel that this is the short end of the wedge, and the DfT would love to be able to close the whole line in the future.
We need some major lobbying by all the MPs affected: John Woodcock, Jamie Reed, Tony Cunningham and John Stevenson.
All 4 together would be better than each separately.

Posted by David on 25 July 2014 at 15:53

There are plenty of people who would welcome a Sunday service as there are plenty of us that work on Sundays.

Posted by Linda on 25 July 2014 at 11:52

View all 7 comments on this article

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