Shadow secretary slams West Cumbrian public transport 'difficulties'

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Gillian Troughton and shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald take a bus to Carlisle along the A595
Gillian Troughton and shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald take a bus to Carlisle along the A595

Labour's shadow transport secretary has highlighted the "incredible difficulties" facing public transport users in West Cumbria.

Andy McDonald joined the party's Copeland by-election candidate Gillian Troughton for a bus trip yesterday from West Cumbria to the Cumberland Infirmary, to illustrate the journey faced by those visiting loved ones at the hospital.

Mr McDonald said a lack of government investment is "clearly hampering this region".

Mid-journey from Moor Row to Carlisle, Mr McDonald told the News & Star: "This trip is to shine a light on a number of issues; to highlight the need for more investment on transport in the area, and it brings into focus how poor the investment is here compared to London. There needs to be a better balance, and a fairer share.

"It also highlights how difficult it is for people using public transport to visit relatives at the West Cumberland Hospital, but if services move and people have to travel to Carlisle, it will be even more challenging.

"It takes the same time to travel from central Manchester to Carlisle as it does getting public transport from Copeland to Carlisle."

Mrs Troughton said: "I know that from a lot of places in Copeland the buses have been cut back or scrapped altogether so moving hospital services just isn’t practical for local people. Whether you have to travel for your own treatment or to visit someone, you should have a local hospital that is easy to access.

“It’s a disgrace that people who rely on public transport will have to travel over two hours to get hospital treatment in Carlisle. It will create a two tier health service in Copeland for those who have access to a car and those who don’t. I’m not going to let that happen”

In terms of financing improvements, Mrs Troughton added: "The Government needs a balanced economic plan – the austerity programme has only added more to the national debt – and a sound financial plan is what Labour is working towards."

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English   England , Whitehaven Friday, 17 February, 2017 at 2:27PM
Done nothing for Cumbria whilst B liar and Gordon Unelected Brown were in office. Truth is none of them give a rats behind about Cumbria, they just spin the same old same old and nothing changes. Not much point in voting either because if it's not the right answer they just ignore it ie Brexit vote. Politicians make me want to puke!
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John   Wood , Carlisle Monday, 13 February, 2017 at 7:01PM
Just the usual spend, spend, spend nonsense
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Harry   Dresden , Workington Monday, 13 February, 2017 at 6:42PM
Public transport also hellish for those who rely on it for travelling to work as it can add over two hours to your workday during the week and four hours on Sunday due mainly too the lack of buses running.
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Billy   , Whitehaven Monday, 13 February, 2017 at 5:48PM
Labour had 13 years to address this and they did diddly squat
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Stephen   Cooper , penrith Thursday, 16 February, 2017 at 6:04PM
Typical labour crawling round up north at election time then running back to London to stick their snouts in the trough once the election is over - labour did absolutely nothing for us while in power for 13 years because they were too busy lining their own pockets and waging illegal wars......
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Orange   Peel , Flimby Monday, 13 February, 2017 at 4:32PM
What is worse is the health service. When the nearest heart trauma hospital is the James Cook in Middlesborough. It takes almost a day to get there by public transport for visiting.
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