Tourism in Cumbria set to be hit by Easter rail repairs
Last updated at 11:43, Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Frustrated tourism bosses have called on rail bosses to think twice when scheduling engineering works.
The man in charge of Cumbria Tourism spoke out after it emerged that north Cumbria will be effectively cut off from the south by rail over the busy Easter weekend.
Engineering works are forcing all trains on the West Coast Mainline to stop at Preston – with determined visitors forced to endure more than two hours on a coach before they can reach Carlisle.
Many of the works begin on Good Friday and do not end until Bank Holiday Monday.
Ian Stephens, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said the work was effectively cutting off the county at one of its busiest times.
“Easter is a particularly busy period for holidays in Cumbria,” he explained.
“It is deeply frustrating for tourism businesses and visitors that engineering works are scheduled during key holiday periods – and especially over bank holidays.
“Indeed it is a point we raise frequently in our lobbying to get Network Rail to do more night time works.”
Mr Stephens continued: “We have no option but to continue to lobby for Government help on these issues to ensure that we get the right outcome for our tourism businesses.”
The tourism chief said rail travel was an environmentally-friendly form of transport, in keeping with the natural beauty of the Lake District, but was also essential in keeping the county moving.
“Ultimately it is vital that rural areas like Cumbria can be accessed by a reliable and integrated public transport network,” Mr Stephens insisted.
“This eases congestion on the local road network, reduces environmental impacts and also provides visitors with the opportunity of leaving their cars at home, and therefore the chance to see more and explore more of the beautiful county.”
Services affected will include First TransPennine Express, Northern Rail and Virgin Trains.
Anyone planning to travel by train is advised to check with their rail operator in advance.
First published at 11:33, Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Martin 12/3/13 "The cynic in me says it means the repair crews get holiday rates for it so they repair it then."Those that plan the works won't be out working during the holiday so won't get any enhanced rate, then you have to look at the contracts for those involved with the works, many don't get any enhancement to their pay for working bank holidays or Sundays. Most of those working during the bank holiday weekend would rather spend it with their families not digging ballast in freezing conditions. The railway has to be maintained, otherwise there will be major speed restrictions and possibly accidents, what would people rather have? A safe and fast rail service with occasional disruption for maintenance or slow and unsafe services? People need to be a grip.
john on 12 March 2013 at 20:24 "no trains run at all in the uk, at xmas, plus some other days, why not do the work then?"So you're saying rail workers should not get a Christmas break with their families to make it more convenient for others?It just so happens that rail workers do end up working these dates, and plenty of others to keep the railways running, it takes more than one weekend of work to maintain thousands of miles of rail tracks, signals, infrastructure. I'll be working over Easter while my family sits at home waiting for my shifts to finish, not many others will be working, though many will moan and groan at me as they have a slight inconvenience in their travel arrangements for one weekend. Last week I endured a tirade of verbal abuse from passengers as their train was 10 minutes late, I'm not allowed to respond with anything but platitudes, or tell them their train was delayed because someone wanted to jump in font of it ;-)
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