A FORMER Carlisle MP has called for a major part of the redevelopment of Carlisle Railway Station to be tied into the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The multi-million-pound Carlisle Station Gateway development will look to improve the station, including inside the building as well as Court Square and George Square.

Eric Martlew, who served as an MP for the city from 1987 to 2010, has suggested that George Square should be renamed Elizabeth Square as part of the overhaul, celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

The former Labour politician feels that it would be fitting, with the Queen set to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee in 2022, and has written to the leaders of Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Carlisle's Labour group and the city's mayor regarding the issue.

Discussing how he came up with the idea during a public consultation of the plans, Mr Martlew said: “I was brought up in Carlisle and feel that George Square just doesn’t resonate with the city.

"George Street was knocked down years ago to become Georgian Way; the name may have come from a street called South George Street, which is near the station.

“If it isn’t going to be called that, you have to think about what it should be called.

"It’s the jubilee next year and it seemed to be a fitting tribute and timing is right for the square to be named after Her Majesty.”

When asked if he has received a response to his call, he said: “I’ve had a response from the leader of the council who said that he would make sure that my suggestion was placed in the public consultation.

"I haven’t had a response from the MP yet but I noticed that he has said that we should be celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee and I hope he will support my idea.

“I just want the public to have a view of what I think would be a great idea.

"There is a Victoria Park in Carlisle and obviously Queen Victoria was a long-serving monarch.”

Mr Martlew continued by saying that the city would appreciate the recognition.

He said: “We are having this new entrance for the station and I know that Her Majesty has visited the city on a number of occasions, including attending the Maundy Thursday service at Carlisle Cathedral in the 1970s.

“I think the people of Carlisle will think: 'Yes, that’s a nice idea'.

"People may have some opinions on members of the Royal family but I’d say that there isn’t anyone who has one bad word about the Queen.”

A third consultation is now live for the public to share their thoughts.