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Better, more affordable and greener transport for Carlisle

October 30, 2019 2:45 PM
By Fiona Southern
Originally published by Carlisle Lib Dems with Julia Aglionby

"As MP for Carlisle, I will work for better, affordable and greener public transport throughout Carlisle and to Newcastle and the West Coast." - Julia Aglionby

Better Public Transport for Carlisle

Carlisle is fortunate to have good rail links along the west coast mainline but our cross-country services to Newcastle and Leeds, and the coastal service, are not fit for purpose. Rolling stock is outdated and inadequate for demand, whilst journey times are too slow. Good public transport is essential for business, giving opportunities to deepen the labour market and get significant numbers of people to and from our city centres. It is also fundamental in our fight against climate change - people will only reduce car journeys if there are viable alternatives.

Carlisle Station by Richard Sutcliffe (Richard Sutcliffe)

Include Carlisle in Northern Powerhouse Rail Initiative

The Northern Powerhouse Rail initiative recognises the need for improved rail services to "grow the North and rebalance the UK economy," unfortunately it does not include Cumbria in this vision. I will work to address this and to secure changes in the Northern Powerhouse proposals to ensure that Cumbria also benefits from better-connected businesses and communities. A Liberal Democrat government will pursue the electrification of the entire rail network. Liberal Democrats will improve journey times and decarbonise rail travel.

Emerging vision for the Northern Powerhouse Rail Network

Ensure Northern Rail Franchise meets its obligations.

The Northern Rail franchise agreement requires Arriva to provide a minimum of twenty services per day between Carlisle and Newcastle, of which ten should have a journey time of fewer than eighty minutes. Currently, there are only two trains that meet this requirement.

"I will work to ensure that the Franchise meets its obligations to introduce quicker services to the north-east, phase out Pacer trains on our lines and introduce free WiFi on all services." - Julia Aglionby

Better Public Transport for 16-17 Year Olds

As your Liberal Democrat MP, I will push for improved public transport within Carlisle, promoting subsidised bus routes to link residential areas and key employment zones, and also the Cumberland and West Cumbria hospitals. The Liberal Democrats have committed to introduce a new Young Person's Bus Discount Card giving a two thirds discount on bus travel for young people aged 16-21 but I will work for Carlisle's teenagers to have the same benefits as those in Greater Manchester, where 16-18 year olds can travel free on the buses.

We hear more and more about the risks of air pollution to our health; how it leads to coughing and difficulty breathing and contributes to 40,000 premature deaths each year. A recent study by Friends of the Earth revealed that like most cities, Carlisle has streets in which the level of nitrogen dioxide exceeds the recommended levels.
"My commitment to improving public transport in Carlisle will reduce vehicular traffic in the city." - Julia Aglionby

The Liberal Democrats are committed to ensuring that all public buses in urban areas will run on ultra-low emission or zero-emission fuels within five years.

References:

https://transportforthenorth.com/wp-content/uploads/TFTN_-_NPR_At_a_Glance.pdf will be

Schedule 7 of the Northern Rail Franchise (p334)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/northern-rail-2016-rail-franchise-agreement#history

https://friendsoftheearth.uk/clean-air/nearly-two-thousand-locations-across-england-wales-and-northern-ireland-breaching-air