By Ian Silvera
A new campaign to save Mancunians' quick train get away to the Lake District has been launched.
Shadow Transport Minister John Woodcock MP has hit out at First TransPennine Express proposals to remove more than half of the through services linking Barrow, Ulverston and Grange with the city and Manchester Airport.
Worst still Network Rail has revealed the through service could be completely removed by 2015.
Mr Woodcock has joined forces with Lucy Powell, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Manchester Central, to drum up support and collect signatures for his campaign to save the direct rail service.
More than 1,000 people have already signed the ‘Save Our Trains’ petition and Lucy – who has family roots in Barrow - stressed the importance of the link to communities at both ends of the line.
Ms Powell said: “Direct links to Furness and the Lake District are important for Manchester, too, and I will campaign for transport links across the north to be strengthened, not cut.”
The Manchester Central hopeful added: “This is an issue particularly close to my heart as my grandma, Brea Dowd, is from Barrow and I still have family over there.”
Mr Woodcock said that it was great to join forces with Ms Powell in order to save the Barrow-to-Manchester route.
He added: "The case for keeping the direct link between Manchester and Barrow is clear and I am heartened by the way people are coming forward to make their voices heard.”
Links to the ‘Save Our Trains’ petition are online at https://www.change.org/petitions/first-transpennine-express-the-secretary-of-state-for-transport-save-our-through-trains