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£2.2m go-ahead for A590 safety improvements

The Transport Minister has given the go-ahead for a £2.2 million investment to improve a dangerous stretch of road on the A590.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron welcomed the news, following a campaign for safety improvements to be made at the Greenodd junction following several serious and fatal accidents.

"Today’s confirmation is another step in our long running campaign to improve safety on the A590. Last week the Minister met with local residents and unlike many ministerial visits, he actually came and agreed to a package of measures that will help make the road safer.

"I told him that more must be done and that I wanted him to go back to London and sign the paperwork and give Greenodd the funds. So I’m delighted he did just that. I will continue to push him and the Government on this, but his words and, more importantly, his commitments are very welcome.”

– Tim Farron MP, South Lakes-Lib Dems

Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin has pledged the funding to build a new roundabout in replacement of the existing junction with the A5092.

A dual carriageway entry and exit roads for the bypass itself, and a two-lane entry to the roundabout coming from the A5092 are also part of the scheme.

"The A590 plays an important role in linking east and west Cumbria and so will benefit from improvement of the junction. It will support the creation of 3,700 jobs and 1,265 homes by 2020.”

– Patrick McLoughlin MP, Transport Secretary

Mr McLoughlin also agreed to spend £150,000 from the Department for Transport on a study to look at safety across the whole of the A590.

Work on the new improvements will begin next year.

Olympic tickets for armed forces

After a twitter campaign involving South Lakes MP Tim Farron thousand of spare Olympic tickets will be given to members of the Armed Forces.

A twitter campaign was launched to give members of the armed forces the tickets when news that more than 200,000 were spare.

Now the organisers have announced that through the charity Tickets for troops over 10,000 Olympic and Paralympic tickets have ben donated.

Commenting Tim Farron said:

"I am absolutely delighted that the Olympics organizers have listened to our twitter campaign to show our thanks to our armed forces by giving them the spare tickets to both the Olympics and Paralympics. The service and commitment that our military has shown by agreeing to step in and ensure that security for these major international events is not compromised for a second is fantastic and they deserve all of our thanks and support.”

– Tim Farron MP

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Calls for rail franchise debate

A south Lakes MP is calling for a Parliamentary debate on the future of the West Coast main line railway and any future franchise award.

The new franchise will run for 14 years until introduction of the first phase of the high speed rail line in 2026.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron says he wants a debate to ensure prices are not increased while services reduced.

He said: "I am prepared to back the bidder who offers the best deal for our area.

"I am calling for a parliamentary debate on the matter so we can make sure local residents are heard loudly and clearly in Westminster."

Kendal cancer service talks

MP Tim Farron and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley Credit: Tim Farron

A campaign to bring more cancer services to Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital has been heard by the Secretary of State for Health.

The South Lakes MP Tim Farron held talks yesterday with Andrew Lansley about the possible introduction of radiotherapy services.

Currently patients have to travel to Preston for treatment which an advisory group says is too far away.

Mr Farron said: "Meeting the Secretary of State is another step forward in our campaign.

"He emphasised that he was supportive of the project and paid tribute to our campaign."

Local MP welcomes Network Rail fine

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed news that the Network Rail have been fined £4 million for breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act over the Cumbrian rail crash at Grayrigg in which one passenger died. Commenting today, Tim said:

"I welcome the news that Network Rail have pleaded guilty and have been fined £4 million. For too long people have not been held accountable for their actions and have hidden behind Network Rail as a faceless company. The fact that 700 points related incidents were identified around the UK following the Grayrigg crash proves that a full public inquiry is still much needed. I hope that today's news is another step closer to offering the family of Margaret Masson the closure they deserve. We must never forget the tragedy of Grayrigg and it is important that the company are held to account. "

– Tim Farron MP

Last month Network Rail was fined £1 million for safety breaches after the 2005 deaths of two schoolgirls at a level crossing in Essex and paid a £3 million fine last year for the Potters Bar disaster in 2002 which left seven dead.

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Campus celebrations for Ambleside

University of Cumbria's Ambleside campus Credit: ITV Border

University bosses have given the go ahead for plans to redevelop a moth-balled south lakes campus.

700 students will return to the University of Cumbria's Ambleside site which was mostly closed in 2010 due to financial difficulties.

Final plans for the re-development of the site will be ready in May.

University of Cumbria's Ambleside campus Credit: ITV Border

News of the reopening has been welcomed by Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron.

He said: "This is fabulous for the whole area. Seven hundred students will bringin a lot to the local economy and create more than 100 new jobs, many ofthem well paid."

  1. Samantha Parker

MP Tim Farron: "Public inquiry will save lives."

There's been a renewed call for a public inquiry into the Grayrigg train crash.

Yesterday Network Rail said they will plead guilty to health and safety offences.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron says victims and their families still need more answers. Samantha Parker reports.

"We know that the Grayrigg crash was caused by points failure, we also know there have been others of hundreds near misses and the job now is to make sure we find out why there are those near misses and how they can be avoided in the future. If that saves lives then it is worth every penny."

– Tim Farron MP, Westmorland and Lonsdale
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