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MP to announce Windermere rail electrification

MP Tim Farron will announce the £16 million investment to electrify the Windermere rail line.

The Government's Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, will also be at Windermere station to officially launch the upgrading plan today.

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MP 'over the moon' about rail investment

Windermere, which will have electric trains from 2017 Credit: ITV Border

South Lakes MP, Tim Farron, says the announcement of a £16m investment to electrify the Windermere rail line will boost tourism and attract new businesses to the area.

The Government's Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, will be at Windermere station to officially launch the upgrading plan today.

As well as providing faster and more reliable journeys between Windermere and Oxenholme, where the branch lines links up with the West Coast main line, Mr. Farron believes it will help to protect through trains to Manchester Airport.

The MP has been campaigning for the changes, along with the Lakes Line Rail User Group.

"The plan will bring much-needed construction jobs in the shorter term and in the longer term attract new businesses, boost tourism and create a better environment for job creation. I am over the moon that we have been able to make this project a reality."

– Tim Farron MP

“This will be a shot in the arm to our tourism industry and means people can have breakfast in London and lunch in Windermere."

– Peter Thornton, Leader of South Lakeland District Council

£16m to electrify Windermere rail line

Windermere, which will have electric trains from 2017 Credit: ITV Border

The Government has announced a £16 million investment to electrify the Windermere rail line in the Lake District.

The 10 mile branch line links the National Park to the west coast main line at Oxenholme. It will be upgraded to allow electric trains to run on the route. The Government says it will mean faster and more reliable journeys.

The work will be carried out by Network Rail as part of its electrification programme across the north. It could be completed by 2017. Other routes being electrified include Manchester to Liverpool, Preston, Leeds and York, and Preston to Blackpool.

The Government says the National Park and the visitors using the railway will be taken into account as the work is carried out.

Campaigners have long called for the line to be electrified to improve the service and protect its future.

“Electrifying this key rail link will support the vital tourism industry in the area, and help us build a stronger economy in the Lake District and beyond."

– Baroness Kramer, Transport Minister

Lake users happy with Windermere experience

Survey to find out how happy the general public are when visiting Windermere. Credit: ITV News Border

A survey by South Lakeland District Council of lake users has shown three-quarters of respondents are happy with their experience visiting Windermere.

The survey is designed to gather information on lake usage and is an opportunity for lake users to rate and comment on facilities and services. It is open to all lake users and this year’s attracted 529 complete useable responses.

In answer to the question asking how satisfied or dissatisfied users are with their experience using the lake 76% said they were ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied, compared to just 12% who were dissatisfied.

76% very satisfied with the experience using the lake. Credit: ITV News Border

When asked how they rated facilities 63% said public slipways were either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, advice and help was rated as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ by 53%, car parks (49%) and public jetties (46%).

They were also asked about lake rescue and safety services 93% said they valued the service, and almost all the respondents (94%) who had been rescued at some point on the lake rated the rescue service as either ‘excellent or ‘good’.

Respondents to the survey were also invited to add comments on any other matters about their use of the lake.

Some of those comments referred to the 10mph speed limit on the lake, with some people asking whether the limit could be reviewed or an area set aside for water sports. A number of other comments said the speed limit should be retained or more strictly enforced.

The survey and comments were presented to the last meeting of the Lake Administration Committee. The comments about the speed limits were discussed and it was agreed that further analysis of the comments was required.

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Windermere fly past

Windermere set for Lancaster Bombers

The Lancaster Bombers were used in the WWII Dam Busters Raid Credit: RAF Museum

The last 2 remaining Lancaster Bombers from the Dam Busters raid in WWII are flying past Brockhole National Park Visitor Centre in Windermere on what would have been the last pilot's 100th birthday.

Archie Johnstone from Grange-over-sands died in April.

Archie Johnstone, the last Dam Buster Credit: RAF Museum

Man identified following fatal fire in Windermere

Two people, who died in a fire in Windermere, have been named by police as Andrew William Telford Coates and Polly Sarah Connor.

Andrew, 41, of Buttermere Drive in Kendal and Polly, aged 46 of Sepulchre Road in Kendal, were killed when a shed containing fireworks caught fire in Ecclerigg. It's believed they were technicians for a professional firework company, hired for a wedding party on August 30th.

Although police say they are not treating the fire as suspicious, they are working with the Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies to establish the circumstances.

Tribute paid to 'irreplaceable' wife and mother

Polly was married to Damien Connor, 46. The couple had three children; Molly, 15, Daisy, 14, and Oscar, 10. Credit: Polly Connor's family

A tribute has been paid to 46-year-old Polly Connor, who died following an explosion and fire in Windermere, on Saturday August 30th.

Polly Connor, a plumber from Kendal, had been helping with a display at a wedding celebration when the fireworks went off in a shed. A man who died with her hasn't yet been named.

"Words simply cannot adequately describe our loss, particularly that of her husband Damien and children who she absolutely adored and was so incredibly proud of. Her children were a tribute to her. She absolutely put them first.

She was irreplaceable. She was my daughter and my friend. I don't know how I will be without her.”

– Penny Benson, Polly’s mother
Credit: Polly Connor's family

“We are devastated, completely distraught. We’ve been torn apart by this.

Polly took people in, would be the first to offer to help whenever she could. She was very much a family person, loved by all who were lucky enough to know her and spend time with her.”

– Russell Colman, Polly’s brother
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