John Stevenson MP for Carlisle and Richard Morris, Chair of the Settle- Carlisle Railway met with Theresa Villiers, Minister for Transport with responsibility for Rail to discuss the Northern Franchise due for renewal in April 2014.
Issues discussed included improving passenger train service on the Settle- Carlisle Line, how the local economies along the line can be boosted by bringing more tourists to Carlisle and the Eden Valley and the inclusion of the Settle- Carlisle railway in the Northern Franchise.
John said "We had a productive meeting with the Minister which allowed us to discuss the importance of the Settle- Carlisle railway being included in the Northern Franchise. I am hopeful that the local issues and views which we raised, specifically those regarding increasing capacity to encourage more tourists to our area, were taken into account which would make an additional contribution to our local economy."
Richard Morris said "We are very fortunate to be able to meet with the Minister to explain just how much the Partnership has done for the Line in recent years and to discuss with the Department how we can further develop the rail service."
Douglas Hodgins, Chairman of the Settle- Carlisle Railway Development Company was also present at the meeting. He stressed the value of the Partnership between his company, the Friends and Northern rail. "In an unique arrangement, the Development Company help to staff the ticket offices at Appleby and Settle, administer the Dales Railcard scheme and run the highly acclaimed refreshment trolley service on the trains. Particularly popular at this time of year are the on train ice creams! Meanwhile the Friends look after the station gardens, provide volunteer guides on trains and run shops at Settle and Appleby stations."
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