Let the train take the strain in Lakeland
Sir, Now that the Lake District has been awarded the accolade of world heritage site perhaps now is the time to think about how the expected influx of travellers planning to visit the Lake District are to travel here.
It’s great news that Carlisle airport is coming on stream to make worldwide travellers’ journeys less stressful and to arrive much nearer their destination. However, not all visitors will arrive at Carlisle.
Many overseas visitors arrive at Heathrow or Manchester airports and then travel by train to Windermere, which has a direct link to the national rail network.
For those visitors wishing to reach the northern parts of the Lake District the journey becomes more likely to be undertaken by car. The case for reopening the Penrith to Keswick railway to allow visitors to travel by train to the northern Lake District is a no-brainer.
One only has to look at the success of the reopening of the Borders railway, which has necessitated longer and more frequent train services to cater for the huge passenger numbers.
More visitors arriving by train in Keswick would distribute the economic benefits that tourists provide over a much wider area of the county.
Reopening the Penrith to Keswick line will also help reduce traffic on the already congested A66, reduce emissions and provide an alternative mode of transport for local commuters.
At some point in the future perhaps, an urban tramway to link Carlisle airport to the citadel station would enable travellers to reach Keswick directly by rail.
Perhaps the county council should throw its weight behind Cedric Martindale, who campaigned tirelessly for the reinstatement of this valuable asset which has gone unrecognised by councillors as the future mode of travel. Yours etc,