John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor visited Copeland to highlight the shocking lack of investment from the Tory Government in the local area. He joined Gillian Troughton, Labour’s by-election candidate for Copeland in calling for investment in road and rail infrastructure. They travelled on a local train into Whitehaven to highlight the infrequent service and the decrepit state of the trains themselves.
John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor said:
“The north is not getting the investment it deserves. I’ve seen first-hand here today how bad the local rail service is. The trains don’t run very often and are almost non-existent on a Sunday. When a train does arrive it is old and out of date. It’s just not fair and the people of Copeland deserve better. Labour is committed to increasing infrastructure investment and for that investment to be shared more fairly around the country.
Gillian Troughton, Labour’s candidate for Copeland said:
“I know from my own experience that our roads and rail service need significant investment to bring them up to scratch. People are also telling me on the doorstep when I talk to them that it’s a major problem. If we want to see economic growth then we need a road and rail network that can support it.
The Tory Government has failed to invest in Copeland. In 2016 Cumbria LEP submitted a bid for Department for Transport Local Transport Funding for two projects critical to the development of major projects on the west coast:
- A £4.4 million bid for development costs for critical improvements to the Cumbria Coastal Railway
- A £800,000 bid for the Whitehaven Relief Road project which is needed to address the cumulative impact of major developments and provide resilience and relief on the A595 through Whitehaven
Neither of the DfT Local Transport Majors Funding bids above were successful.
Labour has pledged £500bn of additional infrastructure investment over the next ten years.