Eric Ollerenshaw column

Eric Ollerenshaw MP.
Eric Ollerenshaw MP.

Just before Parliament broke up for Easter we had an important meeting of the All Party Group on Northern Rail in London to voice our concerns at the possible loss of diesel trains from First Transpennine in the next few years.

The problem seems to be that despite the increase in investment in electrification there will still be a time lag between the transfer from diesel to electric, while Northern Rail may not get all its electric trains in time so again putting a premium on diesel trains to plug the gap.

And wouldn’t you just know it - British diesel trains are totally different to any built abroad.

Given we have some time to sort this, our next meeting will be with the Department of Transport to put pressure on solving this before it becomes an issue in what so far has been a successful business in terms of greater passenger use.

Locally I once again met with land owners to discuss the progress that seems to be finally being made with regards to clearing out the dykes and water-courses. Hopefully this will improve the situation of flooded fields somewhat, however without work being carried out on the River Cocker to enable the water to flow away this may not be enough to solve all the problems around Cockerham and Winmarleigh.

Where the river hits the coast it now means the Marine Management Organisation has to, in certain circumstances, grant permission - a whole minefield in itself.

However, I will shortly be meeting with them to discuss how to cut through the extraordinary amount of red tape and hopefully get the necessary work done to prevent the build up of water on good farming land.

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