A free train service set up to help Cumbrian residents affected by the recent floods will continue operating until May 2010 thanks to an extra £750,000 of Government funding.
The hourly service was set up in November to provide a link for Workington residents who found themselves cut off when flood waters divided the town. The link, which has proved popular among residents, was made possible thanks to initial Government funding of £380,000 to lease an additional train to operator Northern Rail.
Sadiq Khan, transport minister, said: "When I visited Workington I witnessed the devastation the floods had caused so I am really pleased to be able to announce this extra funding to keep this service running until next May.
"These additional services have helped to reunite the two sides of the town – it has enabled residents to visit family and friends, made it easier for children to get to school and helped people to get to work. I hope that the continuation of this service will make the lives of those affected a little easier."
The train service, which runs from Workington to the new temporary station built by Network Rail north of the river (called Workington North), Flimby and Maryport, had been contracted to run until the end of 2009 but will now continue and remain free of charge until Sunday 2 May 2010. This funding also allows Northern Rail to operate additional carriages on the majority of Cumbrian Coast services providing much needed additional capacity over a wider area.