In 2011 the Furness line action group (FLAG) celebrated 25 years of promoting and protecting the Furness Coast rail services. We now have approximately 200 members and produce a 24 page colour magazine three times each year for members.
Why do we need pressure groups such as FLAG? To answer this, let’s go back to the 1960s when the government of the day brought in Dr Richard Beeching from ICI. His role was to bring the then British Rail (BR) into some sort of profitability.
No doubt there were some little used branch lines that should never have been built, and could be closed. But some important main lines “got the chop”. So before pressure groups came into being local people who wish to protest had no one to turn to.
As franchises, governments, councils and MPs come and go, FLAG, in cooperation with Cumbrian community rail partnerships (CRP), will continue to provide continuity and independent specialist expertise to ensure rail is the top priority for transport investment.
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