Railway pioneer complains to council

Date: Saturday 4th December 2004

CKP Railways, the company planning to rebuild the Keswick to Penrith railway link, has made a formal complaint to Eden District Council over a planning decision which it claims could add millions of pounds to the final cost.

Cedric Martindale, the director of CKP Railways plc, said that Keswick Town Council and other local organisations had also written to Eden demanding an explanation of their decision to allow development at Flusco.

Mr. Martindale claims diverting around Flusco would not be a simple matter. Massive earthworks and bridges would be involved, adding millions to reconstruction costs and wasting miles of existing trackbed.

He added: “No physical work has yet taken place on the site so it is not too late.”

CKP Railways were recently accused by Penrith and the Border MP David Maclean of distorting the Department of Transport’s position regarding the line and giving the impression an environmental study had been approved.

Mr Maclean said locals were concerned that the scheme was “unworkable pie in the sky” and the rail company had suggested that the first stage of the plan had got government backing.

CKP said at the time that Mr Maclean’s concerns had already been addressed and there was considerable local support for the railway project.

More than £300,000 has been raised, mainly through bonds, to fund project development. About £65,000 has come from residents of Keswick, Penrith and villages in between.