A SERIES of delays and cancellations which made for yet another fraught Bank Holiday weekend on the railways in the area has prompted MP Tim Farron to urge new transport secretary Grant Shapps to tackle the issue.

Eight of the first 10 scheduled trains on the Lakes Line on the Sunday of the holiday weekend were cancelled and there were more cancellations on the Bank Holiday Monday.

And on Tuesday, an operational incident at Windermere caused a string of further delays and cancellations to the Lakes Line's regular Oxenholme to Windermere services.

In addition, the Furness Line was also hit by cancellations on the holiday weekend.

The majority of the delays were due to driver shortages, a situation which has angered Mr Farron to the extent that he has written to Mr Shapps urging him to work with Northern to get this resolved.

“It’s been great to see the quality of trains improve over the summer with brand new rolling stock, but sadly we aren’t seeing the quality of service improve," said the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP.

"And now passengers have been left stranded on one of the busiest weekends of the year because of these bonkers rules.

“Imagine going to a restaurant which is advertised as open, sitting down, paying for your meal in advance and then being told it’s hit and miss as to whether the chef will turn up because he doesn’t actually have to.

“If the Secretary of State doesn’t want to be seen as another Failing Grayling then he needs to sit down with Northern to urgently address this so that passengers are able to get that reliable service that they pay for and deserve.”

Robert Talbot, chair of the Lakes Line User Group, said the holiday weekend problems were all too familiar.

"It's now the fourth summer of such problems and you would have thought it would have been sorted by now," he said.

"It's just more frustration for passengers across the region."