THOUSANDS of people filled the streets of Kendal, this afternoon, in a march to bring a radiotherapy unit to South Lakeland.

More than 2,000 supporters flooded Highgate with their banners in a procession to demand closer services for cancer patients.

Crowds wound their way from Abbot Hall park to the town centre Birdcage, in a trail which was hundreds of metres long.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron and The Westmorland Gazette’s senior content editor Andrew Thomas gave a speech to crowds.

The campaign pair, who have collected more than 12,000 signatures in support of a radiotherapy unit at Kendal’s Westmorland General Hospital handed over names to Professor John Ashton, the north west health service director.

Mr Farron told crowds: “We have achieved what we’ve achieved so far because we realise that sitting still never changes anything. What a difference that makes for us as a community, I’m proud to stand for an area like this.”

Mr Thomas said: “This has been one of the biggest and best responses to a Westmorland Gazette campaign. That strength of feeling has been reflected today in the magnificent turn-out for the march.”

Prof Ashton accepted the signatures and said he was pleased to see a community spirit and a strong public attendance at the march.

He added: “Twenty years ago it became clear that access to cancer treatment in more urban areas of the north west. I’ve always seen development of services in Cumbria as the last piece of the jigsaw. This is something I’ve pushed for for a long time.”