South Lakes MP writes to the Prime Minister over lockdown changes

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Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, has written to the Prime Minister following his address to the nation (10th May). 

In his letter, the MP voiced his concerns over changes to the lockdown, with the result being that people could descend upon the County from outside the area, and has called for clarity from the PM. 

Here is the letter:

I write to you to represent my constituents with regard to your statement last night on the changes to the lockdown, and specifically the new guidance issued that from Wednesday people will be allowed to drive to do exercise. 

I recognise that the ability for people to travel a few miles to go for a walk or a run, especially for people living in built up areas, is important to people's physical and mental health. 

However, I share the concerns of many of my constituents that this new guidance could easily see a huge influx of thousands of visitors, travelling from half way across the country to come to the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. Just this last weekend Cumbria Police issued 100 fines to people who had travelled to the Lakes — with people travelling from as far away as Essex and London. 

With there being no changes to the guidance issued by the Welsh government, Snowdonia will still be off limits for people living in Manchester and Liverpool meaning that we are likely to see an even higher number of visitors descending to the Lake District than we otherwise would have done. 

I assume that is not what you meant when you issued this guidance, but clarity is crucial if we are to keep people safe.

Here in South Lakeland, we have the third highest COVID-19 infection rates per head of population in the country. And with an average age ten years above the national average, we have a far more vulnerable population. 

Coronavirus is still tragically claiming hundreds of people's lives every day and so restricting mass movement at this time would seem the responsible and safe thing to do. 

I would therefore implore you to a put specific limit on the number of miles that people can drive for exercise to help prevent the inevitable high influx of people travelling to the Lakes, the Dales and South Cumbria. 

Yours sincerely, 
TIM FARRON MP

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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: South Lakes MP writes to the Prime Minister over lockdown changes
South Lakes MP writes to the Prime Minister over lockdown changes
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