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  1. ITV Report

May 13 confirmed as opening date for A591

The Department of Transport has praised those working on the A591 as it was announced the road would re-open ahead of schedule.

The road has been closed since December after extensive damage was caused by Storm Desmond.

The main route between the North and South Lakes is now set to open on May 13th, which is eight days sooner than expected.

It's estimated that the road closure was costing the local economy around £0.5m for every day it was shut.

The road will now be open in time for the Spring bank holiday, allowing traffic to travel between Grasmere and Keswick.

The announcement was made by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who has been visiting parts of the county hit by Storm Desmond and Eva.

“The A591 is vital to Cumbria’s economy, providing an essential link for residents, businesses and tourists, so it is great news that Highways England expects to reopen the route earlier than planned.

“We know that the winter storms had a devastating effect on many people in Cumbria and across the north. That is why we have invested more than £117 million – including an extra £83 million in last month’s Budget – to ensure the region gets back on its feet as quickly as possible.”

– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin

Mr McLoughlin was joined by Highways England Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan and Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, to see how work was progressing on the A591.

“We’re acutely aware how important this road is to local people and tourism businesses.

"When we started the repairs in February we promised we’d be working to reopen the road as quickly as possible and with some great progress in the last few weeks we’re looking to do that by the middle of May rather than at the end of the month - which should be great news for visitors and businesses planning for the late spring bank holiday.”

– Jim O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of Highways England

“We are delighted that Patrick has made time in his busy schedule to show his support for the affected businesses and communities of Cumbria but more importantly his visit brings with him the excellent news that the A591 will re-open even sooner than expected.

"Everyone involved with the repair deserves our thanks as they have worked tirelessly to reopen this road, a road which is a vital connection for communities, businesses and tourists alike.”

– Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Cumbria County Council

The Transport Secretary also visited Pooley Bridge and Eamont Bridge, both of which were severely damaged in the December storms.