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Warning as people ignore A591 closure signs

There was major destruction on the A591. Credit: ITV News

Pedestrians and cyclists are being warned to stay away from a flood-damaged Lake District Road.

Cumbria County Council say people have been risking their safety by moving fencing and ignoring closure signs on the A591 around Thirlmere.

They have warned that this could delay construction work that is ongoing to repair the road, as well as putting people's safety at risk.

Government pledges £40m to help rebuild flood damaged roads

The government has announced it will release £40m to help communities recovering from floods by rebuilding damaged roads.

Highways England will start design and construction work to repair the A591, and investigate what is required to restore Pooley Bridge and Eamont Bridge, in Cumbria, in the New Year.

Damaged section of the A591 near Thirlmere Credit: ITV Border

“We understand the difficulties of people trying to travel in an area hit by flooding and we are doing everything we can to help Cumbria.

“On behalf of Cumbria County Council we and our supply chain partners will be working to rebuild the damaged section of the A591 as soon as possible so it is safe for road users, and to investigate what we can do to repair the A6 Eamont Bridge and the B5320 Pooley Bridge; this will allow the council to concentrate on other priorities to help its residents.”

– Jim O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of Highways England
Damaged section of the A591 at Dunmail Raise Credit: ITV Border

The new funding package is in addition to the £6.1 billion the government has committed to local authorities across England to help maintain the condition of local roads, between now and 2021.

A591 shuttle bus to launch in January

A shuttle bus for the A591 is hoped to be up and running in time for the start of term in January.

The new link will connect the Thirlmere side to Keswick and will initially be used for school pupils currently cut off from their normal school.

Cumbria County Council say that work will then continue to further upgrade this temporary connection so it can be used by the shuttle buses to cross Dunmail Raise.

This will allow a full park-and-ride service for local people travelling for work, education and other essential journeys to start. Likely pick up points will be at Grasmere, Legburthwaite and Keswick.

Work has already started and the aim is for this to be operational by the end of January.

“The A591 is vital to Cumbria; livelihoods depend on it. All of us want to see the full road reopened as quickly as possible but the view from local and national experts is that this is a complicated task that is going to take time. That’s why this temporary connection is so important.

"It will allow school children, local workers, residents and tourists to move comparatively easily between the north and south Lake District and we know the difference this will make. If I could I’d have the A591 open tomorrow, but that’s not the reality.

"Looking forward we are going to be working very closely with government on this and I can assure everyone that this work will be done as quickly as is possible.”

– Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council

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A591 to reopen with support from Environment Secretary

The A591 between Grasmere and Keswick Credit: ITV Border

The Environment Secretary has pledged the government will support county council efforts to get the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick reopened as soon as possible.

Thousands of tonnes of debris were removed from the road by the army earlier this week but it remains closed.

Petition to 'urgently' re-open Cumbrian road gets 2,000 supporters

The A591. Credit: ITV Border

A petition calling for "urgent" repair work to re-open a significant Cumbrian road has attracted widespread support.

Within 24 hours, the online petition has been signed by more than 2,000 people, putting it well on its way to the 2,500 target.

It calls for the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick to be re-opened, after it was seriously damaged by Storm Desmond.

The closure means a 120 mile detour for some motorists.

It was started by Mike Fearon, who says the importance of the major Lake District road should not be underestimated:

There seems no "plan" to unblock this main road joining the North of the lakes to the South.

There are suggestions that it will take MONTHS to open.

Why? If full scale machinery was moved in now, it would NOT take months.

No one has dragged their heels in pitching in to help with the flood damage and huge amounts have been achieved. The people that this road blockage effects want to know what is being done about it."

– Mike Fearon, Petition Summary

Delays expected between Windermere and Kendal

Delays are expected. Credit: ITV Border

Drivers are being told to expect delays between Windermere and Kendal next week.

Roadworks are being carried out on the A591 at Ings:

  • Temporary traffic lights will control a one-lane managed traffic flow
  • This will be in place from Monday 7 September for the duration of the work, which is expected to last three weeks.

The work involves reconstructing an 8-metre length of the retaining wall on the road near The White House, at Ings.

Cumbria County Council says it's essential, as parts of the retaining wall have already collapsed and there are signs the remaining sections could already do so.

The Council says doing the work now means that more serious disruption can be avoided further down the line.

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