Plans confirmed for a school connection path to be built at A591 Dunmail Raise

The landslip and collapsed carriageway on the A591 at Dunmail Raise Credit: ITV Border

Plans have been confirmed for a walking route for school children over Dunmail Raise and past the collapsed carriageway to a connecting shuttle bus.

The path is hoped to be open for use by Tuesday 5 January 2016.

After the initial damage from Storm Desmond, both Storm Eva and Storm Frank caused the nearby river to undercut the remaining carriageway causing further collapse. This meant original plans for a walkway had to be revised.

The walking route has been identified down the west side of the road and Cumbria Highways teams are now working to improve the quality of the pathway. Work is also continuing on the east side of the road to create a temporary road connection that can be used by the shuttle bus from late January.

The new school shuttle-bus system will operate with two buses.

Return journeys will depart The Lakes School at 3.20pm and Keswick School at 3.35pm, with arrival back at each of these locations around 5pm. The south bus will be operated by Mountain Goat and the north bus by Ellenvale. The bus will be used by around a dozen children who have been cut off from their normal school.

  • One bus will depart from Keswick School at 7.00am, arriving at the south end of Thirlmere at 7.30am - operated by Ellenvale.

  • The other bus will depart from The Lakes School at 7.00am, arriving at the top of Dunmail Raise at 7.30am - operated by Mountain Goat.

Children will then walk, supervised, along the new path to the other bus and continue their journey north or south. Both buses will make stops at usual pick up points along the route.

  • The return buses will depart The Lakes School at 3.20pm and depart Keswick School at 3.35pm.

This demonstrates how challenging this situation is; there’s a reason major road building is rarely done in winter. But our engineers are already working to get a different walking route ready for use from next Tuesday. This is the first step to reconnect the north and south over the A591 and I’m pleased we’ll be minimising the disruption to pupils. But I know we need to have a road connection in place as quickly as possible and we’re working closely with Highways England to get the permanent repair work done."

Cllr Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways