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Double blow as A590 roundabout plan is shelved

June 11, 2012 4:27 PM

A590South Lakes MP Tim Farron and Low Furness County Councillor Janet Willis have reacted angrily to the news that the Highways Agency will not be building a roundabout at Greenodd.

This is the latest blow for A590 safety campaigners after Minister Mike Penning cancelled his visit toCumbriato hold talks about road safety on the A590, which were scheduled later this month. He will instead meet Tim in Westminster for 30 minutes rather than the proposed half a day with local residents and parish councils.

In their letter to Tim today the Highways Agency say that "were not able to secure funding for the roundabout scheme, as originally designed, as other schemes on a national basis were a higher priority. I realize that you will be disappointed by this news."

They go on to say: 'The Value Management process, when applied to the proposed roundabout at Greenodd, indicates that the scheme would deliver reasonable benefits, but those benefits are significantly below the level required to secure funding.'

Value Management (VM) is the tool that is used by the Highways Agency to score building and road schemes.

The roundabout was agreed by the Highways Agency in 2010 and work was supposed to commence this year.

The Highways Agency then assessed whether a smaller roundabout would be feasible but rejected that idea too as they said 'its construction would be complex and have a significant impact on users of the route in terms of increased delay and reduced visibility.'

Official county council statistics show there have been 284 accidents on the A590 within South Lakeland over the past 5 years - eight of them fatal and 33 of them serious.

This afternoon Tim said: "Local residents have been fighting for nearly 10 years to improve the A590 and I am angry that the government and the Highways Agency are trying to row back on previous promises made. I find this incredibly disrespectful to the hundreds of people and their families who have been killed and injured in crashes on the A590 that the Highways Agency are not honouring their promises and a government minister who won't come up here and meet us.. I will continue to fight with local councillors, residents and parish councils to improve safety on the road. I am so unsatisfied by the whole series of events I will be taking this issue to the Prime Minister and asking him to personally intervene.

Janet Willis the Cumbria County Councillor for Low Furness added: "I'm absolutely devastated at the news but promise local residents that I will keep fighting to improve safety. I will work with Tim to do all I can to make them change their mind. I find it incredible that the Highways Agency have spent so much money on drawings, legal fees and preparatory work. They previously promised that this money have been put to one side and ring-fenced for the project."