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Farron Calls For Urgency To Fix A591

March 3, 2016 4:45 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has written to the Transport Secretary urging greater urgency with the repair work on the A591, as local businesses continue to suffer from the closure.

A Highways England update this week shows that repair work is progressing, both on the gap at Dunmail Raise and on the road alongside Thirlmere, but the road is still due to remain closed for months. The road is due to reopen in May, though a precise date has not been set. It was decided earlier this week that the existing temporary road is not capable of dealing with large volumes of traffic and therefore will not be opened for public use.

It is estimated that the closure of the road until the end of May will cost the local economy £100 million, of which £60 million would occur during April and May.

Tim said: "Local businesses are really suffering from the continued closure of this crucial road, and the stifling effect it is having on the local tourist industry.

"I welcome the recent update showing the work that is taking place, but am calling on the government to commit greater resources and manpower to these works, so they can be completed ahead of schedule. With the closure due to cost the local economy almost £1 million per day in April and May, every day is crucial. I have also asked the government to give a precise completion date, to enable local businesses to plan ahead.

"A couple of years ago when the railway line at Dawlish was destroyed, the government provided a team of 300 and a budget of £35 million, and managed to get the line reopened in just over 50 days. Here in Cumbria, almost 90 days have passed and there are still months to go. The government should show the same urgency now that it showed then."