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Farron: Minister's A591 Announcement "Not Good Enough For South Lakeland"

April 7, 2016 10:32 AM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has described the Transport Secretary's announcement today that the A591 will reopen in mid-May as "not good enough for South Lakeland", pointing out that the continued closure of the road is costing local businesses half a million pounds per day.

Patrick McLoughlin will announce today that the A591 will reopen ahead of schedule. It had been thought that the road would open on the 21st May, however this will now be a week earlier.

However, it will still be over five months since the A591 was first destroyed by the floods on December 5th during Storm Desmond.

Tim said: "It is good news that the road will reopen slightly ahead of schedule - I have long been pressing for this to happen.

"However, during the time that the minister has been up in the Lake District today, the local economy will have lost half a million pounds due to the road being closed. It is local businesses that are bearing the brunt of the government's refusal to stump up the resources needed to get this road reopened sooner.

"The minister wants to pretend that bringing the date marginally forward is a big win, but the reality is that it is due to this Conservative government's lack of commitment to getting the road reopened that it has taken this long at all.

"As the government showed a few years ago when the railway line was washed away in Dawlish, if the government is willing to make repairs a priority it can get the job done quickly. The government had a team of 300 working around the clock with a budget of £35m, and got it fixed in just over 50 days. Up here, four months have already passed, and now the government is trying to portray this slight change of date as a success."