Chaos on the roads as closures lead to 'rat runs'
Last updated at 11:15, Thursday, 17 October 2013
CAMPAIGNERS fear someone could die on Low Moresby’s roads as traffic chaos hits the village.
Residents say speeding motorists and heavy traffic are major problems as drivers use the roads as a rat-run.
They are worried that schoolchildren and dog walkers could be hit by passing cars at Low Moresby as there are no pavements for pedestrians to use.
Some children have to walk along the road to Parton Longmile to catch their school buses.
Resident Hazel Barker said: “My concern is for the children and pedestrians that walk up and down there. It sounds awful to say but someone is going to get killed.
“The drivers are showing total disregard for the signs. It’s a small country road. I’m not saying people should not use it but I am concerned about safety.”
Villagers say motorists are reaching the 60mph speed limit as they drive along Low Moresby road and Constitution Hill. Temporary signs tell drivers to slow down to 30mph and others point to road closures and residents-only area, but residents say they are being ignored.
“We are living on a knife edge. We are waiting for something to happen and I don’t want to wait until then,” said Hazel.
Concerns were fuelled as roadworks were due to start on Monday at Parton Longmile. However, the Highways Department say they are now postponing the electrical works on the A595 until after the utility works at Moresby Park.
Numerous residents have shared their fears in a Low Moresby Community Facebook group. One villager carried out an informal survey at the corner of Manesty Rise. In a 40 minute period, 88 vehicles used the road including large work vans and mini buses.
Hazel said all three local councils – the parish, borough and county – have been contacted as have the Highways Agency and Cumbria Police, and not enough has been done.
Fellow campaigner Helen Conway is a parish councillor who lives in Low Moresby. She says Moresby Parish Council is “sympathetic” to residents and it is trying to do all it can.
She said the delay in any action being taken could be as authorities are waiting for the publication of a Post Opening Project Evaluation (POPE) report by the Highways Agency which looks at road users feedback about the improved section of the A595 between Parton and Lillyhall, following the creation of the Distington bypass.
“We have been trying, via the parish council and county councillor Sue Hayman, to get a response but it just seems if nothing is happening,” she said.
The Gallows Lonning is a continued concern by residents. They say motorists move no entry signs and continue to drive along the road even though it is closed. The minor road, which runs from Rosehill to Low Moresby, closed in May and will remain shut until major repairs are carried out.
A spokesperson for Cumbria County Council said: “The council closed Gallows Lonning to all traffic earlier this year for safety reasons because the road had been severely damaged by unsuitable vehicles using it as a rat-run to reach the A595.”
The council said it aims to have funding approved next year for these repairs but work will be carried out sooner if additional funding becomes available.
Although numerous signs, including road closures and local traffic only signs, have been put up, the council recognises that some road users are choosing to ignore the recommended route and signs, said the spokesperson.
He added: “We have introduced a temporary 30mph speed limit in this area and are working closely with the police, who have carried out speed enforcement work. We would appeal to road users to avoid Low Moresby and follow the signed diversion route instead.
“This issue has been exacerbated because another road in this area has been temporarily closed while a gas contractor is carrying out mains renewal work, which is due to be completed on November 8.”
First published at 11:14, Thursday, 17 October 2013
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
Having sat, at peak times, at the bottom of Rosehill for nearly 20 minutes I can understand why people would use Gallows Lonning as a shortcut to the bypass. Put a roundabout at the bottom of Rosehill or other traffic control and problem solved.
Here when we have a problem like this the police just hit it hard. Turn up at random times and do routine speed checks, breath tests, vehicle inspections and generally make it not worth while going that way. Surely if there is signage saying local traffic only, then any vehicle using it as a short cut is breaking the road rules? Easy money!!
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