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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Plea over drivers’ ‘rat runs’

MOTORISTS using “rat runs” are causing major damage to a number of Copeland’s minor roads, it is claimed.

Concern has been expressed by a number of local county councillors about motorists using “unsuitable and narrow” roads to avoid busy major routes – particularly the A595.

Coun Frank Morgan said: “There are far too many routes being used as rat runs; these are country lanes that are not designed for heavy vehicles.”

Coun Christine Wharrier added that concern has been raised in Moor Row about the village being used as a rat run by residents of Cleator Moor and Keekle heading for the A595. She said: “There is going to be an accident – especially with the school on that route – and hindsight is not enough if there is a disaster at the end of it.”

It had been hoped that the Distington bypass, which opened in 2008, would alleviate more of the traffic issues on that stretch of the A595.

It was suggested by some during the consultation stage that the roundabout which was located at Howgate should have been placed further south – either at the Rosehill, Lowca or Parton junctions.

However, because this didn’t happen, the meeting heard, “chaos” still exists at these busy junctions and a number of rat runs have been created to avoid them.

Coun Tim Knowles said: “I have witnessed a number of near-misses by vehicles crossing the stream of traffic out of the Rosehill junction.

“The location of the junction on to the bypass was always likely to cause this.”

Coun Norman Clarkson said: “The people of Lowca were shouting about this before the bypass was completed.”

Coun Morgan added: “These problems have been caused by the bypass not being thought through well enough in the first place.”

The meeting heard that discussions are ongoing between Cumbria County Council, the Highways Agency and the Department of Transport to address the matters raised.

The Rosehill/A595 junction problem has been made worse, the meeting heard, by the closure of Gallows Lonning.

The minor road, which runs from Rosehill to Low Moresby, closed in May and could remain shut for 18 months while wholesale repairs are carried out.

This is causing more traffic to use the already busy A595 junction at the bottom of the Rosehill road.

The damage to Gallows Lonning has been caused by inappropriate use of the road, and the county council’s highways department says that some usage restrictions could be placed on the road when it reopens.

Coun Sue Hayman, representing the Howgate ward, said: “There needs to be a better solution than just a repair; there are too many risks in people being allowed to use the road as they have been.”

Have your say

I think Mirehouse needs a train station for people who travel to Sellafield. It could be within walking distance of most of the town estates Woodhouse,Kells Hensingham, Richmond etc. and is also on the cycle path. A good site would be behind St. Benedicts. Why stop at St Bees say for 5 people, when it could stop at Mirehouse for 100.

Posted by Tom on 11 July 2013 at 11:14

Everyone has equal legal right to use the roads. If dangerous driving is being seen then it should be reported and dealt with.
The roads in West Cumbria are not fit for purpose, no wonder people use minor roads, I do all the time, why not? I pay my road tax and I drive with safety in mind.

Posted by Dave on 11 July 2013 at 00:32

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