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Thursday, 30 July 2015

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Residents’ fears over Albion Square opening

PARKING restrictions could be extended on Kells to prevent Albion Square workers leaving their cars outside residents’ homes.

FULL HOUSE: The public meeting in The Stump pub, Kells, over Albion Square road closures and parking problems.

by Andrew Clarke

Concern has been expressed on the estate about the lack of parking in Whitehaven town centre, leading to fears that workers will instead park on Harbour View, High Road and Basket Road and walk down to the office complex.

In response to a request from the Prospect Area Residents Group, Cumbria County Council has agreed to look into imposing a ‘residents only’ parking zone. However, the council confirmed that this could take up to nine months to implement and will cost residents £20 per year for a permit.

John Brannan, group spokesman, said: “We are greatly concerned that there are not enough places to park in town, and it is critical that this area of Kells is controlled by parking restrictions.”

A number of other traffic and parking concerns were raised by the group at a public meeting this week, ahead of the £18m Albion Square being completed next month. It will be home to around 1,000 Sellafield Ltd workers by October.

Howard Rooms, Sellafield Ltd’s spokesperson, said that the company will do “everything in its power” to mitigate the impact on town centre traffic and parking. This will include allowing only cars containing two or more people to use the multi-storey car park and encouraging the use of public transport.

Residents have also called for compensation for “roads chaos” suffered during the construction period. Albion Street and Rosemary Lane, which lead from the town centre to Kells, have been closed periodically for over a year.

Mr Brannan said: “We have been greatly disadvantaged and have suffered major inconvenience and expense and deserve compensation.”

Mr Brannan suggested a “token” £100 each for the 190 households affected on Harbour View, High Road and Basket Road. He added than a four-mile detour is added to a resident’s round-trip to town due to the ongoing closure.

Karl Melville, the county council’s area highways and transport manager, told the meeting that the council is “not permitted to pay out compensation for highways work carried out.” He added however that he will take their concerns to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Morgan Sindall, Albion Square’s owners and developers respectively.

The roads will re-open at the end of July, the meeting heard.

A suggestion was also made for a one-way system on the narrow Basket Road. Mr Melville said that this can be investigated if residents are in favour.

Have your say

The meeting also took place at a time when most people are at work. 3pm on a Tuesday. For people stating that the buildings don't fit with Whitehaven, you need to get a grip. There are loads of buildings that don't "fit" such as supermarkets and a sorting office.....yet you use them in a daily basis. It will take time before businesses see the extra income that Sellafield staff will bring, let's hope that CBC won't charge higher rent and allow businesses to flourish.

Posted by Bob on 13 July 2014 at 20:22

What about compensation for everyone else who needed to get onto Kells, whether for private or business use? This will never get off the ground. As for the multi-storey, someone hasn't been briefed properly on the use of the multi by Sellafield. The bottom floor is for existing permit holders and the rest is for Sellafield from Monday to Friday, no-one else. Weekends are for anyone. Who will police the people in cars? Does that mean security will be all over the place? People need to realise that Sellafield have priority in the town, you do not. Our council has received the money to fill their black hole, now the town pays the price. By the way leave early on the school run or that will be more chaos, and you go to workington for your shopping like the sensible lot do. The town is finished - well done council you have succeeded in it's demise.

Posted by James O on 13 July 2014 at 19:30

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