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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Town bypass is back on cards

WHITEHAVEN’S £40million bypass is back on the cards as part of West Cumbria’s Economic Blueprint.

The draft document sets out Britain’s Energy Coast’s vision for the local economy in West Cumbria over the next 15 years.

It has been on the back burner for the last three years when The Whitehaven News reported that the by-pass was top of Copeland’s list to ease traffic congestion on the A595.

Nuclear new-build is likely to see more traffic than ever between Whitehaven and Sellafield.

Now the Whitehaven Eastern Relief Road has re-surfaced in the draft Economic Blueprint.

The plan is to link up with the Lillyhall-Parton bypass following a route behind the West Cumberland Hospital and Westlakes.

The Blueprint says: “The delivery of the relief road could serve to alleviate pressure on the existing road network and ensure it is easier for business users, residents and visitors to move around West Cumbria.

“Development of a relief road could also be linked to park-and- ride opportunities and further development at Westlakes Science and Technology Park.

“Anticipated growth of Whitehaven alongside increased traffic movements linked to development of large employment sites and Sellafield will put further stress on the A595 route through Whitehaven.

“This could be further compounded depending on the location of potential temporary worker accommodation linked with nuclear new-build.”

Investment in A595 and A5086 improvements are also seen as a priority.

According to the Blueprint strategy: “These road corridors are key in connecting the Port of Workington to the main settlements and Sellafield.

“In addition they also form an important role in improving access for visitors from the Lake District into West Cumbria.”

The Blueprint vision aims to create 3,000 new jobs and flag up a £90 billion nuclear investment over 15 years.

Copeland Council leader Elaine Woodburn said: “We need a plan that helps address the economic issues we face and also offers future opportunities for our young people.

“In the past this area has been too dependent on government decisions. While we still need a new MOX plant and new nuclear power stations we also need to ensure that we’re in charge of our own destiny with a clear set of plans for how we will deliver diversity and independence.”

An official launch event for the final version of the blueprint is planned for June .

Have your say

To provide clarity to the aptly named ‘Sid Bogie’ comment on the possibilities of any West Coast rail transportation for the 750 containers (each 24.4m by 3.7m by 3.7m) required to build the 3 off AP1000 reactors proposed at Sellafield I received the following reply in March 2009 from the rail company saying “NO - due to the gauge restrictions”. This NO was backed up by a 2012 reply from Direct Rail Services (an NDA subsidiary) saying “Should we acquire a wagon with a max bogie centre of 19m at a length of 24.4m due to overthrow we would be restricted to a width of 2.565m.” indicating the limited clearances on the rail route that would need to be modified before NDA use.
Perhaps a W-H News reporter could extract a reply from Cllr Knowles as to the proposed method of transporting these units from the new £5.7m NDA funded container crane in Workington to Sellafield and the proposed route. Isn’t this why the bypass (BEC supported) is ‘back on the cards’? I hope his reply is quicker than the time spent in the traffic jams on the bypass.

Posted by Arthur Millie on 1 May 2012 at 09:32

@Sam. I'm sure Councillor Woodburn is a very nice person and she does work hard but that doesn't mean she is doing a good job. We can't have her as the leader just because she's a nice person.

Posted by Rich on 30 April 2012 at 09:23

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