THE future of a vital stretch of the A595 linking north and west Cumbria is in the spotlight in a new consultation launched today.

Residents, businesses and users of the strategic A595 are being asked for their views on several potential improvements for the corridor at Bothel.

County council leaders say that the improvements to this part of the road network are among those key to securing economic growth and job creation in Cumbria.

The results of the council’s new consultation, which runs until December 7, will form part of an ongoing study of the county’s roads which, once complete, will form a business case to seek Government funding for road improvements for Cumbria.

“It is important to note that the potential improvements will only be delivered if Government funding is secured,” states the council’s consultation paper.

Drop-in events have been organised for people to share their views.

They are at Bothel Village Hall on Wednesday, November 14, between 3pm and 7pm, and on Saturday, November 17 from 10am until 2pm.

People can also go online at Printed feedback forms are available at the drop-in events and can be returned free of charge to: FREEPOST CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL.

Potential improvements identified include climbing lanes to the west of Bothel village, a reconfigured junction at the A595/A591, and road widening and realignments at various points around Bothel.

Cumbria County Council is working with government to secure funding for this essential road improvement scheme.

Benefits they will bring, the council states, include:

* Support economic growth in Cumbria by improving journey times on the A595;

* Improve the connectivity of the A595 to make it more suitable for freight traffic accessing existing and proposed major developments;

* Improve network resilience and the quality of journeys;

* Improve safety for road users along the A595 corridor; and

* Minimise adverse impacts on the environment and reduce carbon emissions.

Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “Improvements to the A595 within the vicinity of Bothel is a really important scheme, which will not only improve journey times and help boost the county’s economy but also create a safer and more resilient road network.

“The county council has identified potential improvements and we are now launching a public consultation.

“I’d strongly encourage people to take the time to get involved, read the consultation document and attend the events - it’s important that local people have their say, so we can develop the best possible scheme.”