Thursday, December 22, 2016

Conservatives in Cumbria call for Re-Trunking of A595

Conservatives in Copeland and Cumbria have been campaigning to re-trunk the A595 and we will be stepping up that campaign in the coming weeks.

John Stevenson, the Conservative MP for Carlisle has strongly supported us and has highlighted the A595, saying a secure and fast route is needed between The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and the West Cumberland Hospital.

In a letter to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport in October, John Stevenson raised  concerns about the state of the road with regards to the growth of the nuclear industry and the need for access should an emergency occur. He met Chris Grayling to discuss this and he has reiterated his concerns today.

"I spoke of the significant importance of the A595 given the experience of Sellafield and nuclear new build," he said, and added

"I think this move would bring long-term benefits from an economic perspective and from a health perspective from improved connectivity between west Cumbria and the Cumberland Infirmary."

"This is something I am pushing hard for. I think it should extend for the whole length of the road, it is the most important arterial highway in Cumbria."

Mr Stevenson had previously said that if there was an emergency at one of the nuclear sites then the results could be “catastrophic” if the road is obstructed.

He said at that time: “Aside from the economic aspects to which the road will be contributing, the nature of the energy projects on the west will mean that aspects of security will become an increasingly important consideration around the road.

“As the main land route to nuclear plants if there were to be an obstruction - which at the moment is a common occurrence - during an emergency event, the results could be catastrophic.”

He has also said that a new nuclear site at Moorside needs a “secure access route” for workers and suppliers, adding that “I believe the road is a vital local and national infrastructure route and should be recognised as such by being designated trunk status.
“Responsibility for the entire stretch of the A595 should be transferred from Cumbria County Council to Highways England.

“Following that the road should undergo extensive surveying giving full consideration to the road’s importance to local and national economy, security, and health service provision, with a view to carrying out work to improve the safety, speed, and security of the route.”

I spoke at the original public inquiry against the de-trunking of the A595 and A5092 between Sellafield and Greenodd and strongly agree with and welcome John Stevenson's consistent support for us both earlier this year and again today.

Watch this space - we will be doing more to highlight the need to re-trunk the A595 and improve this and other roads in Copeland.

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