Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Beckermet Traffic calming scheme - time for a rethink?

During the Copeland by-election and the county council elections a number of residents and businesses from Beckermet made clear to canvassers of all parties that they are very unhappy with the proposed traffic calming measures for the area.

Since the county council elections I have discussed this with a number of newly-elected or re-elected colleagues and district and parish councillors - both some of those representing Beckermet, and I have also consulted some of the other elected representatives from my own division because obviously if you change traffic arrangements there can be knock-on effects on other nearby areas.

Almost everyone agrees that there is a serious issue with rat-running affecting Beckermet and, indeed neighbouring areas including St Bees, Egremont, and other surrounding villages some of which I now represent on the county council.

However, there is considerable concern about the curently proposed scheme, both in terms of whether it is the right proposal for local residents and whether enough account has been taken of the views of local residents and businesses.

A strong body of opinion is building among elected representatives of this part of Copeland and among members of the newly-elected Copeland local committee of Cumbria County Council that this scheme should be taken back and looked at again rather than being implemented as it now stands.

I am still talking to people and listening to the evidence but if a motion does formally come forward, as I think it will, to postpone and re-evaluate the Beckermet traffic scheme I am currently minded to support that motion.

If anyone reading this has strong views or concerns about the Beckermet scheme or indeed about rat running in the area between Sellafield and Whitehaven I would be interested to hear them. You are welcome either to leave a comment on this post, email me at
or contact me by telephone .

(Please use the contact details from the Cumbria County Council website here when they go up. Postal addresses for newly-elected councillors are already there, other details should be on the site shortly, in the meantime you can find me in the published telephone directory or from directory inquiries.)


Sue Evans said...

The rat runs are under maintained, under sized, under funded and over crowded. Using St Bees, Moor Row, Haile, Beckermet as a dual carriageway that the A595 should be under sells the economic development of the region which cant proceed until proper roads are built by the government. Sensible to implement the plans alredy worked up and in place before starting all the consultation process again. Then do the statutory review after twelve months to see how the changes are working. Any thing else is a waste of the effort already expended and just looks like filibustering. There are better things to be getting on with that turning the clock back, like thinking about employment possibilities other than just MoorSide, and hospital and health care provision and affordable houses.

Chris Whiteside said...

Thanks for your feedback. Entirely agree that we need to improve the A595 and that has to be the top priority.

In the meantime I don't think a "one size fits all" response on the schemes for the villages would be appropriate.

From Moor Row for instance the feedback I am getting is that local residents want to get moving with the schemes that have been discussed.

The majority of the feedback form Beckermet appears to be that the consultation was not successful and their concerns were not listened to.

Where residents of a given village are united in wanting a scheme implemented the presumption has to be that we will try to do that as soon as possible. Where the majority of a village appear to want a rethink we should listen to that, too.