Monday, December 17, 2018

Whitehaven Relief road consultation - THREE DAYS TO GO

The current public consultation about a possible A595 relief road for Whitehaven finishes later this week at close of play on Wednesday (19th December 2018.)

I believe and make no apology for repeating that this has the potential to deliver major benefits for the local economy and for the quality of life of residents of the villages in West Cumbria currently affected by rat-running because the A595 is not coping with existing demand and in particular to improve the viability of West Cumberland Hospital and outcomes for patients.

This is a first stage consultation by Highways England who have not yet defined a route for the proposed new road and they continue to assure me that they are genuinely interested in suggestions from local stakeholders and the public about where the road should go.

One of the suggestions which has been discussed between local county councillors and Highways England is the possibility that the relief road could include a spur to the hospital. The most likely route - East of Whitehaven from approximately the present Moresby roundabout at the South end of the Distington by-pass to a point between Westlakes and Moor Row - would make this relatively easy to add.

That would be a huge benefit by shortening the time for ambulances to take patients needing to get to WCH in a hurry - and I doubt if I need to spell out to anyone reading this the potential benefit in terms of patient outcomes - and it would also make it easier for staff and resources to get to the West Cumberland and thereby improve the viability of the hospital. 

The proposed new relief road is not dependent on Moorside and it is a serious proposal. At the start of this month Transport secretary Chris Grayling came in person to Copeland to kick off the consultation on the proposed Whitehaven Relief Road and announced his "Cast Iron Commitment" to improving Cumbria's Roads as you can read on the government website at

The consultation formally began on Wednesday 7th November 2018 and lasts until 19th December 2018. Consultation survey forms were sent out to residents in the Whitehaven area and for some distance around and I was pleased to learn that hundreds have already been returned.

You can find details consultation including a PDF of the consultation brochure and the questions being asked in the consultation, and respond online at

I believe that we need this road and that it would be particularly helpful if as many people as possible responded to the consultation and said so, and if they also included in their response that it would be a very good idea - and very probably save lives - if the relief road included a spur to West Cumberland Hospital.

It's a bit late to respond by post now but if you have not already responded to the consultation you can still do so using the following methods Wednesday:

  • Online – complete the response form online using the above link
  • Email your response to: 

Did I mention that all responses should be submitted by Wednesday 19 December 2018?

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