CAMPAIGNERS are pressing for a ‘dangerous’ stretch of Furness road to be upgraded.
Barrow MP John Woodcock and emergency service representatives attended a public meeting to pledge their support to the A595 Action Group’s call for improvements to the narrow road between Grizebeck and Kirkby-in-Furness.
The group says the road is just over three metres wide at its narrowest point – and secretary Robert Cornah said: “We don’t have deaths because it’s too slow, but there could be deaths from emergency services not getting there in time.
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“It also has strategic importance for Furness and the west coast, and with its problems and potential dangers it’s strangling our livelihoods.”
The group is now lobbying Cumbria County Council for a study to back up their claims and look into solutions for the busy route from south Cumbria to Sellafield – one of the county’s biggest employers.
And with major investment in nuclear power for West Cumbria planned, the already busy road used by heavy goods vehicles, commuters and tourists is set to become much busier.
A spokesman for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service said: “I have been delayed before by HGVs in gridlock and it can delay our response from Barrow up the west coast.”
Cumbria Police and the North West Ambulance Service also said they would support improvements to the road.
MP John Woodcock said: “We should be saying the upgrading of the A595 should be a condition of new civil nuclear development going ahead. It’s of huge importance for the whole county.”
He vowed to make the issue part of a conference with Copeland MP Jamie Reed in November.
Group chairman Barry Rabone said although they were not offering solutions, one possibility would be a bypass.
And with lorries and heavy traffic using the ‘dangerous’ half mile stretch, the campaigners were trying to secure safe crossings and a bus shelter for children.
Set up in November following a public meeting attracting 90 people, the group was spearheaded by Alison Whillance, who died of cancer aged 49 on February 25.