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Drivers 'risking their safety' by ignoring badger sett road closure
DRIVERS are risking their safety by using a Lakeland road which has been closed following a badger sett discovery, a council says.
A 20-metre stretch of the B5292 Whinlatter Pass, between Braithwaite and Whinlatter Visitors’ Centre, was shut after the legally protected habitat was found last week.
But several vehicles have unwittingly, but illegally, used the route after diversion signs were moved by members of the public.
Cumbria County Council’s highways team has now put in place stronger barriers and sand bags on grass verges to stop cars getting through.
Coun Tony Markley, the council’s Cabinet member for highways, said: “Removing barriers and signs is completely unacceptable and poses an enormous risk to drivers.
“We understand that taking a diversion is frustrating, but we're not just looking to protect the badger setts in this case, but also the public.
“The setts are less than five inches below the surface and the drivers who have blatantly ignored the closure are lucky that their cars haven't ended up in a new hole in the road.
“Any driver who drives through a road closure is not only breaking the law but is also liable for their own actions should they have an accident.
“I hope that these new measures our highways team have quickly put in place will ensure this does not happen again.”
The council hopes a temporary solution can be put in place quickly while a license from English Nature for a more permanent solution is sought.
However, this could take up to 30 days.
A council spokesman said: “We hope to find a solution and re-open the road as soon as possible to alleviate the inconvenience of the diversion.”