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Government agrees to fund new roundabout scheme on A590
11:31am Monday 8th October 2012 in News
AN accident-plagued South Cumbrian road which has claimed eight lives in five years is to get a new roundabout, the Government has announced.
After years of campaigning over poor safety on the A590, work on a £2.2m scheme at the Greenodd junction will begin next year.
The announcement comes days after Transport Minister Stephen Hammond met with MPs, councillors and families at the site.
The new roundabout will replace the existing junction with the A5092.
Work will also include dual carriageway entry and exit roads for the bypass, while a two-lane entry to the roundabout coming from the A5092 - allowing for left and right turning traffic - will have separate lanes.
Making the announcement, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The A590 plays an important role in linking east and west Cumbria and so will benefit from improvement of the junction. It will support the creation of 3,700 jobs and 1,265 homes by 2020.”
Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: “Today’s confirmation is another step in our long running campaign to improve safety on the A590.
“Last week, the minister met with local residents and, unlike many ministerial visits, he actually came and agreed to a package of measures that will help make the road safer.
“I told him that more must be done and that I wanted him to go back to London and sign the paperwork and give Greenodd the funds, so I’m delighted he did just that.
“I will continue to push him and the Government on this, but his words and, more importantly, his commitments are very welcome.
“This is another success for our community and our campaign to make the road safer.”
Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock, who had joined calls for Mr Hammond to visit, was unable to attend the minister's arrival on doctor’s orders following a recent fall.
Mr Woodcock described today's announcement as an ‘important staging post on the long journey towards improving safety at the Greenodd junction.'
Writing to residents, he said: “Many of you attended the village hall on Tuesday where roads minister Stephen Hammond MP confirmed a raft of measures – including a roundabout – that will significantly enhance safety where the A5092 joins our main trunk road.
“I know that many of you have played a part – both directly and indirectly – in the long campaign that finally persuaded the Government to act.
“You are a credit to this community and I ask you to accept my personal thanks and appreciation for all your steadfast campaigning.
“Lives will be saved because of your efforts.
“But, given the many false dawns of the past, I know we will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep the celebrations in check until we see the JCBs moving in.”
At a public meeting during his visit last Tuesday, Mr Hammond indicated funds for the Greenodd scheme were secure and agreed to safety campaigners’ other calls.
At Witherslack, the Highways Agency will now transfer a parcel of land to allow Cumbria County Council to turn the underpass into a vehicular highway.
Currently, vehicles must turn right across the road.
A 40mph limit will be introduced at Newby Bridge with new signage due to be completed within this financial year.
And the Department for Transport is to spend £150,000 on a study to look at safety across the whole of the A590.
There have been 284 accidents on the A590 within South Lakeland over the past five years.
Eight of the incidents were fatal and 33 were serious.