COUNCILLORS are planning to write to the Secretary of State to call for action over the recent traffic chaos on the A590.

Ulverston Town council has been inundated with complaints after recent roadworks caused backlogs during rush hour traffic.

The council is set to meet on Monday to consider writing to the Secretary of State for Transport to request that legislation ensures utility companies are working carefully with Highways England and the community to prevent disruption at peak times.

The recent delays are associated with a four house building development on Canal Street along the A590.

This meant one water company and a gas company required access to the road at different times to make necessary instalments for the development.

Ulverston councillor Mark Wilson said: "Thousands of people and thousands of journeys have been affected by this action.

"The issue needs to be met at the planning stages, where local function is taken seriously into account.

"They have law on their side which allows them to do this, but why should they have unlimited power?

"They must admit mitigation."

Cllr Judith Pickthall said: "The significance of this road is vital as they are nearly no alternatives, particularly for large lorries driving through the area.

"Reduced access for deliveries such as this will inevitably affect our local economy.

"The request we are considering putting forward would mean that people are being held more accountable.

"And although the actual process for requesting legislation is long, by raising concerns it puts more pressure on companies to consider the effect of their work on locals and draws attention to their actions."

County Cllr Keith Little, the county's highways boss, said: "The work that did take place would have had to go through a planning process.

"There are two principals which navigate this process.

"Firstly, they need to notify either Highways England or Cumbria County Council in plenty of time before work takes place.

"In this particular case, they would have had to notify Highways England as the A590 is managed by them.

"Secondly they need to consider whether their work can be carried out at the same as another utility company as this will reduce the impact on commuters.


"It is only in an emergency scenario that they would be able to bypass this process.

"Also, the Department of Transport are already trialling a scheme throughout London where they charge utility companies a rental fee for requiring access to the road.

"This process will encourage utility companies to get the work done in the time they say and if not they will receive a fine.

"This hasn't been taken up in Cumbria but we are already looking at how this scheme impacts road congestion."

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said he has also been contacted by local business owners and will be writing to Highways England asking what measures they will be taking to minimise the affect of utility works in the future.