THE timetable for long-awaited improvements to the A595 at Grizebeck must not be allowed to slip, a councillor has warned.

Askam-based councillor Ben Shirley said Cumbria County Council’s involvement in the project should not fall out of step with the Government’s funding programme.

Cllr Shirley (Con, Dalton North) said the multi-million project needs to be considered in the Department for Transport’s five-year funding programme for 2020-25.

At a meeting of Barrow Local Committee on Friday, Cllr Shirley said: “The DfT works in five-year funding plots so are we going to be ready for this to be submitted in time for it to be in the programme of works because I don’t want us to miss the boat.

He added: “I had heard that the DfT had originally tried to put the scheme into the funding programme for 2025-30. The Secretary of State had to put his foot down and say no it’s going in the programme for 2020-25. The county council has to make sure it has done its bit to make that happen.”

Keiron Tetchner, the county council’s highways network manager for the area, said the council was consulting on two options for the area in a process which was on track and would close on Friday, November 16.

Mr Tetchner said: “There’s an ongoing consultation process and depending on what arises from that, we’ll go away and analyse it. As far as I’m aware there are set timescales involved. If the options suddenly changed that might cause problems.”

Committee member Frank Cassidy (Lab, Walney South) encouraged anybody with an interest in the traffic bottleneck at Dove Ford Farm to get involved.

“If you haven’t already done so, make a contribution to it,” said Cllr Cassidy. “It’s important that we tell them what we want.”

Last month, the Government announced that the section of the A595 would be one of the first five ‘major road network’ schemes in 2020-25.

The county council has identified two route options and has been consulting on them since October 19.

The council wants an improvement scheme which addresses journey times, reliability and safety issues as a result of narrow road width and alignment on the A595 between Chapels, Kirkby-in-Furness, and the A5092 junction at Grizebeck.