A TELECOMMUNICATIONS company has apologised and has pledged to carry out a review following delays on the A590.

Hour-long delays were reported from Tuesday last week after temporary traffic were put up to allow work on a winding section of the eastbound carriageway past Greenodd roundabout to be carried out.

A number of councillors from Ulverston, Dalton, Barrow and Walney were late arriving for a budget meeting of Cumbria County Council in Kendal last Thursday - and criticised the timing and planning of the works.

Among them was Conservative group leader Cllr James Airey who used the meeting to call for “urgent talks” and said the council needed to be “stronger” with Highways England.

Cllr Airey said: “What we had on the A590 today was a poor chap stood with a traffic light and no work going on in the 100 yards between.

“There was no work whatsoever being done. I think a manhole cover had been lifted off but apparently, that had been going on for many hours since Wednesday.

“This isn’t a moan about sitting in traffic lights for just  10 minutes, I was there an hour. Traffic was building up and it’s just beyond a joke to be quite honest.

“You had people shooting around all the rat-runs and that brings a risk of accidents.”

Cllr Airey added: “It’s inconvenient enough for us coming to this meeting but in terms of the impact on people who seriously need to be somewhere, and the impact on businesses – it’s a very regular occurrence.

“When companies come in and do the road works of an evening between 8pm and 6am, the impact is very minimal on motorists, and we can live with it.”

Now, a spokesman for Openreach, which was carrying out the work, said: “We’re sorry for the delays caused on the A590 between Greenodd and Haverthwaite.

“We had to urgently repair an underground box and manhole frame and temporary traffic lights were needed to work safely.

The work started on Tuesday and have now finished.

“We always try and minimise disruption to local residents and motorists, and we’re carrying out a full review of what happened here, in light of the comments from Highways England.

“If we’ve fallen short of the high standards we set for ourselves, then we’ll do whatever is needed to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Keith Little, the cabinet member for highways, said the road was the responsibility of Highways England.

“I spoke to the highways manager in Barrow and he informed me that the works had not been put on our system by Highways England," he said. “It should have been put on our system that this work was going to be done. We have an agreed system with them that they can’t and shouldn’t be doing work on the highway without letting us know.”

Cllr Little agreed to arrange for the council’s head of highways to meet with Highways England.

A Highways England spokesman said the issue was ‘investigated’ and will be raised at the earliest opportunity at the newly re-established forum the county council is leading.