HIGHWAYS teams have revealed it is 'not always possible' to work solely at night - despite pressure from community leaders to carry out maintenance on the A590 outside working hours.

Community leaders are continuing to insist that roadworks take place overnight on the A590 to ensure motorists are not caught up in 'traffic mayhem' again.

Temporary traffic lights were put in place near Booths roundabout at Oubas Hill in Ulverston earlier this month so United Utilities could connect the new McDonald’s development to the water network.

However, the maintenance work resulted in hours of delays on the A590, with traffic queuing from Ulverston town centre to Greenodd roundabout.

Construction work was put to a halt and rescheduled after United Utilities contractors and staff faced an 'unprecedented amount of physical and verbal abuse' from drivers caught up in the delays.

The roadworks are expected to resume in the New Year, however, fears have been raised that drivers may face hours worth of queues once again.

Amanda Rigg, Ulverston Town Councillor for South Ward, said the council will continue to push for evening disruption only for future maintenance works on the A590.

She said: "During a meeting last Monday, I expressed my concerns, explained the need for night working to minimise delays and explained that although we understood frustrations at the time we in no way condoned the manner in which some motorists treated the Highway England team with aggressive verbal and physical behaviour. Further to requesting assistance from Simon Fell MP a response has been received from Highways England on the matter.

"During consultation they did request that the works were carried out overnight to minimise any disruption to motorists, residents and local businesses. However, due the nature of the tasks involved and to ensure safe working practices, they advise that this was not possible.

"We are of course strongly questioning why.

"Highways England are currently discussing a revised plan for delivery which involves working between peak times and having the ability to suspend the use of the temporary traffic signals, if necessary.

"The provisional start date in January 2022. We of course will be pushing for evening disruption only and setting this as a president for any other maintenance works required on the A590."

In response, a spokesman for National Highways said it is not always possible to work solely at night due to 'safety reasons'.

He said: “We care about road users’ journeys and work hard to ensure our own maintenance, repairs and improvements cause as little disruption as possible.

"Our planning for roadworks includes involving stakeholders like local councils. In the last two years we have delivered major A590 resurfacing projects around Ulverston and at Brettargh Holt.

"Both of these projects were delivered using only overnight lane closures or occasional overnight carriageway closures – keeping drivers on the move during the day.

“National Highways is not currently working along the A590 at Ulverston; third party companies are working in the area to deliver investment in the town.

"Where this has involved working on along the A590 – such as installing cabling or other services - we have been in discussions with these companies to ensure road users’ journeys are considered. This has already resulted in changes to traffic management.

"We acknowledge that often for safety reasons in complicated locations like this it is not always possible to work solely at night so we also encourage companies to publicise their work.”

A United Utilities spokesman previously said: “We are currently discussing the programme of works with other agencies to ensure that when it resumes it causes as little disruption as possible.

"We hope to be able to confirm this in the near future, with work expected to resume in the New Year.”