THE announcement of funding for the Northern Access Road linking the A591 and the A6 north of Kendal has been met with a sceptical response from the MP and the council. 

Network North, a document outlining where funding will go now that the high-speed part of the HS2 project will end at Birmingham rather than Manchester, included the Northern Access Road as one of the projects on the cards for Department for Transport money. 

The document pledges £460 million for 21 'smaller road schemes' across the north. Projects such as the Shipley Eastern Bypass, Wigan East-West Route, the A582 South Ribble Distributor and the Blyth Relief Road were outlined alongside the Kendal Northern Access Route as new roads that will come from this shared pot. 

The Department for Transport gave no official statement but said that it would be contacting authorities in due course about how funding for individual projects would work. 

Peter Thornton, lead member for highways at Westmorland and Furness Council, said: "The Northern Access Route would soak up at least half of that (the £460 million). I just don't think it means what it looks like it means."

Cllr Thornton said the council was completing a feasibility study into the new road, meaning that they have an idea of how much the project may cost. 

"I think they just pulled together a ragbag of stuff in a panic. I would be the first person to rejoice but I don't think that's what is going to happen," he said.

The Kendal Northern Access Route has been pitched as a project for decades, with MP Tim Farron saying that the concept dates back to before he took the Westmorland and Lonsdale seat in 2005.

While he thinks that the scheme is 'an important answer to the traffic problem in Kendal,' he said: "It's already on the list for getting done. I don't think it's any more likely to happen. 

"It's changed its name over the years but the current council is properly in favour of it. 

"They (the government) have made the wrong decision for HS2. When they have broken a big promise then it's difficult to take another promise seriously."