Following extensive technical work and public consultation, the ‘blue route’ has been selected as the preferred option for a transport scheme to improve the A595 near Grizebeck.
The route was one of two options under consideration by Cumbria County Council.
The decision is based on a thorough assessment of evidence, including public feedback, environmental, engineering and economic and deliverability assessments. This work identified a range of reasons for why the blue route should be preferred:
- The blue route meets the strategic objectives of the Major Road Network, by improving connectivity and journey reliability, as well as improving the resilience of the A590.
- The results of the consultation showed the majority of respondents support the blue route. When compared to the red route, 75 per cent of people preferred the blue route.
- The blue route is deliverable, with the existing A595 still available for use during the construction period.
- The blue route demonstrates value for money in the economic appraisal, with reduced journey times and improved safety.
Following the announcement in October 2018 that the A595 Grizebeck improvement was one of the first five road network schemes to start in development for future consideration for the government’s Major Road Network Fund, the council will now finish developing the Business Case for the scheme.
The business case is to be submitted to government to secure delivery funding.
Improving the highway network on the A595 has been identified as critical in supporting economic growth and the movement of goods and people between South and West Cumbria.
Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “Improving the A595 at Grizebeck is really important for Cumbria. It will not only improve journey times and help boost the county’s economy but also create a safer and more resilient road between Barrow and West Cumbria.
“I was pleased to see that the public engaged well with the consultation, with over 300 sign-ins at the drop-in events, and over 250 consultation responses via the feedback form. This excellent response demonstrates the importance of the A595 to communities and employers in South and West Cumbria.”
The consultation results showed there was a desire for other routes to be considered. Further work was undertaken on these routes, but the work concluded that these routes could not meet the scheme objectives or had significant deliverability issues.
If the scheme secures delivery funding, it will undergo further development work. This includes producing a more detailed scheme design and applying for planning permission. There would also be further public consultation as the scheme develops.
Further details of the technical work undertaken to support the preferred route decision, and a summary of the consultation responses can be found on the project website, www.cumbria.gov.uk/a595grizebeck