Cumbria County Council has welcomed today’s funding announcement by the Department for Transport (DfT) for the A595 Grizebeck road improvement scheme.
The DfT has signalled the go ahead for the £15m transport scheme which will improve journey times, boost Cumbria’s economy and create a safer and more resilient road between Barrow and West Cumbria.
Now that DfT funding has been secured, Cumbria County Council will continue work to deliver the scheme. This will include further design work and public engagement, allowing the local community and road users to give their feedback on the design as it progresses.
A planning application is due to be submitted next summer, with construction work scheduled to start in 2022 and the new road open in early 2024.
Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “This is great news and we welcome the Department for Transport’s investment in one of the key routes in Cumbria’s road network. Improving the highway network on the A595 has been identified as critical to support economic growth and the movement of goods and people between South and West Cumbria.
“The Grizebeck scheme will not only improve journey times and boost our economy but will also create a safer road from Barrow to West Cumbria. The county council has already carried out significant work developing this scheme and we will now start the detailed design work needed before construction can start.”
Jo Lappin, Chief Executive at Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP), said: “CLEP is very pleased by DfT’s announcement, as a key funding partner in the A595 Grizebeck scheme. We were delighted to provide £2.25 million of Growth Deal funding to deliver much-needed improvements to a stretch of road that has suffered from serious delays and accidents. This investment will significantly improve journey times, increase safety and resilience and help unlock economic and business investments.”
The A595 Grizebeck Improvement is a 1km single carriageway road between Chapels and Grizebeck on the A595. The route runs to the east of the existing A595, past properties at Dove Bank and Dove Ford Farm, before crossing the existing A595 and then forming a new junction with the A595/A5092 to the west of the existing junction.
The improvement scheme will cost £15m. Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership is contributing £2.24m towards the scheme with the remainder £12.76m funded by the DfT through their Major Roads Network funding.
Lord Walney played a key role securing towns deal funding for Barrow in his final months as the MP Barrow and Furness and persuaded the government to make Dove Ford eligible for the government’s road investment scheme after ministers originally left that part of the A595 off the list for improvements.
Welcoming the announcements, Lord Walney said: “These announcements are brilliant news for Furness and are massive steps towards realising the economic vision for the area that we were pursuing when I was the area’s MP. The fact that Barrow is at the front of the queue for towns deal funding shows ministers have recognised the case we were making on the link between improving the area and securing the workforce we need to keep the Dreadnought submarine programme on track. As I stepped down as an MP last year, I obtained an assurance from Robert Jenrick that he understood the marina village’s particular importance to this so it is great to see that being recognised today.
“It is also a huge joy to see the A595 bottle neck at Dove Ford a step closer to being fixed – hats off to the tireless local road safety campaigners who are keeping up their amazing campaign. I am grateful to the borough council and my successor for keeping up the pressure and will do whatever they need to ensure both these vital improvements to our area are fully delivered.”
Peter Molyneux, Major Roads Director at Transport for the North, said: “Investment in roads has a real impact on people’s daily lives and the A595 at Grizebeck is no different.
“These improvements will make the road safer and journeys more reliable for drivers, as well as providing enhanced cycling and walking facilities. It’s also a key route for businesses, so this welcome injection of cash will open up access to jobs and better connect Northern communities.
“This was one of the first Major Road Network schemes that Transport for the North and Cumbria County Council put forward, and was included in our Economic Recovery Plan proposals submitted to the Transport Secretary in the summer, so we’re delighted that funding has now been confirmed and it’ll form part of the North’s infrastructure pipeline.”