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South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today claimed a ‘major success’ after the Transport Secretary today finally confirmed a £2.2 million scheme to build a roundabout at the dangerous Greenodd junction on the A590. Following a number of serious and fatal accidents there, a campaign was started calling for safety improvements.
Transport Minister, Patrick McLoughlin, has pledged government cash to replace the existing junction with the A5092 with a roundabout.
The scheme also includes dual carriageway entry and exit roads for the bypass itself, and a two-lane entry to the roundabout coming from the A5092, allowing for left and right turning traffic will have separate lanes.Work will begin next year.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The A590 plays an important role in linking east and west Cumbria and so will benefit from improvement of the junction. It will support the creation of 3,700 jobs and 1,265 homes by 2020.”
Official county council statistics show that there have been 284 accidents on the A590 within South Lakeland over the past 5 years - eight of them fatal and 33 of them serious.
Last week the MP drove the Minister along the A590 to various dangerous points of the route. At the end of the tour Tim held a public meeting at Greenodd and Penny Bridge Hall, where the Minister met with local residents. Low Furness councillor Janet Willis called for a public commitment for the funds at Greenodd roundabout.
At the public meeting the minister agreed that the funds for the Greenodd roundabout were secure. He also agreed to a series of other demands from the campaigners. At Witherslack, the Highways Agency will now transfer a parcel of land to allow Cumbria County Council to turn the underpass into a vehicular highway. Currently vehicles need to turn right across the busy road.
The minister agreed to bring in a 40mph limit at Newby Bridge after pressure from councillors Sue Sanderson, Rod Wilson and the parish council. The Highways Agency also said that the new signage for this will be completed within this financial year.
Finally the minister agreed to spend £150,000 on a study to look at safety across the whole of the A590. Local road safety campaigners like Rod, Sue and Janet believe that this work will allow them to make an even stronger case to the Government for improvements to be made to the road.
The MP said: “Today’s confirmation is another step in our long running campaign to improve safety on the A590. Last week the Minister met with local residents and unlike many ministerial visits, he actually came and agreed to a package of measures that will help make the road safer. I told him that more must be done and that I wanted him to go back to London and sign the paperwork and give Greenodd the funds. So I’m delighted he did just that. I will continue to push him and the Government on this, but his words and, more importantly, his commitments are very welcome. This is another success for our community and our campaign to make the road safer.”