25th February 2015
During a debate in Parliament, Copeland MP, Jamie Reed called on the Government to invest in improvement works for the A595.
A report from the Highways Agency found that:
- The A595 is mostly single-carriageway with a number of at-grade roundabouts, and suffers from regular congestion outside the normal morning and evening peak periods due to the high levels of employees working shifts
- The A595 south of Whitehaven is ranked as tenth least reliable within the North Pennines route
- On the A595, most of the route between Sellafield and its junction is shown as having a high collision rate. The areas south of Whitehaven, southbound towards Whitehaven and Northbound to the junction with the A66 are within the 20% of routes with highest injury collision rates.
With significant investment planned for the future which would see the creation of around 14,000 jobs and 12,000 new homes by 2031, Jamie Reed believes that investment in the A595 is crucial to achieving West Cumbria’s potential.
During the debate, Jamie Reed MP called on the Government to conduct a study into what improvements would be needed to cope with the increase in demand on the road. The Highways Agency have said that “without any interventions, planned developments is likely to result in further deterioration in network performance.”
Even Government Ministers have called for investment in the A595 with Mike Penning MP, then-Minister for Disabled People, writing to the Department for Transport following a visit to Sellafield in April 2014. He wrote:
“The congestion causes significant issues for the site, its employees and the local community alike and will only get worse as the decommissioning activity increases.”
A petition launched to support the campaign has gained more than a thousand signatures in just two weeks clearly demonstrating the strength of feeling in the local community.
Copeland MP, Jamie Reed said:
“The Government should join our Drive for Growth. In West Cumbria, we are building a 21st Century economy, but are stuck with 19thCentury infrastructure.
“The A595 cannot cope with the volume of traffic that currently uses it and as our region grows, it will only get worse without significant investment.
“West Cumbria is a global centre of excellence for skilled jobs, but to maintain this position, we need infrastructure that can support it.
“It is true that West Cumbria’s best days are ahead of us, but we urgently need improvement to our infrastructure in order to support the jobs we will create. The Government must now commit to investing to improve the A595.”