Plans for second crossing between Barrow and Walney
A VISION for a second crossing to connect an island with the mainland has been put forward.
The barrage would connect Walney with Barrow, providing an additional link to Jubilee Bridge.
Cumbria's Local Enterprise Partnership is inviting applications for infrastructure improvements.
The Barrow local committee on Cumbria County Council has agreed to submit to the LEP the application for the barrage.
The proposal, though in its early stages, ties in with National Grid's preferred option of digging a tunnel in Morecambe Bay from Barrow to Heysham.
The tunnel is part of the strategy to connect electricity generated at a proposed new nuclear power station at Moorside into ‘the grid’.
The application from the council committee proposes using the spoil from the seabed to form the Walney barrage - an option considerably cheaper than a bridge.
Councillor Mel Worth, who represents Walney North on the county council, championed the proposal during a meeting in the Nan Tait Centre on Friday.
He told the Evening Mail: "It's a long-term vision, but it's having the vision to look forward on this and we will see where it goes.
"If you were to ask where to put it, it would probably be at the bottom of Mill Lane, across to where the slag heap is, and adjoining to Park Road."
Cllr Worth said there had long been a case for a second Walney crossing, adding: "Jubilee Bridge is 110-years-old and maintenance costs are considerable.
"And of course, it's not going to last forever. If we had a second crossing, it would be better for emergency services and with the traffic volumes, it can be blocked right back to Tesco roundabout.
"When there are roadworks on the bridge, it's quite a considerable inconvenience."
Councillor Frank Cassidy, who represents Walney South on the council, said: “I know a second bridge has been talked about for years, but at the very least we need to try to find the money for a fresh feasibility study.
“We all know cash is tight and government cuts are making things very difficult for local authorities, but that should not be a green light for people to just shrug their shoulders and give up on big ticket projects like this.”