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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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South Cumbria villagers will benefit from supply upgrade

A MASSIVE project to upgrade water supplies in South Cumbria is set to get under way on Monday.

United Utilities is carrying out a £1.3m project which will supply 6,000 homes in South Lakeland with a new 2km link pipe.

The work will involve two temporary road closures and sign-posted diversions.

Project co-ordinator Bill Slater said the scheme was vital to prevent winter water shortages in places like Coniston, Hawkshead, Grizedale, Greenodd, Haverthwaite and the Crake and Rusland Valleys.

He said: “At the moment all these communities get their water supply from a reservoir high above Coniston called Levers Water.

“It’s usually a reliable source of water but it is high in the mountains and in the winter, when the water starts to freeze, it can be harder to treat in the quantities people need.

“Our new pipe will connect people to the huge regional network of pipes fed by Haweswater reservoir, which will give much more reliable water supplies whatever the weather.”

The pipe will run along the B5278 from near Bigland Wood to Low Wood Bridge where it will divert into farmland around Haverthwaite village and pass under the A590 before rejoining the road at the junction of Lane Ends and ending at The Causeway.

From February 24 to March 23 the B5278 between Low Wood Bridge and Bigland Hall Caravan Park will be closed.

And from March 5 to March 28 the road will be closed from Lane Ends to the Causeway, north of Haverthwaite.

Access will be maintained at all times for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists. There will be no impact on the A590, which will be crossed by laying the new pipe inside an existing underpass.

Mr Slater said: “Originally we wanted to use traffic lights south of Haverthwaite but the road is so narrow we think it would be too risky for our engineers or other road users. By working weekends we will get the work done in a fraction of the time it would take with traffic lights and we hope to re-open the road as quickly as possible.

“It will be a headache for commuters. It is not a decision we have taken lightly. It comes only after a full health and safety review. Our main priority now is to let as many people know as possible and we will be happy to answer any questions.”

The project, including testing, is expected to be complete by the end of May 2014.

A public information event will take place at St Anne’s Church Hall in Haverthwaite between 3pm and 7pm on February 6.

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