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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Success for A590 underpass campaign

RESIDENTS at Witherslack are celebrating after work was completed on a vital underpass.

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ROUTE: County councillor Jim Bland pictured at the underpass near the Derby Arms in Witherslack, which passes under the A590 LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50042458B004

Campaigners have called for new lighting and resurfacing at the A590 underpass between Witherslack and Grange for the last five years.

The route, used as a shortcut, has been the subject of much controversy in the past.

In 2010, the Witherslack community battled to keep the underpass open to cars and then in June of this year the bridleway faced further threat of closuredue to safety issues.

Motorists who used the tunnel feared that blocking the route would force them to cross two carriageways of the busy A590.

A joint campaign, led by Councillor Jim Bland and residents, was launched to urge and work on the underpass has now been completed. The revamp was a joint project between Cumbria County Council and the Highways Agency.

Cllr Jim Bland said: “I have been campaigning for the last five years. The work’s all finished on it now.”

The councillor, who represents the Lyth Valley on South Lakeland District Council, said residents were thrilled that their campaign had been a success.

Cllr Bland added: “I am really pleased for the people of Witherslack, this is their victory.”

The community has welcomed the opening of the underpass as people “don’t have to cross over the dual carriageway now it is finished,” Cllr Bland added.

“In the end, we won the war.”

The residents of Witherslack held a party, in aid of the First Responders, at the village hall on Saturday night to celebrate the opening of the underpass.

“Everybody was chuffed to bits with the underpass. They couldn’t be more pleased about it.” Cllr Bland said.

The councillor also commended the work that the contractors had put in on the underpass over the last three weeks while the work was completed.

He said: “The contractors have done a really good job.”

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