A RESIDENT is calling for more drive-through Covid-19 testing sites in Barrow after being forced to take a three-hour long drive to Ambleside.

Laura Cross, who lives in Ulverston, says it is ‘absolutely shocking’ that her nearest available appointment to test her son was at the Lake District town, with Morecambe and Caton the only other places listed.

Laura said: “It is absolutely shocking - when I needed to test my son, I was surprised to see there were no drive-through appointments in Barrow, which I have used in the past.

“It is a 15-minute drive and you got your test results back within 24 hours and that is great when you have to work.

“I went to Ambleside and it took me a three-hour round trip because of the traffic and the roadworks, but I got the results back within less than 24 hours.”

Drive-through appointments are currently available at BAE Systems in Barrow, with the testing site operating on Thursdays this month.

However, Laura believes this is not good enough for local residents, especially parents.

Laura commented: “I don’t understand why there are barely any drive-throughs in South Cumbria, I have not seen any availability at BAE yet.

“Once a week isn’t any good if your child gets ill on a Sunday and is wondering whether they can go to work on a Monday, they can’t wait until Thursday.”

Although walk-in testing sites are available in Barrow, taking place at the Town Hall, as well as the county council offices in Kendal, Laura believes drive-throughs are more convenient for parents with young children.

And with coronavirus cases still rising in the region, more available testing would make it easier for residents, says Laura.

“There are walk-in sites, but if your child is unwell with Covid symptoms, you don’t want them standing in a queue with other people.

“A lot of people don’t want to hear about Covid now, but there are lots more cases and Boris is saying: 'We’re going to keep testing' - well we need more tests and it needs to be easy as possible to get one.”