A591 in Cumbria to reopen next month

Highways Reporters

The storm-damaged A591 in Cumbria will reopen next month (May).

The road, which has been closed since December (2015), was visited by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin last week.

During a visit to see how flood-hit parts of Cumbria are recovering from the damage caused by storms Desmond and Eva, Mr McLoughlin announced that Highways England and its contractor Kier are doing all they can to reopen the A591 on 13 May 2016.

The new opening date – which has been brought forward from the end of May - means holidaymakers travelling to Cumbria for the spring bank holiday and the school half-term break would be able to travel along the entire stretch of the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick. Work to reopen the road is being carried out by Highways England and Kier on behalf of Cumbria County Council.

The Transport Secretary said: “The A591 is vital to Cumbria’s economy, providing an essential link for residents, businesses and tourists, so it is great news that Highways England expects to reopen the route earlier than planned.

“We know that the winter storms had a devastating effect on many people in Cumbria and across the north. That is why we have invested more than £117 million – including an extra £83 million in last month’s Budget – to ensure the region gets back on its feet as quickly as possible.”

The Transport Secretary was joined by Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan and Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for highways, to see how work is progressing on the A591.

O’Sullivan said: “We’re acutely aware how important this road is to local people and tourism businesses. When we started the repairs in February we promised we’d be working to reopen the road as quickly as possible and with some great progress in the last few weeks we’re looking to do that by the middle of May rather than at the end of the month.”

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