Hazard-ridden infrastructure

The Journey to Greenodd
Hazard-ridden infrastructure
Kirksanton is situated on a peninsula with the A595 being the only major road access from the North and the East. To access this road from Kirksanton, Haverigg or Millom, the minor A5093 is the only available option.

The journey to the A590 at Greenodd is about 19 miles (30 km) along the A5093, A595 and then the A5092 from Grizebeck. This route has the following characteristics:

  • No dual carriageway
  • No safe passing points
  • Steep gradient at Grizebeck and just after Duddon crossing
  • Narrow stretches of unforgiving dry stone walls
  • Sections of very narrow tight bends
  • Manually operated level crossings at Kirksanton and Foxfield
  • Traffic lights control on Duddon Bridge
  • No alternative routes even for light vehicles
  • “Pinch points” where HGVs and in some cases cars cannot pass, making the road virtually one-way in a least six places
  • Notoriously dangerous junction with the A590 at Greenodd

Even with the current moderately light traffic levels, the consequences of these characteristics are:

  • This stretch is an above average contributor to the 1250 casualties in the past five years on the A595.
  • Damage to the stone walls is a frequent occurrence, repairs take days to complete and involve traffic lights with convoy escorts and long delays.
  • Minor accidents such as diesel spillage can close the road in both directions for about four hours.
  • Emergency vehicles experience major delays in gaining access to accidents.
  • Frustrated drivers take risks to pass slow traffic, endangering themselves and other road users.

The much higher traffic level required to supply the proposed nuclear power station would inevitably increase congestion and frustration. Accidents and casualty rates would increase, along with the death rate.

The Journey to Dalton-in-Furness

The natural barriers of the Duddon Estuary, Lake District National Park and the difficult terrain, make it hard to envisage how significant improvements could be achieved in the time available regardless of the level of investment.

There are no scheduled road infrastructure improvements planned for the section of the A595 between Grizebeck and the A590 junction at Dalton-in-Furness, about 8 miles
(13 km) which has the following characteristics:

  • No dual carriageway
  • No safe passing points
  • Five pinch points plus a narrow one way section through farm buildings
  • In the village of Kirkby the residents park on the main road restricting the carriageway to one way sections
  • Other sections of narrow carriageway bordered with dry stone walls
  • Kirkby school is on the main road
  • Ireleth village also has cars parked on the main road and a school adjacent with a controlled level crossing
  • The level crossing in the village of Askam causes delays on the main road

The consequence of increasing traffic volume would be the same as for the Greenodd section.

The Journey from Sellafield

The section of the A595 from Sellafield to Kirksanton, about 22 miles (35 km) has the following characteristics:

  • Steep gradient at Waberthwaite and Muncaster.
  • No dual carriageway
  • Restricted number of safe passing places.
  • Pinch points at Muncaster Bridge, Bootle village and Kirksanton.
  • No alternative or diversion routes for HGVs
  • High incidence of accidents
  • Manually controlled level crossings at Kirksanton

Proposed development at Braystones…

The possibility of new plants being developed simultaneously at Braystones and Sellafield would increase the problems on the A595 both north and south of Sellafield and bring the bumper to bumper rush hour traffic to a complete standstill.

Alternatives of rail or public transport are not practicable without a major investment programme.

Living with our road network – Accidents take their toll

For more independent information visit www.nwemail.co.uk and type in
“Road Accidents A595” – it has over 57000 entries:

  • A595 branded “Terrible” and a “Death-trap” by Highway Chief – but no plans to improve – September 09
  • An accident every 36 hours on A595 – October 09
  • Millom cut off from help for three hours by simple oil spill – April 08
  • Lorry drivers say time to haul A595 into shape – September 09
  • Tanker and car cleared from A595, closed for two hours – February 09
  • Fears for Millom if road is cut off – April 08.
  • Traffic disruption around Millom – five week’s road closure – August 09

Old Cumbrian Bridges

On Friday 20th November 2009, Millom and surrounding areas were cut off from civilisation for most of the day. The bridges at Holmrook and over the Duddon were impassable due to heavy rainfall. Duddon Bridge has been closed due to flooding on other occasions.

Duddon Bridge was back in use after 24 hours. The bridge at Holmrook was re-opened after 10 days, traffic having had to use an unclassified road, via Santon Bridge, as the only alternative route north. The surface of this country lane was being torn to pieces with the unprecedented volume of traffic.

The reason why Kirksanton has been selected as a potential site is due to the 2008 fast-track planning law.