Crisis talks as whole of Cockermouth Main Street to close for £1.7m work
Last updated at 14:23, Friday, 28 February 2014
An emergency meeting was called yesterday after a shock 11th-hour decision to close the whole of Cockermouth’s Main Street for improvement work.
Cumbria County Council announced on Wednesday that both sides of Main Street would be shut from Monday to allow a £1.7 million improvement scheme to be carried out.
The council had previously said that the work would be done in sections.
But now both sides of the street will be closed to traffic between Sullart Street and Station Street from Monday.
Diversions will be in place via Station Street, which will have two-way traffic.
A meeting of the Main Street Improvement steering group was called immediately in response.
Cockermouth traders were concerned that the closure would affect trade but plans have been put in place to schedule work to avoid the Easter holidays.
The county council will also work with Allerdale council to look at solutions for a loss of parking.
Jonty Chippendale, chairman of the town’s chamber of trade, said: “We were really disappointed to hear about the changes to the schedule.
“We have been talking to the county council project management team for nearly two years about how they could best minimise disruption for local people, shoppers and visitors.
“This is the best of a bad option but some positives have come out of it, such as it being open during Easter.”
A road closure for Main Street was always planned but it was hoped that one lane could be kept open, with traffic controls in place.
The work is expected to last until May when the second phase will begin between High Sand Lane and Cocker Bridge.
Work is expected to be completed by August and signs will advertise that Cockermouth is open for business.
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Mr Chippendale added: “We all wish this work wouldn’t have to be done, but it does, and this will be the most efficient and quickest way of doing it.
“We will have a fantastic Main Street, better than before.”
Main Street will be resurfaced, the northern side re-laid in sandstone, and drainage and lighting improved.
Councillor Keith Little, the county council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “It has now become clear that the road will need to be closed in order to protect the safety of the public and our contractors and ensure the work can be carried out in the most efficient matter.
“We will do all we can to ensure traffic flows as smoothly as possible but some disruption will be unavoidable.”
First published at 14:21, Friday, 28 February 2014
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Which town are you looking at Jay? Cockermouth is a good example of a town which has been brought back from the brink of death and is flourishing again. The essential highway works will only add to the resurgence of the town...... Think long term pal! Would folk rather it was left and no work was carried out?
Let's hope they don't make the same balls up with it that they made with St. Helen's street with the lovely way they reduced the number of parking bays which encouraged people to park diagonally. It's great getting up there these days when a wagon wants to make a delivery..
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