Motorists have been warned not to interfere with signage around a West Cumbrian road closure after it emerged road signs were being moved or discarded.

An emergency road closure has been in place on a 1.2km stretch of the B5300 at Dubmill Point since February after erosion left the carriageway dangerously close to the sea.

The road, which is a popular route between Maryport and Silloth, is expected to be shut until July while work is undertaken to install rock armour and reinstate the bank.

As well as the road closures, weight limits and other restrictions have been put in place on surrounding roads to limit their use as rat runs.

But people in the area have raised concerns that signage is inconsistent and is contradictory in places.

A council spokesman revealed that highways officers were aware of signs being moved or removed by members of the public.

As a result, members of the council's highways team are having to visit the site daily to check the signage.

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Last month motorists ignoring road closures and weight restrictions around the area faced fines from police after complaints from surrounding residents about the impact of additional traffic using back roads around the main closure site.

The back route to Salta had been closed for a time because of concern it was becoming a rat run.

That closure has now been lifted following feedback from the parish council.

The county council spokesman said: "The signage in place throughout the area matches the traffic regulation order plans that were put in place to facilitate the ongoing works at Dubmill Point. These routes are checked daily to ensure the correct signage remains in place.

"The Salta junction was opened following feedback from a parish council meeting in April and the restriction was moved back to allow access at this location following requests from the local community. A temporary 3.5T weight limit and temporary 30mph speed restriction remain in place.

"The council is aware of several signs having been moved or discarded and this is understandably causing confusion amongst the local community, as well as adding pressure to the already busy workload of highways officers. Whilst we recognise the frustration that diversions and closures can cause, we’d also urge members of the public not to remove or interfere with any signage that is in place – it is a legal requirement and is in situ to ensure the safety of road users."

Work to install repair and improve sea defences alongside the closed stretch of road began just after Easter.

The start of the work was delayed as the council had to secure a series of licenses from the Marine Management Organisation and Natural England.