CONTROVERSIAL county council plans to try out new traffic measures in Cockermouth have been ditched following a heated public consultation.

There was widespread criticism of the proposal to give priority to traffic travelling along Main Street and turning right up Station Street.

The county council had hoped the scheme would improve traffic flow through the town centre.

But the many residents who attended the town hall consultation made it clear they felt otherwise.

They pointed out there were already issues with gridlock traffic at certain times of the day. They felt the situation would be compounded by the proposals, causing traffic to back up Castlegate.

There were calls for no changes to be made until the impact of Lidl could be determined when it opens later this summer.

Others called for the Main Street pedestrian crossings to be moved.

Some suggested a yellow box be created at the Main Street/ Station Street junction.

Many residents pointed out that the town would not be struggling with traffic issues if there had been more control over housing developments.

Jim Hully said: "It's absolutely crazy what they are proposing, they would need to take away parking.

"They should not have let Strawberry Grange go ahead because all that traffic will come through here and cause even more problems."

Dave Blanden said: "I think the consensus is to leave it until Lidl is in place and see what impact that has.

"Pedestrians will get knocked over at the bottom of Station Street because boy racers have got priority going up Station Street. At school times traffic will back up to the bridge and beyond."

David Johnson, chairman of Papcastle Parish Council, was at the consultation with his wife, Angela, who is partially sighted.

"I don't think this is going to solve the problem. The pedestrian crossing is one of the main hold ups," he said.

Mrs Johnson said: "As it is, trying to get across Station Street at times is an obstacle, these proposals would make it even worse.

"The pedestrian crossing should me moved forward in front of Allisons."

Jennifer Bell said of the proposal: "At school time it will be horrendous, what if a doctor has an emergency?

"They brought all these problems on themselves by giving permission for housing developments.

"Something has to be done, twice a day it's a nightmare."

County councillor Rebecca Hanson said: "This scheme should not go ahead at present because the concerns about the delays which led to this consultation have faded and are now outweighed by worries about potential rat-runs and westbound traffic delays this change could cause.

"We are currently working on other measures to improve traffic flow (changes to loading bays and to the sequencing of the lights), Lidl will open soon and there is house building going on.

"We should wait and see what happens to traffic then rather than assuming it will get worse."

A county spokesman said: "The event was very well attended. Fifty five written responses have been received thus far, the vast majority in objection to the proposal, many believing that an alteration to the junction priority would negatively impact the overall traffic flow within the town.

"The responses are currently being analysed, with many offering alternative suggestions. The consultation remains open until Friday 24th May, however it is already apparent that we will not be proceeding to implement these changes, given the overwhelming feeling of the town."

Anyone wanting to submit feedback should write to