Flood-hit residents protest over major road plan in Carlisle
Flood-hit residents are set to storm a public meeting in Carlisle tonight to protest against a £1m traffic plan they have branded "dangerous".
Those living at the top end of Warwick Road are dismayed that, just after getting their lives back to normal after the devastating floods, they now face more upheaval as the road outside their homes is widened.
Cumbria County Council has revealed it wants to add an extra lane to the busy route after securing £4.6m to upgrade roads across the county.
The Carlisle scheme is a major part of that.
If approved, it would see the road widened and an extra lane added between the Rosehill Industrial Estate and Eastern Way.
They say it will ease congestion on the busy commuter route.
But after receiving copies of the plans, residents are furious.
They have met to discuss their response and agreed to go en masse to a public exhibition being held tonight.
Caroline Scott, who lives opposite the Toby Carvery, said it is already difficult getting in and out of their driveways - and the extra lane will make it far more likely an accident will happen.
She added: "Nobody wants this. Most of us were flooded. We've had all that stress, mess and carry on. we just don't need it.
"Safety is our main concern. Getting on and off our driveways is going to be impossible if we are negotiating an extra lane of traffic.
"It will also affect property values, which have already plummeted since the floods.
"To be honest 2016 was so stressful for everyone around here, we just don't need any more, especially not for this."
Neil Kilgour and wife Jacqui live in Warwick Road with their two-year-old daughter and are concerned for her safety, believing the extra lane will enable traffic to go much faster past their home.
He said the pavement outside their house is set to be narrowed by up to 1.5 meters, bringing traffic - including HGVs - much closer.
He is also concerned about the extra noise and vibration.
He added: "Another lane being added is only going to make it even harder to get in and out of our driveway than it already is.
"We would only be able to pull slightly out of our gates with a narrower footpath restricting our view even more."
Mr Kilgour also believes the extra lane is unnecessary, questioning the council's argument about congestion - claiming plans to build new homes, including almost 200 near to the Rosehill estate, wouldn't be allowed if the traffic was such an issue.
The county council said to enable the improvements, the road would be widened slightly in a number of locations.
Traffic islands would also be re-positioned, road markings altered and traffic signals upgraded.
The council says its objective is to ease traffic congestion within this area of the city and improve access to housing and employment sites, including the recently redeveloped Durranhill Industrial Estate.
The drop-in event takes place tonight at the Shepherds Inn, Rosehill, between 4pm and 7pm, and is open to all.