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Cockermouth Main Street to be closed until August

The main road through Cockermouth will be closed until August to allow a £1.7 million improvement scheme to go-ahead.

Cockermouth Main Street photo
Cockermouth Main Street

Cumbria County Council, which is investing the cash, originally hoped to keep one lane of Main Street open while work was ongoing.

But the authority has announced that the road will be completely closed when work begins on Monday. And it is anticipated that the works will not be completed until August.

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.

Yesterday a meeting of the Main Street steering group was held to discuss the plans. Jonty Chippendale, chairman of the town’s chamber of trade, said aftwerwards: “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.”

Workmen moved into the town last month to start work on the scheme. They replaced a drain on High Sand Lane, which took a lot longer than anticipated due to “unexpected complications.” with a new drainage system.

The second phase of the scheme will begin next week, which involves reconstructing and resurfacing the road, renewing the drainage system, repaving the north footway and renewing lighting columns between Sullart Street and Cocker Bridge.

Councillor Keith Little, cabinet member for highways and transport, said that although the road closure was “always planned” for Main Street, the authority had originally hoped to keep one lane open with traffic controls.

“However, it’s 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 manner,” he added. “Pedestrian access will be maintained to all business premises on Main Street. We will do all we can to ensure traffic flows as smoothly as possible during the works, but some disruption will be unavoidable and we apologise for any inconvenience.”

The work will be carried out in two phases, starting with the section between Sullart Street and Station Street. From Monday diversions will be in place via Station Street, which will have two-way traffic during the temporary closure.

A way through Main Street will be maintained for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists and deliveries to premises will be accommodated in the closure length.

The second phase of work, from High Sand Lane to Cocker Bridge, is planned to start in May, and will also involve a road closure.

The enhancement scheme should be completed in August, subject to adverse weather or any unforeseen circumstances affecting progress.

Have your say

What we have to remember is that the road works are in place to improve the drainage system, among other things.
God forbid we have another flood like the one in 2009, when businesses were closed FOR MONTHS and nothing could be done about it. This is a short term problem with a long term solution. Yes, it's bad that we've all inconvenienced like this, but don't forget that the town is forever growing and improving. Without improved drainage in the town, any subsequent floods could be even worse than the last one. Being able to drive one way along Main Street will do nothing for the businesses there. It's not as if anyone would be able to park outside the shops, they will still have to park in the car parks, as has always been the situation.
People twined about the lack of flood defences and river dredging, yet when people's daily life is inconvenienced to try and fix the problems, people are twining again. The council can't win.

Posted by BIT on 5 March 2014 at 09:17

Surely in the road is closed to trafic, then they should be able to complete the work a lot sooner, if they don't have the problems of trafic.

Personally, i don't see why they still can't allow some traffic along main street, just don't allow parking and just use one side of the road at a time.

Posted by anon on 1 March 2014 at 10:29

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