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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Hundreds sign petition calling for new Cumbrian bypass

The fight for a new bypass to stop traffic causing misery to people living in Workington has moved up a gear.

Hilary Harrington photo
Hilary Harrington

Hilary Harrington has gathered around 700 signatures in just 10 days, calling for a new road to take traffic away from Harrington, Salterbeck and Moss Bay.

The pensioner, who has lived in Harrington for more than 50 years, said the amount of cars, lorries and wagons which constantly use the A597 is “unbearable” and she fears it will only get worse as more than 200 homes are being built in the area.

The support she has received from people living in the affected areas has been “tremendous”, she said, with the majority backing the idea.

“I’m so determined,” Mrs Harrington told the News & Star. “I’ve only been out knocking on doors for a couple of hours a day and there were only three people who didn’t want to sign.”

The next step – after hopefully hitting the 2,000-signature mark – is to take the proposal to Cumbria County Council’s local committee for Allerdale next month, asking members to look into the possibility of building a bypass.

Speaking about the problems people living near to the roads are experiencing, she said: “When I was taking the petition to the Main Road, the volume and noise of the traffic was unbearable – it’s a wonder they can sleep. It’s like living next to a motorway.

“There have been accidents along the road, but thankfully nothing fatal. But it usually takes something like that for something to happen. It’s growing in urgency now for the problem to be solved.”

Petitions have been handed out to a number of businesses in the area, including Harrington Pharmacy, the village post office and the George and Dragon pub on Church Road.

Emma Rowntree, who works at the pharmacy, said that many of her customers are supporting the campaign.

“I think it would be a good thing to have a bypass,” she said. “The petition is well supported and we have a full page of signatures so far.”

Stuart Pattinson who lives at Main Road, Harrington, said: “It’s awful trying to cross the road to get to the bus stop. Some days I stand there for well over five minutes – it’s horrendous.

“A bypass would solve the problem as the road through the village would only be used by people who actually live here.”

And a spokeswoman for the village post office said that her customers were all behind the campaign.

“A lot of people are signing the petition,” she added.

Six months ago police appealed to drivers to stop speeding along the road – which is a 30mph stretch – as terrified residents feared for their lives.

The problem was so bad that parents were worried for their children’s safety, pensioners didn’t have time to cross the road safely and some people were even reluctant to leave their own homes for fear of being mowed down by a motorist.

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