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Sunday, 13 July 2014

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Is this the end of Carlisle railway station gridlock?

GRIDLOCK outside Carlisle’s railway station may be avoided in future because a problem pole on its forecourt has been moved.

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Busy area: The area outside Carlisle’s Citadel station. Elsie Martlew, inset, said she welcomed the changes being made to improve traffic flow

Engineers from Cumbria County Council have moved a no entry sign to widen the exit from the one-way forecourt outside the busy train station. Bollards have also been moved to provide more space for traffic.

The changes now allow two lanes of traffic to leave the forecourt, hopefully easing congestion often caused by too many vehicles wishing to turn right and having to wait for nearby traffic lights to change.

Now they will have easier access to an alternative route when turning left, taking motorists down English Damside.

Senior city councillor Elsie Martlew has welcomed the changes.

Mrs Martlew, deputy leader of the city council and councillor for Castle ward, said: “I was contacted about this issue firstly by a man in west Cumbria who regularly uses the station.

“He highlighted the problem and said the solution was the shifting of this one pole.

“The county council are the highways authority but I’m fortunate, in my role on the city council, to be allowed to sit on a highways working group where news that this had been addressed was recently discussed.”

She added: “Anyone in the city knows that it can be very congested at times outside the station and along English Street and The Crescent. Hopefully this will now help by allowing more people the chance to turn left and go down Damside, underneath the railway bridge, onto the viaduct estate and out that way.

“I’m sure businesses and taxi drivers in the area will also be pleased.”

A Cumbria County Council spokesman said: “The council has moved a no entry sign and two bollards in order to widen the exit from the station forecourt.

“This will help ease congestion in this area by creating space for two separate lanes for traffic waiting to turn left or right out of the station.

“The scheme was included in Carlisle Local Committee’s highways and transport programme for this year, and was carried out in consultation with Network Rail.”

KPattison@cngroup.co.uk

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