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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Rail plan to reduce lorries on main Cumbrian road

A railhead at Siddick in Workington might be the only long-term solution to the number of heavy lorries using the A596, according to a councillor.

Bill Finlay photo
Bill Finlay

Bill Finlay, Aspatria town councillor, wants to set up an action group of people living in communities alongside the road who are concerned about the number of large trucks using it.

He said the problem had worsened since Workington’s Iggesund Paperboard opened its timber-fuelled biomass energy plant last year. The Siddick plant needs 517,000 tonnes of wood a year which arrive via the A595 and A596.

Mr Finlay said that railway sidings could be built at the Workington dock and overhead conveyors could transport logs to the nearby paper mill.

He added: “Investing in a rail siding would not only be of benefit to supporting the biomass plant, but would also offer the infrastructure for rail to sea and sea to rail goods handling at Workington, which would further boost prospects for the port.”

Geoff Smith, a member of the Green Party and Crosscanonby parish councillor, said he was trying to obtain a report into the sustainability of a new railhead.

Aspatria town council has written to all parish and town councils along the A596 to ask for representatives to attend a special meeting on the issue.

A date has yet to be arranged, Mr Finlay said, because the council was waiting for a response from the county council’s highways manager on a related matter.

Meanwhile, parish councils in Dearham and Crosscanonby have renewed their calls to lower speed limits in both villages.

David Mossom, chairman of Crosscanonby parish council, said he wanted to see the speed limit in Crosby reduced from 40mph to 30mph.

He added: “Towards the Maryport end of the village it is ridiculous to think a large wagon can go through at 40 miles and hour.”

Ken Hodgson, former Dearham parish council chairman, said that a 40mph speed limit on the main route into Maryport had been a problem for many years .

He said: “To try and cross the A594 is really dangerous.

“We are worried that there will be a fatality one day.”

Mr Finlay has urged residents to contact him if they are willing to get involved in the campaign. Call him on 016973 21156.

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