Extensive roadworks around Ambleside
January 28th, 2019
UPDATE 29 January 2019
Phase 1 of these works have now been postponed until October/November 2019.
Resurfacing works on the A591 at Waterhead are programmed to commence on Monday 25th February. This is the week immediately after the Cumbria / Lancashire half term. The surfacing work has been split into 3 main phases as per the location plan attached.
The works on Phase 1 starting on the 25thFebruary will be by far the most disruptive. It is expected that works on this section will take around 2 weeks to complete. The works will be undertaken during the evenings (Mon – Fri ,18:30 – 00:30 each shift). The road will be reopened to traffic at the end of each shift. It is important to recognise that there is a risk that shifts may need to be cancelled at short notice due to inclement weather which we cannot plan for in advance. We are discussing options to accelerate the programme with our contractor although restricted hours due to noise at night in a residential area limit the options available to us.
Regrettably the works will cause significant disruption as I am sure you can imagine. There will be no access to / from Ambleside via the A591 whilst the closure is in operation. This is something that cannot be avoided. Current health and safety legislation will not permit us to carry out the works without a full road closure in this location. There is insufficient road width to allow traffic to pass through the site whilst operatives are working on site. To further complicate matters the A592 is closed between Bowness and Newby Bridge for the UU sewer contract which has been ongoing over the last 3 winters. If we delay the works further we will run into the Easter period when traffic volumes increase notably along with the impact on local business as tourism begins to pick up.
The official diversion will be extensive -A591 to Plumgarths, Kendal Bypass to Brettargh Holt, A590 to Greenodd, A5092 to A5084 Lowick to A593 Torver to Coniston A593 to Ambleside.
Locals will no doubt try to use the Struggle and Kirkstone Pass to avoid the lengthy diversion however this is something that we cannot encourage. The route is extremely narrow as you know and is not suitable as a diversion at the best times due to the gradient, geometry and lack of passing places. At this time of year the route can be particularly treacherous with a risk of snow and ice more often than not. Our operatives are only permitted to grit Kirkstone during hours of daylight due to the dangers associated with travelling the route in adverse conditions.
On completion of phase 1 we will move immediately onto phase 2 which is programmed to take approximately 2 weeks. The start date of this phase is entirely dependent upon the progress of phase 1.
On a postThe second phase will be far less disruptive as the diversion is nowhere near as significant and uses routes around the town itself. Phase 2 will be carried out during the daytime as the road is much wider in this location. South bound traffic will be permitted access through the works site under lane closure throughout this phase. All north bound traffic will be diverted via Borrans Road, Rothay Road and Compston Road whilst works are ongoing.
Similarly, Phase 3 will be completed following phase 2 and again the start date is dependent upon progress of the previous phases. Phase 3 will require the full closure of Borrans Road. This phase will most likely be undertaken at night to minimise disruption although we will be monitoring traffic flows during the earlier phases before ruling out day time working altogether as there is a cost implication for working at night. Phase 3 is programmed to take approximately 3 -5 shifts.
Prior to the commencement of the main surfacing contract there will also be works ongoing during the daytime around the A591 / Borrans Road junction.
You may already be aware of the proposal to provide a pedestrian link between the bus stop at the existing lights on the A591 and the controlled crossing on Borrans Road. The work involves dropping the existing footways on the A591 to provide crossing points, incorporating a pedestrian phase into the existing lights and the construction of a new footway along the west side of Borrans Road – plan attached for reference. The footway and associated drainage and ducting works are programmed to begin on January 28th and will be completed in the daytime using temporary traffic control. It is likely the works in this area will be ongoing up to the start of the main surfacing contract.
Approval to proceed with the footway link is a relatively recent decision. The crossing will not be able to operate formally until the Traffic Regulation Order prohibiting the left turn from Borrans Road is enforceable. I am told this will not be until the end of March. Hopefully you will agree that it makes sense to get the works in the carriageway completed before the surfacing commences to avoid excavations within the new surface at a later date. Any remaining works in the footway associated with the footway link are considered less critical.
I trust the above helps to give you an understanding of the upcoming works in the Waterhead area.
We have arranged for advance notification boards to be planted on site next week to advertise the phase 1 closure to locals and the travelling public. We will also be arranging for the scheme to be advertised more widely in the near future through the usual channels -press release, local radio and social media.
Hope this is ok.
Rob Huck BSc (Hons) MIHE
Highways Network Engineer| Cumbria Highways
Environment | Cumbria County Council
County Offices | Kendal | Cumbria | LA9 4RQ
t: 0300 303 2992