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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Fight launched for estuary crossing

A PETITION has been launched for a new link between Barrow and the west Cumbrian coast.

Campaigners have called for a bridge or barrage to be built over the Duddon Estuary.

Recent flooding, accidents and expansion at Sellafield has highlighted the question over whether or not the A595 can cope with its current level of traffic.

The petition has been created by Arthur Sansam, who has called for the Department of Energy and Climate Change to use the opportunity of building a bridge to improve Cumbria’s green output.

He said: “This road is little more than a dangerous single track in places and the return journey takes around one hour. This road is also the main access road to Sellafield.

“A bridge across the estuary would cut the journey time to under 10 minutes, would save fuel and greatly reduce the carbon footprint of the vehicles making this journey. The bridge could also incorporate a barrage which could generate tidal energy and power.’

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said securing funding for a new bridge could be a challenge.

He said: “I have long been a supporter of the idea of a barrage over the Duddon Estuary, but the challenge is to convince people in the current financial climate.

“It is clear though that the A595 is simply not fit for purpose, so the expansion of new civil nuclear on the west coast should trigger a proper reassessment of the transport links the area needs.”

The petition follows a week in which 26-year-old Peter Benson, of Ulpha, died in an accident on the A595 at Duddon Bridge.

Lady Mary Jardine has been campaigning for a new bridge over the estuary for 20 years and said the community around Broughton has not given up hope of the new link.

She said: “The campaign has been going on for years. We hope we’re getting closer.

“For economic reasons, business and health and safety, it is absolutely essential that we get the new bridge.”

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