The next phase of public consultation for the multi-million-pound road improvement scheme for the A595 at Dove Ford in Grizebeck is set to begin.
It is hoped that at the end of this consultation, a precise route will be agreed and a planning application submitted by the end of summer.
A series of virtual meetings and drop-in sessions will be held for residents, businesses, community groups soon.
County councillor Matt Brereton, who represents High Furness, said: “I am pleased and relieved that despite the pandemic and the longer-than-anticipated wait to secure Department for Transport funding approval, this scheme is finally going out to full public consultation.
“The project has now been passed to the county’s capital programmes wconomy and Infrastructure team, and already conversations with residents, landowners and other stakeholders are getting underway.
“While of course during the pandemic we cannot hold village hall meetings as was previously possible, the officers and I are determined that we will consult as fully and widely as possible, using virtual technology where appropriate.
“We will hold a series of bespoke meetings with all residents and the various community groups involved, while individual landowners will receive a letter setting out the next steps.
“There will also be opportunities to view and comment on the scheme online or in one-to-one calls with the officers in charge if necessary.
“The county highways team is using some of the time-limited LEP funding to complete this phase of the consultation and the detailed survey and design work involved in coming up with a final planning application.
“In consultation with local residents and businesses, it is hoped that not only will the road design be a huge improvement on the existing state of affairs, but that Grizebeck will also benefit from improved walking, cycling and horse-riding routes, community green spaces, sensitive landscaping and planting, and that existing access to Grizebeck for residents and passing trade for local businesses will be fully maintained.
“I urge all local people or interested parties to look out for notices and to engage with the upcoming consultation fully, to ensure we get a new road that will benefit all and that will not adversely affect the landscape, the views or the environment.
“I’m confident that with constructive input from everyone that the new stretch of road and junctions will also provide knock-on benefits in terms of connectivity, active travel, community spaces and even boost infrastructure supply such as superfast broadband, power networks and mains sewerage for the wider area.
“I thank the highways officers for their continuing hard work as well as local groups including Kirkby Ireleth Parish Council, the A595 Action Group, the Grizebeck Road Safety Group, the Cumbria LEP and the office of Simon Fell, MP for Barrow and Furness, for their ongoing support.”