MP Tim Farron has called on the Department for Transport and Cumbria County Council to press ahead with plans for a northern relief road in Kendal.
His calls come after traffic ‘bedlam’ brought the town to a standstill after motorists were diverted through the centre of Kendal on Thursday, after the M6 northbound was closed due to a lorry catching fire.
The road was closed until just before midnight for emergency road resurfacing repairs between J36 of the A590 (Kirkby Lonsdale) and J39, B6261 (Shap).
One person described the situation in Kendal as ‘bedlam’, while another described the ‘very heavy traffic’ on Windermere Road, with a large number of lorries travelling through the town.
They added that the amount of traffic was ‘frightening’.
The situation saw many residents calling for the creation of the relief road.
“How many more times has this got to happen before those in power wake up and realise that Kendal desperately needs a northern relief road?” said Mr Farron.
“For the sake of building just a two-mile single-carriageway road, we could solve this problem and actually make our town centre a far friendlier place for people to walk and cycle, rather than full of cars stuck in frustrating traffic jams.
“So my message to the Government and the county council is this: please, no more delay. Get on with it and get it built.”
The idea of a relief road in Kendal has been debated for decades and in the summer the Department for Transport approved the strategic outline business case for the Kendal Northern Access Route and supported Cumbria County Council’s funding application for the next stage of proving the worth of the new route.
But some, including Mark Cropper, the chairman of James Cropper PLC, have expressed concerns about the scheme, including the ‘destruction’ to the ‘globally important local environment’.