Campaign starts to build second link between Barrow and Walney
Last updated at 12:50, Thursday, 12 June 2008
The 100-year-old Jubilee Bridge is currently the only way to get to the island by car. The idea of another crossing has been discussed for decades.
Now Conservative councillors David Marcus, Ollie Flitcroft and Alan Pemberton are hoping to make the road bridge a reality. The Walney South councillors have organised a petition calling for a second road bridge “as a matter of urgency”.
Councillor Marcus said: “It’s the wish of our constituents on Walney South.
“But it’s not only for Walney South, it’s for the whole of Walney and the whole of Barrow would benefit from this.
“Although we love the old bridge – we don’t want to get rid of it – we think a new bridge is required because the old bridge wasn’t built for 21st century traffic.”
Cllr Marcus believes the ideal and obvious place for the new bridge is somewhere round about Mill Lane, Walney, and Channelside, Barrow, to link up with the one-way system. He said: “I think it’s the best place, with the least disruption to buildings and to wildlife.”
The petition is being distributed to shops on Walney this week.
The Evening Mail also plans to make it available to sign in our offices in Abbey Road, Barrow.
Cllr Marcus says the petition will be delivered to Cumbria County Council.
Cumbria County Council spokesman Justin Hawkins says a second Walney crossing is mentioned in Cumbria Strategic Partnership’s Routes to a Prosperous Cumbria document, which the county council’s cabinet backed in January.
He said: “To that extent, the county council has already voiced a favourable opinion as to the desirability of a second Walney crossing.
“But Routes to a Prosperous Cumbria is a lobby document, not a list of schemes that there are currently any plans or any money to pursue. The idea, in line with the way significant transport infrastructure funding is sought these days, is that the document sets out the aspirations for Cumbria’s transport infrastructure to support economic and social well-being for the county.”
“It is there to show that there is a coherent strategic and countywide understanding of what is required. “We’ll look forward to receiving the petition.”
Asked about the petition, Tony Callister, one of the three Labour councillors representing Walney North on the borough council, said: “I find this a little surprising as the previous Conservative councillors never went down this route as they knew that the Labour councillors had had much dialogue with the county council over the second bridge to Walney.
“The bottom line is that the Conservative-run county council has consistently refused to accept the need for a bridge.
“After much lobbying from the Labour groups, we have managed to get the proposal into the county council future strategy.”
“This, I believe, is a good start and continued lobbying and dialogue will continue from the Labour group to try and keep this idea high on an agenda.“I feel that the Tory group on South Walney are not fully briefed on the present situation.“The residents on Walney can be guaranteed that myself, (fellow Walney North Labour councillors) Anita (Husband) and Des (Barlow) will maintain our work and support for a second crossing and, as usual, will report any developments to the residents.”
The breakdown of Jubilee Bridge on the night of March 13 this year was a stark reminder of how much Walney relies on its only road link. The 90-minute hold-up left hundreds of motorists locked in tailbacks. One of the vehicles was an ambulance.
First published at 11:07, Thursday, 12 June 2008
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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