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07 January 2016

Public urged to stay away from A591

A591

The public are being urged to stay away from the A591 around Thirlmere and the western shore road, following incidents yesterday.

During the day members of the public, on foot and on bicycle, effectively forced their way onto the closed road, moving fencing and ignoring instructions from security staff and members of our highways teams. Some proceeded to travel along the road past heavy machinery still working to remove tonnes of debris from the site.

This was extremely irresponsible, put their safety at risk and wasted the time of council staff working hard to repair the road.

Cumbria Police have reminded people that this type of action is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and people will be held liable for their actions.

The council understands the public desire for the road to reopen, but this type of behaviour will only delay that further.

Some confusion may have arisen due to incorrect reporting on BBC North West Tonight on Tuesday evening, which suggested a temporary road connection was being established along the full length of the eastern side of the reservoir, above the existing road. This is not the case. The temporary road connection will only bypass the collapsed section of road on Dunmail Raise, allowing a connection to the western shore road.

A spokesperson for Cumbria County Council said:

"This kind of behaviour is unacceptable - we have heavy machinery operating removing fallen trees and tonnes of rock debris from the site. Heavy wagons are continually moving up and down the road. To have people think it is OK to ignore council staff and go 'sightseeing' along the road is baffling. This kind of action constitutes a criminal offence and we will take action if it is required."

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The public are being urged to stay away from the A591 around Thirlmere and the western shore road, following incidents yesterday.