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31 December 2015

Plans for Dunmail Raise school connection confirmed

 2 A591

Plans for a walking route for school children over Dunmail Raise and past the collapsed carriageway to a connecting shuttlebus have had to be redrawn following Storm Frank.

With the heavy rain the stream alongside the Dunmail Raise once again became a torrent and further undercut the remaining carriageway causing further collapse, meaning the plan to walk children along the road has had to be revised.

An alternative route has been identified today down the west side of the road and Cumbria Highways teams are now working to improve the quality of the pathway. Work is also continuing, despite the weather, on the east side of the road to create a temporary road connection that can be used by the shuttle-bus from late January.

The new school shuttle-bus system will operate with two buses. One departing from Keswick School for the south end of Thirlmere at around 7am and arriving at around 7.30am and one departing from The Lakes School also at 7am and arriving at the top of Dunmail Raise at 7.30am. Children will then walk, supervised, along the new path to the other bus and continue their journey north or south. Both buses will stop at the usual pick up points along the route. Return journeys will depart The Lakes School at 3.20pm and Keswick School at 3.35pm, with arrival back at each of these locations around 5pm. The south bus will be operated by Mountain Goat and the north bus by Ellenvale. The bus will be used by around a dozen children who have been cut off from their normal school.

Cllr Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways, said:

“This demonstrates how challenging this situation is; there’s a reason major road building is rarely done in winter. But our engineers have been out there today and are already working to get a different walking route ready for use from next Tuesday. This is first step to reconnect the north and south over the A591 and I’m pleased we’ll be minimising the disruption to pupils. But I know we need to have a road connection in place as quickly as possible and we’re working closely with Highways England to get the permanent repair work done. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

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Plans for a walking route for school children over Dunmail Raise and past the collapsed carriageway to a connecting shuttlebus have had to be redrawn following Storm Frank.