local MPs meet with the warwick bridge community to discuss future of the A69

Rory and John Stevenson ,MP for Carlisle, met last Friday with over
150 local residents from Warwick Bridge and the surrounding area to
discuss the problems the A69 continues to cause within the village
and surrounding area, and what options were now available to residents
in order to address these concerns.

The meeting was organised by local Conservative Councillor Nick
Marriner, and the large turnout at the Downagate Community Centre on a
Friday evening was indicative of the issue’s importance to the local
community. Local residents have been calling for a by-pass for almost
40 years, and are now the only village along the A69 which do not have
one. They are also one of the few remaining villages in the country
that are dissected by a main trunk road.

Approximately 8,000 vehicles pass through Warwick Bridge and Corby
Hill every day and between ten and twelve thousand trucks pass through
the village every week.  Rory had the opportunity to
meet with residents of Warwick Bridge prior to the community meeting
and appreciate first hand the problems that this level of traffic can
cause to a village community.

Rory said: “It is instantly noticeable that the village is cut in two,
with nearly all the residents living on one side of the A69, and all
the local amenities like the school, shop, post office and GP’s
surgery found on the other side. The community is forced to engage
with this busy and dangerous road, and families and the elderly in
particular, understandably fear for their safety.”

Volunteers from every local village agreed to help gather petitions to
highlight local support for a by-pass or de-trunking of the A69. It
was suggested in the meeting that Cumbria County Council now need to
approach the Highways Agency to make a de-trunking request from the
A69. Rory Stewart and John Stevenson both agreed to apply pressure on
the Department for Transport to ensure that the request is processed
and ratified as quickly as possible.

Speaking afterwards, Rory said: “Tonight’s meeting was a very clear
signal of how important this issue is to local people. In communities
of our size, it is not often that you can gather over 150 people in a
room to talk about a singular issue and I would like to thank
Councillor Nick Marriner in particular for his role in organising this

Clearly de-trunking will only help address part of this problem, but I
think it is a useful first step to ensuring that the concerns of the
local residents are realised and acknowledged at the appropriate
levels. Even this measure will not be easy however, and will require
further negotiations and pressure from every level. John and I will do
whatever we can to ensure that government is aware and supportive of
local communities’ call for action.

It is fantastic to see local communities on the A69 seize this issue
and demand change. We do have to be careful however to not ignore the
concerns of communities on the A689 as well. One resident tonight
understandably raised his concerns that any gains for residents living
along the A69, could well be at the expense of those on the A689. A
careful and holistic approach is what is now needed to ensure that
neither community is still campaigning for change for another forty
years to come.”


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