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New flood defences to be constricted by major Cumbria road

New flood defences to be constricted by major Cumbria road

The government has announced the completion of work to bolster flood defences around the A66 by the western shore of Bassenthwaite Lake in Cumbria.

It is one of a number of locations in the northern part of the Lake District where flooding in recent years has led to the road being cut off, removing a key link between the central Lake District and west coast towns like Maryport and Whitehaven. 

The £7 million investment has focused around the point where the road swings westwards away from the shore of the lake. The area around Dubwath Beck, which flows into the lake, was flooded in November 2009 and at Christmas 2015. This has been raised by 70cm as part of the project.

In addition, the westbound carriageway along the western shore of the lake near Smithy Cottage has been raised, while two other sites of conservation interest as osprey nesting sites have been raised. 

Work has also been carried out to prevent landslips by the westbound carriageway, while new drainage culverts are now in place under the raised carriageway to carry away floodwater. 

Speaking about the work, Highways England project manager Peter Gee said: "This is a significant investment in the county’s road network and will provide even greater resilience during severe weather incidents - keeping local people and the economy on the move.

"Working to deliver these improvements at five different sites has been a major engineering and project planning challenge - not least in raising the height of the carriageway by almost 1.5 metres in places." 

The dangers of flooding have been particularly acute in Cumbria, which already contains the wettest place in Britain - the hamlet of Seathwaite in Borrowdale. and the county has been hit by some of Britain’s most devastating floods in recent years.

Towns like Keswick and Cockermouth have suffered heavily as a result of flooding, the latter caused partly by the overflow from the Derwent River, which emerges from the northern end of Bassenthwaite Lake.

Image: iStock/i-Stockr

 

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