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West Road at Thirlmere reopens following repairs to the adjacent Crag

A road alongside a reservoir has reopened, two and a half years after it was shut due to storm damage.

The reopening of the U7003 West Road at Thirlmere has been announced, after essential repairs to Rough Crag have finally been completed by landowner, United Utilities.

Following the necessary repairs, the final detailed report from United Utilities was handed to the council’s geotechnical consultants and highways officers on Monday.

Over the past two weeks various technical questions were raised with United Utilities regarding the draft report that was issued at the beginning of May. These matters have now been resolved. This combined information means Cumberland Council, as the Highways Authority has been able to determine that the road can now be reopened.

The damage first occurred following Storm Arwen in November 2021, when the U7003 along the western shore of Thirlmere had to be closed due to fallen trees and significant rockfall from Rough Crag resulting in potential debris on the highway. This made the road hazardous to all users and was deemed unsafe to leave open.

Cumberland Council and the former Cumbria County Council have always been committed to seeing this road reopened and the necessary repair works completed by United Utilities, to the point where legal action had commenced to deliver the council’s and the public’s desired outcome, the reopening of the West Road.

Work will now commence on phase two, which is to see the U7003, The Dam Wall Road at Thirlmere returned to two-way traffic, reinstating Thirlmere to how it was before Storm Arwen.

Cumberland Councillor Denise Rollo, Executive Member for Sustainable, Resilient and Connected Places, said: "It is very welcome news that the damage caused by Storm Arwen, which led to the closure of the West Road, has finally been repaired by United Utilities. It has been a priority of mine to see this road reopened, and a shame we had to resort to taking the legal steps we did to ensure these repairs were completed.

"I know the public will be thrilled to have this road open again, and I want to thank everyone for their continued patience during the repair process which I know has caused major inconvenience whilst United Utilities have completed the necessary work."

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