Flood-hit A591 in Cumbria to be repaired

Repair work on flood-damaged A591 in Cumbria Image copyright Highways England
Image caption The A591 is considered vital for tourism in the area

Work is under way to repair a major road through the Lake District which partially collapsed during floods.

A section of the A591 was impassable between Dunmail Raise, north of Grasmere, and Thirlmere, after Storm Desmond hit in December.

The damage was so extensive that a temporary bypass had to be built nearby so children could get to school.

Now construction workers for Highways England have begun repairing the route. Work is expected to take four months.

The A591 is the only major route through the central Lake District.

Image caption A stretch of the A591 between Keswick and Grasmere crumbled away during December's storms

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "We are determined to reopen the A591 as soon as possible, and I am pleased the people of Cumbria can see we are making progress.

"Tourism is a vital part of the local economy, so fixing this road will make a real difference to the region."

Highways England spokesman Andy Withington added: "We are acutely aware of the need to get the A591 north of Grasmere open again as soon as possible, and I would like to reassure local communities and businesses that the main construction work is now beginning.

"Preparatory work and some preliminary construction work are already underway, and we are starting work this week to reconstruct the collapsed part of the road at Dunmail Raise.

"We will continue to work closely with Kier Highways, Cumbria County Council and its contractors to do all we can to get the A591 repaired and re-opened."

Image caption Repair work is expected to take four months

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