Highways England defends signage switch off


Highways England has defended its decision not to switch on newly installed variable message signs (VMS) to warn drivers of roadworks on the A590 in Cumbria, despite pressure from local businesses.

The signs, costing £800,000, were put up in March after local business leaders called for the extra guidance at either end of the 'cul-de-sac' route, which runs between Barrow-in-Furness and junction 36 of the M6.

However despite being in position the signs are not being used to help guide motorists. One local businessman, Mike Armstead of Wax Lyrical, complained of losing time on journeys to and from the motorway because the signs have remained blank and given no information on current maintenance operations.

A Highways England spokesperson told Transport Network today: 'The signs on the A590 are in working order, but were never intended to warn of routine roadworks – only of major incidents leading to road closures on the A590 or the M6.

'Roadworks are always scheduled and notified well in advance, and there are plenty of ways to find out about them, eg from the Highways England or Traffic Update website or twitter feed. Drivers should use these to plan ahead for their journeys'.

Works now under way near Ulverston are imposing width restrictions and diversions.

Highways England says that it welcomes feedback on the issue. 

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