Mini roundabout at High Harrington
The modern A597 now starts to the east of the New Bridge roundabout at North Side on the outskirts of Workington at a T-junction with the A596. It crosses over the Derwent estuary via the Jansen Bridge into Workington proper, passing the football and rugby league grounds. The road passes the Railway Station and the Corus (formerly British Steel) Steel Works and is known as Falcon Street, Solway Road, Mossbay Road and Salterbeck Road. At Harrington the road turns east to go inland and goes along the edge of Grayson Green and High Harrington to meet the A595 at the Lillyhall Industrial Estate near Distington very close to the junction of the A596 and A595.
So from once being a small but important part of the main route from West Cumberland to the outside world the A597 has gone to being an urban road connecting various industrial and residential areas.
P.S. I forgot to mention that the A597 has taken over the routes of two 'B' roads - the section from North Side to Mossbay Road was formerly the now defunct B5298 and from here to Distington the road was numbered the B5296 which now survives as the connecting Road from the A597 through Mossbay and along Harrington Road to the A596 at Guard Street.
This is one road that seems to have had an interesting life over the past 40 years. From the twenties until 1968, it was the road from Workington Bridge station to Cockermouth, then the section from Workington town centre to Cockermouth was reclassified as the A66, leaving only the one mile stretch from Workington town centre to the railway station as A597.
Then in 1988, a by pass around west Workington was built and this took the name A597, and also sent the B5296 to the history books as the B5296 from Lillyhall to the start of the by pass was renamed A597, and the remaining stretch of the B5296 to Workington town centre was downgraded to unclassified, as well as Station Road in Workington.
The road used to start at the New Bridge roundabout before crossing the River Derwent. However, in 2009, its bridge over the River Derwent collapsed during heavy flooding. A temporary bridge opened on the 21st of April 2010 and a permanent replacement is planned.