|Location Map ( geo)
|Dalton in Furness (SD224748)
|85.1 miles (137 km)
|A7, B5299, B5307, A689, A596, B5305, B5304, B5299, A591, B5301, A594, A5086, A66, A596, A597, B5306, A5094, B5295, B5345, B5344, A5093, A593, A5092, A590
|Old route now:
|A5093, A5094, B5306, A66, A5086
|Route outline (key)
The A595 is known as the Cumbrian Coast Road and, although primary for most of its length, has now been mostly detrunked. The only section to remain a trunk road is the 18 miles which forms part of the route from M6 J40 to Sellafield.
Section 1: Carlisle – Whitehaven
The road starts at the notorious Hardwicke Circus (A7) roundabout on the edge of Carlisle city centre then continues as dual carriageway along the Castle Way, the first of only 2 sections of Carlisle's inner ring road ever built. Before the Castle Way was built the A595 split in two at the junction of Finkle Street, Castle Street and Annetwell Street (by Tullie House) with the main line continuing along Finkle Street and Corporation Road to the A7 at Hardwicke Circus and a spur going right through the city centre along Castle Street and English Street and becoming the A6 at the Citadel or Court Houses where the A6 and A7 meet.
The dual carriageway continues over Caldew Bridge and becomes the wide thoroughfare known locally as Caldewgate but is in fact Church Street, Bridge Street and John Street. To the left the B5299 (Shaddongate, Dalston Road) branches off: we will meet this again. At the end of the dual carriageway by the McVities biscuit factory (Carrs of Carlisle) the A595 turns slightly left, becomes Wigton Road and goes through the suburb of Morton.
At the edge of the built up area at a place called Newby West we meet the A689 Carlisle Western Bypass or "Northern Development Route" to give it its proper name; this road was built so as to relieve the A7 through the northern suburbs of Carlisle of traffic going to and from West Cumberland. At this point the A595 becomes primary for the remainder of it's length. This place would also have seen the western end of the southern bypass of Carlisle from the A595 to the M6 and A6 at J41 - this plan was scrapped in favour of the western one but had both been built they would have been ⅔ of a "Carlisle Orbital Route".
The A595 now continues in a south westerly direction till we meet the A596 at a roundabout along the Thursby bypass. The A596 takes over now as the coastal route and goes towards Aspatria, Maryport and Workington. The two roads originally met in the centre of Thursby village which was only bypassed in the 1980s after years of campaigning by locals.
We continue along the A595 going a little bit further inland, the road making a natural southern bypass of Wigton being around half a mile or so from the town. The B5305 from Penrith crosses here at a staggered cross roads.
Further along the road at Mealsgate we meet the B5299 again as it meanders on its way to Aspatria, having been through the villages of Dalston, Welton and Caldbeck (burial place of the famous hunter John Peel). Dominating the skyline here are the twin TV transmitters of Caldbeck and Sandale and behind them the huge bulk of the Skiddaw group of the Cumbrian Mountains. At Bothel the A591 Central Lakes route has its northern terminus.
The road continues in a south westerly direction past the Moota Country Motel (always reminds me of Crossroads) and the southern terminus of the B5301 from the seaside at Silloth. It marks the boundary of the Lake District National Park for a couple of miles before reaching a roundabout on the A594.
At one time the A595 and A594 multiplexed down Gote Brow into Cockermouth (with the A595 number dominant) then split up in the town centre with the A594 going east and the A595 going west but this has all been changed: the road to the east is now the A66 and the A595 now carries on past Papcastle then joins the A66 along the single carriageway Cockermouth-Brigham-Broughton bypass.
For all intents and purposes the A595 disappears here for a few miles then branches off the A66 at Little Clifton and goes through the centre of the Lillyhall Industrial Estate past the former Leyland National Bus & Railbus factory. At Lillyhall we meet both the A596 and A597 (formerly B5296). There's a bypass of the village/small town of Distington (completed in March 2009), including the second stretch of dual carriageway in West Cumberland (the first being the A66 alongside Bassenthwaite Lake) and then we are on the outskirts of Whitehaven.
Section 2: Whitehaven – Dalton-in-Furness
The A595 goes through the edge of Whitehaven along the Loop Road North and Loop Road South. Originally it did enter the town centre itself but that road became the A5094 in 1928. The A595 goes through the inner edges of Whitehaven's suburbs of Bleachgreen and Hillcrest. The A595 is then rejoined by the A5094, before going along the short Hensingham Bypass (with the old road being part of the B5295), which terminates at a roundabout. The A595 then heads south before coming to Bigrigg, joining up again near here with the A5086 which it met back near Cockermouth. The A595 now bypasses Egremont but I can remember when it went straight through the town centre so this must be a fairly recent bypass.
Dominating the skyline here are reactor towers and buildings of Sellafield which need no introduction; this area is what the local tourist chiefs call the hidden or other side of The Lakes. South of Thornhill there is an unusual roundabout, on which the traffic already on the roundabout must give way to traffic travelling south on the A595, presumably to help alleviate traffic problems caused by the Sellafield site's main gate. To the south the A595 still goes through the village of Calder Bridge just outside Sellafield's north gate but bypasses Gosforth, at the foot of Wasdale: the valley which boasts England's deepest lake and highest mountain and at one time its biggest liar as well. We carry on past the B5344 which runs to the small seaside village of Seascale which was built as an ambitious plan to be a Cumbrian Blackpool.
Somewhere between Gosforth and Ravenglass we enter the Lake District National Park itself for a short time. The road doesn't actually go into the famous railway village of Ravenglass which was a port in Roman times and the western end of the Roman Road "The High Street" which ran across the mountains to Brougham near Penrith.
After passing Muncaster Castle we go through Waberthwaite and Bootle then skirt round the foot of Black Combe, from the top of which it is said can be seen 5 kingdoms: England, Scotland, Ireland, Man (Isle of) and Heaven. Wales is also visible from the top of Black Combe.
At Silecroft the A595 has a TOTSO junction with the A5093 which provides a circular route through the small town of Millom joining up with the A595 again at Hallthwaites; the road through Millom was indeed the original route of the A595 but it was routed along the former B5283 in 1935. The section between Silecroft and Hallthwaites, up the Whicham Valley, had been improved and widened in a scheme completed in March 1928, cost £12,500. This area was the southern tip of Cumberland and has always felt more in common with Furness than with Whitehaven although it was placed with Whitehaven in Copeland Borough in 1974. The talk is that under the next reorganisation of local government in the area it may be included with Furness in a South Cumbria & Lancaster UA area.
We leave the Lake District proper at Hallthwaites but remain the boundary for some distance further. Duddon Bridge is the boundary between Cumberland and Lancashire (Furness), just after which we meet the A593 and then swing south to become the Broughton-in-Furness bypass through Foxfield and then swing north again to join the old course of the road which duly turns south again. An 'old' sign on the road through Broughton still shows A595 in relief but this portion of the sign has been painted white to match the background colour. At Grizebeck the A5092 (a primary route) branches off to connect with the A590 at Greenodd and hence now avoids the hamlet's centre. This road makes a short cut to the A590 for traffic heading towards the M6. This is where we finally leave the Lake District behind as we TOTSO.
The Coastal Route now goes through Dove Ford; a single narrow lane through a farmyard before proceeding to the village, or to be precise collection of hamlets, that is Kirkby-in-Furness (a name largely invented by the Furness Railway Company) as Kirkby is made up of the settlements of Soutergate, Sandside, Beck Side, Wall End and Chapels. South of Soutergate the road is known for a time as Tippin's Lane. Then we enter the town/village of Askam-in-Furness and Ireleth. A few miles south of Askam the A595 comes to an end at a roundabout with the A590 on the Dalton-in-Furness bypass but at one time the two roads met in Dalton town centre.
Trunk Road status
From its creation in 1946 the west Cumberland coastal trunk route followed the A595 from Carlisle to Thursby, the A596 from there via Workington to its junction with the A595 at Lillyhall, then the A595 to Grizebeck north of Barrow, then the A5092 to Greenodd on the A590.
The 1998 roads review proposed detrunking of the whole route. After consultations, the proposal was modified so that the A595 would become trunk from Chapel Brow (its western junction with the A66) to Lillyhall, and remain trunk from there to Calder Bridge near Sellafield.
The first stage of the modified proposal was implemented in 2003. Cumbria County Council continued to oppose the second half of the proposal and forced a public inquiry, but this supported the HA, and the remainder of the proposal has now been implemented. The only section of A595 to remain a trunk road is the 18 miles from Little Clifton to Calder Bridge.
Maybe the current proposal for three new nuclear power stations in the area will lead to more of the route becoming trunk once more.
In 1950, orders were made for a major bypass from south of Egremont on the A595 to north of Aspatria on the A596, but none of this ever materialised.
Whitehaven Loop Road - the 1.7 mile road was opened on 3 January 1927. Several landslips had occurred during construction and a stretch of reinforced concrete wall had to be installed. Cost was £73,000 (compared to original estimate of £34,000). It had been an Unemployment Relief Road Scheme.
- The A595 Grizebeck to Chapel Brow Trunk Road (Parton to Lillyhall Improvement) (Detrunking) Order 2006 - this removes trunk status from a section of the A595 following the 1998 consultation A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England
- The A595 Trunk Road (Calder Bridge to A5092 at Grizebeck) (Detrunking) Order 2006 - this removes trunk status from a section of the A595 following the 1998 consultation A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England
- The A595 Trunk Road (Carlisle City Boundary to Thursby) (Detrunking) Order 2003 - this removes trunk status from a section of the A595 following the 1998 consultation A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England