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Friday, 18 April 2014

A595 closed at Duddon Bridge

DRIVERS were forced to abandon their cars during yesterday's floods, while schools and businesses closed early.

By Sam Walker

The A595 was closed at Duddon Bridge leaving commuters stranded and causing queues of traffic to build up.

An eye witness, who did not wish to be named, was caught up in the chaos in her Vauxhall Corsa.

The 40-year-old from Millom said: “That’s the worst I have ever seen it. It really was very scary.

“I have been driving for 27 years and I have never had an experience like that before.

“There was quite a tailback coming from Barrow to Millom, everyone was just getting out of their cars and leaving them.

“The fields were just like a swimming pool it is like Niagara falls, it is horrendous.”

Drivers were being turned away from 9am but police say the bridge was officially closed at 11.39am by highways officers.

Officers from Millom Police Station confirmed the bridge was reopened at 2.30pm.

Flooding on the West Coast railway line between Barrow and Whitehaven meant passengers were forced to wait at Millom when the 10.40am service south was cancelled.

A spokeswoman for Northern Rail said: “Our worst hit stations are Drigg and Aspatria, near Wigton.

“The services are running but the trains are travelling at a reduced speed and that means we are incurring some delays.”

Rail passenger John McGuirk, 68, was waiting at Millom Railway Station for an hour-and-a-half after attempting to drive across the bridge and being turned back by police.

He said: “I'm disgusted, it is shocking.

“I tried to drive across the bridge with my wife and there were no signs anywhere.

“There was not a thing. We got all the way through and the police turned us round.

“So I am trying to get the train but they keep delaying it.”

Sellafield sent 5,000 “non essential” staff members, half its 10,000 workforce, home early.

A Sellafield spokeswoman said all essential staff will continue working and the plant has continued to operate as normal.

The weather caused Thwaites School, near Millom to shut its doors yesterday.

Millom School, in Salthouse Road, stayed open yesterday but is due to close today as a precaution.

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