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Langholm signs concerns raised with Minister

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By Newsdesk
Annan and Eskdale
Langholm signs concerns raised with Minister

A DRIVE to secure better road signage showing the way to Langholm has stepped up a gear with a possible breakthrough in north Cumbria.

The UK Roads and Local Transport Minister Guy Opperman has taken on board concerns about the lack of direction from the M6 and north along the A7 to the Muckle Toon.

He met Langholm representatives during a site visit to M6 Junction 44 (Carlisle North) and the A7 up to the Scottish border, which was arranged at the request of Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell.

The Minister later sat down with Mr Mundell, Langholm Alliance tourism officer Sharon Tolson together with chairman and local councillor Denis Male.

Also present at the meeting on Friday was Cumberland Council transport official Karl Melville and Canonbie-based civil engineer Anthony Lane, who has completed a detailed report on the signs issue and options.

Mr Mundell said he was grateful to the Minister for making the trip and also seeing first-hand the signage issue which has been putting Langholm at a disadvantage.

He added: “The Minister is a north of England MP and fully appreciates the geography of our area and the importance of accurate and fair signage.

“The new Cumberland Council also seems fully engaged with the concerns and appear positive about doing what they can to progress matters reasonably quickly.

“I’ve been pleased to have been able to support Sharon, Denis and the rest of the Alliance team with this and if everything falls into place I’m hopeful better signs could be on the way south of the border.”

Tourism officer Sharon Tolson was very pleased by how the meeting went and said: “The Minister was very positive about the strong case we put forward. I’m optimistic Langholm could feature on some signs between Carlisle and the border in the relatively near future.”

And Cllr Male pointed out the battle for better signs from the M6 goes back decades and recalled former MP Hector Monro taking up local concerns in the distant past.

He said: “Whilst no absolute conclusions were reached, the Minister indicated a very real prospect of a breakthrough.”

Meanwhile, as improving signage north of the border is a matter for the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland, Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell is raising the Langholm issues at Holyrood.

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