The reopening of a major road, badly damaged by last December's storms, will ensure the Lake District is "open for business" this summer, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says.
Following major repair works, carried out by Highways England and Cumbria County Council, a four-mile stretch of the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick has been reopened to motorists three weeks early.
That, says Mr McLoughlin, will provide a major boost to the tourist industry, residents and businesses in an area visited by millions of people every year.
And it means, he adds, that the road can be used by motorists visiting the National Park over the spring Bank Holiday weekend and ensure "that the Lake District is fully open for business this summer".
Environment Minister Rory Stewart, who reopened the road, says the project's completion sends out a message to the world that "Cumbria and the Lake District are back open for business".
The project has included resurfacing work, bridge repairs, the construction of retaining walls and dozens of drains and the installation of roadside netting to prevent rock falls.
A minibus carrying pupils from Grasmere Primary School and a procession of vintage cars from the Lakeland Motor Museum were the first vehicles to use the reopened stretch of road.
Running from the A6 near Kendal in the south to the A595 north of the National Park, the A591 takes motorists through the heart of the Lake District via Windermere, Ambleside, Grasmere and Keswick.
Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.