[T]he Kendal Strategic Transport Infrastructure Study was commissioned by Cumbria County Council’s South Lakeland Local Committee, in partnership with South Lakeland District Council and Kendal Town Council in August 2016. A summary of the study has been published today via the county council website.
The aim of the study was to understand a number of requirements to deliver improvements to the transport infrastructure in and around Kendal:
- To support the delivery of the future strategic growth of the town
- Reduce congestion and increase the resilience within the town centre
- Improve resilience and accessibility to existing employment areas
- Ensure that when the M6 is closed, diverted traffic is not reliant on single-lane bridges in Kendal, therefore improving the resilience of the M6 corridor in the Kendal area
Evidence was collected and used to identify transport issues and development opportunities.
A number of scheme options were identified, including a variety of new road options surrounding the town and a cross-river access scheme.
Four options were shortlisted for further assessment, following an analysis process which focused on ensuring the best results for the local and wider community, as well as the deliverability of the proposed scheme(s). These were; a Northern Access Route, Southern Access Route, Cross River Access and a combination of the Northern Access Route and Cross River Access scheme.
A further round of appraisal has since been completed, and the conclusion of the study is that the Northern Access Route would best meet the objectives of the study, and deliver benefits that would include:
- Delivering future strategic growth in and around Kendal and improved access to current and future employment sites
- Reduced town centre congestion
- Improved resilience for both Kendal and the wider M6 corridor when the Emergency Diversion Route is activated.
Cumbria County Councillor Nick Cotton, Chair of South Lakeland Local Committee, said: “I’m delighted that Cumbria County Council has been able to fund this important study through the South Lakeland Local Committee, in partnership with South Lakeland District Council and Kendal Town Council. The local community in Kendal has been asking for improvements to the transport infrastructure in and around the town for a long time, and this is the first step to achieving a long term solution to ease congestion, enhance road safety and improve the capacity of the network.”
Councillor Graham Vincent, South Lakeland District Council’s portfolio holder for Economy and Assets, said: “We are acutely aware of the need to improve the transport infrastructure in and around Kendal to support economic growth and reduce congestion issues.
“That is why SLDC has supported this study, which is an important step forward and I look forward to learning more about the details. We hope that this brings greater clarity to the scope for major infrastructure investment required. It will also help inform the development of options for the next local plan in future years.’’
Councillor Jonathan Brook, Chair of Kendal Town Council Management Committee, said: “Kendal Town Council is keen to see improvements in the management and flow of traffic in and around the town. This study provides an opportunity to identify potential strategic options to deliver this aspiration for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors alike. In part-funding the research, the Town Council has also been keen to ensure any proposals add to the town’s flood resilience and address the chronic problems caused when traffic is rerouted following closures of the M6.”
Detailed route alignments have not been developed at this stage – the case for new infrastructure will be considered within the South Lakeland Local Plan. Additional study work may be undertaken in line with Department for Transport guidance, and it is through this process that a preferred route option would be established.