[F]ollowing extensive public consultation and technical work the ‘green route’ has been selected as the preferred option for the new Carlisle Southern Link Road. The route was one of two options under consideration by Cumbria County Council.
The decision is based on a thorough assessment of evidence, including public and stakeholder feedback, environmental, engineering, and economic and deliverability assessments. This work identified a range of reasons for why the green route should be preferred:
- The route better enables the delivery of the vision for St Cuthbert’s Garden Village;
- It had significantly higher level of public support in the recent public consultation;
- It is considered easier to build with less impact on existing communities;
- The route has a comparatively lower environmental impact; and
Following the announcement in March that the project had been successful in moving to the next stage of its funding bid to the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, the council will now work with government officials to develop an Outline Business Case, which will be submitted to Government later this year for consideration for the delivery funding required to build the road. Alongside Government money, funding will also be required from other sources, including developers, to contribute towards the costs of delivering the scheme.
Further public consultation on a final detailed route proposal would be undertaken in future, if funding is confirmed. The report from the public consultation earlier this year has also been published today (Friday 22nd June) at http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/cslr/
Cllr Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “We’ve done extensive and detailed work to get to this point, carefully considering all the different factors in reaching this decision. Based on the evidence I believe this is the best choice and gives us certainty as the project moves forward. I’d particularly like to thank the thousands of people who took time to respond to the consultation or attend an event. The decision reflects the balance of public opinion and I can say with confidence that all feedback was considered carefully and will continue to inform the development of the designs for the road. Public feedback really has been invaluable.
“We’re clear that this road would provide significant benefits for Carlisle and the whole county, helping unlock both housing and economic growth. We are now working closely with the government, the city council and the local MP to develop the case further. I’m confident that we will make the best possible case and I hope government will see the huge potential of this project.”
Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr Colin Glover, said: “The public consultation was a great success and we’d like to thank everyone that took time to have their say. The confirmation of the preferred route is another important step forward for the development of St Cuthbert’s Garden Village. It will help inform the next stage of our consultation on the masterplan proposal, planned to take place this summer.”