Cumbria County Council’s plans for the new Carlisle Southern Link Road (CSLR) have now been submitted to Government for a decision around investment for the road.
The council’s bid will be competing against important projects from other parts of the country, so while today’s news is an exciting step forward, funding is still not guaranteed.
The Outline Business Case for the road has been developed jointly by the County Council and the City Council following confirmation in March 2018 of a successful Expression of Interest submitted to the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund in September 2017.
The total cost of the scheme is £112 million with £102 million being requested from the Housing Infrastructure Fund administered by Homes England. The remaining £10 million will be shared by Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council who will recoup the investment from future developer contributions.
Whilst government funding is required to build the road, additional funding will also be required from developers to contribute towards the costs of delivering the scheme.
Investment in the link road will allow Carlisle City Council to deliver 10,000 new homes and new employment opportunities within Carlisle’s St Cuthbert’s Garden Village, bringing significant benefits to the city and the wider county. Both the CSLR and the ambitious proposals for St Cuthbert’s Garden Village will not happen without the government investment in the new road.
A decision is expected before Christmas and if funding is secured, construction could commence in Spring 2021 for a two year period.
A preferred route for the CSLR was announced in June 2018 (the green route). Further public consultation on a final route proposal would be undertaken in future, if funding is confirmed.
In order to meet the challenging timescales set by the government, scheme development will continue in advance of any funding decision. Work across the site is due to take place in the next three months including ground investigations, ecological, topographical and river surveys.
Cllr Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “The link road will bring many benefits to Carlisle and the surrounding areas. It will reduce congestion in the city centre and also help attract investment to the area.
“It is also part of the wider St Cuthbert’s Garden Village plan, to establish new residential areas to the south of the city.
“A great deal of hard work and research has gone into the preparation of this outline business case and I look forward to hearing the outcome in the coming months.”
Cllr Colin Glover, Leader of Carlisle City Council added: “The submission of the bid is an important step forward for the funding of the Southern Link road which will be an integral part in the delivery of St Cuthbert’s Garden Village’”