Today marks an important step towards to secure funding for two highway improvement schemes.
Transport for the North (TfN) has now submitted their Regional Evidence Base to the Department for Transport (DfT) and within this, TfN has identified a number of ‘Northern’ priorities, supporting key highways schemes for which applications for DfT funding can now be submitted.
Through this process, Cumbria County Council has prepared applications seeking feasibility funding to further develop the evidence for a Kendal Northern Access Route, and for scheme delivery funding for a series of improvements to the A595 near Bothel.
The request for feasibility funding for the Kendal Northern Access Route will inform the development of an Outline Business Case. This will include assessment of options for a route connecting the A6 and the A591 to the north of the town, including the consideration of possible route options to the north and south of Burneside.
The application for delivery funding for a series of improvements on the A595 near Bothel, follows completion of an Outline Business Case and two phases of public consultation. The scheme comprises climbing lanes to the south west of the village, improved alignment and junction improvements.
If the applications are successful, the further development of both proposals would be supported by public consultation activity.
Cumbria County Councillor Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to try and secure funding for the further development and delivery of key highways schemes within the county.
“We welcome the fact that TfN has prioritised two schemes in Cumbria. But all the projects put forward by TfN will face tough competition from across the country. If these schemes are successful, this will allow further development to progress, and as part of this, there will be further public consultation activity.”
Peter Molyneux, Major Roads Director at Transport for the North, said: “As part of our pan-Northern bid for £700 million of investment in our roads, we’re pleased to put forward for funding these two schemes, working in partnership with Cumbria County Council.
“Investment in these economically important roads is all about enabling people and goods to get where they need to be, within Cumbria and beyond, efficiently and reliably, which will make a real difference to lives and businesses.
“This is more than just improving our major roads – it’s a chance to improve reliability and journey times, to complement developments in sustainable and public transport, and in turn better connect the whole of the North.”
Cllr Peter Thornton, Deputy Leader for Cumbria County Council, added: “I am delighted that we have taken another step forward towards trying to secure the funding for the Kendal Northern Access Route and I sincerely hope that as a result of the council putting its full support behind it that the money required for the next stage of studies can now be secured. This route is essential to the people of Kendal and the local economy and the recent closure of Victoria Bridge has only emphasised the need for the new bypass for the town.”
Councillor James Airey, the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Westmorland and Lonsdale said: “The last major bypass building scheme in South Lakeland, the High and Low Newton bypass, was approved in 2003. In the intervening 16-years, new-road building projects have been approved and delivered in Carlisle, Distington and Lancaster.
“In 2017 I brought the Transport Secretary to Kendal to make the case for a Northern Access Route and am delighted that, two years later, the county council is at last doing what it needs to do to progress this important new infrastructure project for our area.”
Following a competitive assessment by DfT over the coming months, funding decisions are expected by the end of 2019.