Carlisle Southern Link Road (CSLR)

As part of developing an improved road network in and around Carlisle, Cumbria County Council, working with partners, has developed the Carlisle Southern Link Road (CSLR) scheme. 

The need to improve east to west connectivity was identified in the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Cumbria Infrastructure Plan and in Carlisle City Council's adopted Carlisle District Local Plan 2015-2030. The link road is required to unlock delivery of the planned St Cuthbert's Garden Village.

The CSLR will connect Junction 42 of the M6 with the A595 at Newby West. The 8km long 60mph road will include four new roundabouts, three new road bridges, a combined cycleway/footway on the northern side of the road with 4 new shared-use overbridges. 

On 09 October 2020 Cumbria County Council's Development Control and Regulation Committee approved the planning application to build the new road. In April 2021 the County Council appointed Morgan Sindall Infrastructure to undertake the detailed design of the road, supported by local teams from Story Contracting and Capita. 

The main works are due to commence on site in Spring 2022, it is anticipated the construction of the road will take approximately two years to complete.

Project location

The Carlisle Southern Link Road will connect Junction 42 of the M6 with the A595 to the west. The route will include new junctions linking existing radial routes into Carlisle and the Garden Village.

The route will include bridges over two main railway lines and the Caldew and Petteril rivers, a network of footways and cycleways and an extensive programme of landscaping and environmental mitigation.

The 8km long road will provide vital infrastructure to relieve congestion in Carlisle and provide the access and network capacity to enable the successful and accelerated delivery of St Cuthbert's Garden Village.

Project Objectives

Carlisle Southern Link Road Project Objectives (PDF 316KB)

Project timescales

The project timeline is dependent on statutory legal processes including the discharge of planning conditions and the acquisition of land. 

It is anticipated that construction work will commence on site in 2022 and will be completed in 2024.

Project Cost and Funding

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has granted £134 million towards the project. In addition, Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council have committed to make contributions of £5 million each, which will be sourced from developer contributions as homes are built in the Garden Village.

Project Development

In 2015 Cumbria County Council, working with Carlisle City Council, commissioned Carlisle based transport consultants Capita to undertake the design of the scheme. 

Early scheme development considered the improvement options to meet the requirements of development growth in Carlisle. This identified that a southern link road was the preferred option and investigated initial route options. 

The next stage of scheme development was undertaken between July 2017 and December 2018. This included surveys, design development, Public Consultation on two route options in early 2018, an Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Report Non-Technical Summary (PDF 5MB), Economic Assessment, Transport Assessment and selection of a preferred route. In early 2018, Cumbria County Council chose the The Green Route (PDF 2.53MB) as the preferred route. The preferred route decision was based on a thorough assessment of evidence using a decision-making framework. The Preferred Route Decision Report (PDF 1MB) documents this process, using the evidence prepared as part of the scheme development to recommend a preferred route for the Carlisle Southern Link Road and allow preparation of a business case. 

The business case funding application was submitted to Government on 10 September 2018 and the funding was confirmed in February 2019. On 23 July 2020 the County Council's Cabinet agreed to enter in to a Grant Funding Agreement with Government for £134m, the total cost of the scheme is estimated to be £144 million. The remaining £10 million will be shared by Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council who will recoup the investment from future developer contributions. 

Undertaken in:

Spring/Summer 2021

  • Morgan Sindall Infrastructure appointed to undertake the detailed design of the road
  • Ongoing consultation with regulatory stakeholders and landowners to develop the design
  • Public Inquiry held in respect of the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and Side Roads Order (SRO)
  • Environmental, topographical, drainage and ground investigation surveys carried out across the site
  • Engagement event held with Cummersdale Primary School to suggest names for the bridge over the River Caldew and Cumbrian Coastline Railway

Autumn/Winter 2020

  • Planning consent granted by the County Council's Development Control and Regulation Committee
  • Further consultation with regulatory stakeholders
  • Further work on statutory orders including compulsory purchase order and side roads order
  • Further work to procure contractor to undertake detailed design of the road

Spring/Summer 2020

  • Ongoing discussions with planning team regarding planning application
  • Further consultation with regulatory stakeholders
  • Further work on statutory orders including compulsory purchase order and side roads order
  • Commenced procurement of contractor to undertake design and construction of scheme
  • Finalised grant funding agreement with Homes England
  • Cumbria County Council's Cabinet agree multi million pound funding deal

Autumn/Winter 2019

  • Finalisation of preliminary design to planning
  • Submission of planning application
  • Progression of statutory orders including compulsory purchase order and side roads order
  • Commence detailed design
  • Further consultation with regulatory stakeholders
  • Supply Chain Engagement Event

Summer 2019

  • Public Consultation events held at Carlisle Racecourse (3/4 June) and The Lanes Shopping Centre, Carlisle (21 to 22 June) and Upperby Social Club (24 June)
  • Consultation with regulatory stakeholders
  • Completed ecological and environmental surveys
  • Updated Environmental Impact Assessment with survey information
  • Completed flood modelling
  • Met landowners to discuss Phase 2 Ground Investigation works and scheme design
  • Completed Phase 2 Ground Investigation
  • Developed documentation for Planning Application and Orders
  • Progressed the design of the bridge structures

2019 Preferred Route Consultation

Following the funding announcement in February 2019 further work was undertaken to develop the design of the road. Local residents, businesses and organisations were asked to have their say on the latest plans between 31 May and 12 July 2019.

Consultation information


2018 Route Options Consultation

Following a period of scheme development and assessment two route options were identified for the Carlisle Southern Link Road. From 26 January to 9 March 2018 the County Council undertook a period of public consultation to seek the views of the public, and other stakeholders, in order to inform a decision about which of these two route options should be taken forward to the next stage of the development process.

The Carlisle Southern Link Road Consultation Document provides information on the process that was undertaken and the proposals: Public Consultation on Route Options for a Carlisle Southern Link Road (PDF 3903kb)

Following extensive consultation on two route options, the consultation feedback was documented in the Consultation Feedback Report (PDF 6MB) and a summary of this in the Consultation Feedback Summary (PDF 3MB). The Carlisle Southern Link Road Route options video and Flyover video illustrated the two options.

Carlisle school children work together to name new bridge on Carlisle Southern Link Road

Pupils at a local Carlisle primary school joined a virtual workshop with teams from Cumbria County Council and Morgan Sindall Infrastructure last week, to come up with names for the new bridge set to be built over the River Caldew and Cumbrian Coastline Railway.


Cumbria County Council appoints contractor for Carlisle Southern Link Road

Cumbria County Council has appointed Morgan Sindall Infrastructure to undertake the detailed design of the road that will connect Junction 42 of the M6 with the A595 at Newby West.


New Carlisle Southern Link Road given the green light

Plans to build the new Carlisle Southern Link Road (CSLR) were given the green light today following approval of the planning application by the county council's Development Control and Regulation Committee.


Cumbria County Council opens procurement competition for the construction of Carlisle Southern Link Road

Cumbria County Council has launched the competitive procurement process to identify a contractor to design and build the new Carlisle Southern Link Road (CSLR).


Cumbria County Council's Cabinet agree multi million pound funding deal to deliver Carlisle Southern Link Road

Cumbria County Council's Cabinet has agreed to enter in to a new and important funding agreement with Homes England to deliver the new Carlisle Southern Link Road. The funding agreement is a major milestone and is worth in excess of £134million and secures the final funding arrangement required to secure the delivery of the new Carlisle Southern Link Road.


New Carlisle Southern Link Road takes another step forward

Following extensive public consultation and numerous different environmental surveys along the proposed route of the new Carlisle Southern Link Road (CLSR), Cumbria County Council have now submitted the planning application, marking another key step closer towards the delivery of the scheme.


Public invited to have their say on Carlisle Southern Link Road plans (31 May 2019)

Local residents, businesses and organisations are being asked to have their say on the development of the new Carlisle Southern Link Road which will support St Cuthbert's Garden Village.


County Council secures £102m funding for Carlisle Southern Link Road

Confirmation of multi million pound funding to develop plans for the Carlisle Southern Link Road (CSLR) has been announced by the government.


Link Road funding bid submitted (13 September 2018)

Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council submit Outline Business Case to Housing Infrastructure Fund.


 Green light for green route - Carlisle Southern Link Road plans take next step (22 June 2018)

Following extensive public consultation and technical work the 'green route' has been selected as the preferred option for the new Carlisle Southern Link Road.


Link road moves to next stage in funding bid (21 March 2018)

Plans for the new Carlisle Southern Link Road received a major boost today with news that the scheme has been selected by Government to move to the next stage of its funding bid.


Public invited to have their say on St Cuthbert's Garden Village and Southern Link Road proposals (26 January 2018) 

Local residents, businesses and organisations are being asked to have their say on proposals to create a new Garden Village on the south side of Carlisle, and the associated development of a new southern link road, as part of public consultations launched by the city and county councils.


Funding bid for southern link road (29 September 2017) 

An application was submitted in September 2017 for the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF). The 'HIF' is a £2.3 billion Fund which offers funding to local authorities on a competitive basis, for infrastructure to support up to 100,000 new homes.


Plans to investigate a southern link road for Carlisle begin (25 August 2017)

As part of developing an improved road network in and around Carlisle, Cumbria County Council are in the early stages of exploring the possibility of a Southern Link Road for Carlisle. Capita have been commissioned to undertake this early work which is planned to take place between the end of August 2017 and the beginning of October 2017.

In April 2021 the council appointed Morgan Sindall Infrastructure to undertake the detailed design of the CSLR. Morgan Sindall Infrastructure will be the council's single point of contact throughout the detailed design stage.

If you are located near the proposed route of the Carlisle Southern Link Road you may find our Planning Blight Guidance (PDF 1.4MB) useful.

If you have any queries or comments regarding the Carlisle Southern Link Road project, please contact the project team at cslr@cumbria.gov.uk