Carlisle Southern Link Road

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. Government announced on 14 February 2019 that they would grant £ 102m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund towards the £ 112m 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.

Public Consultation

Following the funding announcement in February further work has been undertaken to develop the design of the road. Local residents, businesses and organisations were asked to have their say on the latest plans.

Consultation information

This phase of consultation informed the public of the changes made since the last consultation in early 2018 when the preferred 'green route' was chosen. It was also to provide the opportunity to make suggestions for improvements in advance of submitting the Planning Application in autumn 2019.

Public consultation events were held on:

  • Monday 3 June, 12pm to 8pm: Carlisle Racecourse, Durdar Road, Carlisle
  • Tuesday 4 June, 10am to 8pm: Carlisle Racecourse, Durdar Road, Carlisle
  • Friday 21 June, 10am to 5pm: Inside The Lanes Shopping Centre
  • Saturday 22 June, 10am to 4pm: Inside The Lanes Shopping Centre
  • Monday 24 June, 6pm to 8pm: Upperby Social Club, Lamb Street, Carlisle.

The consultation is now closed.

Carlisle Southern Link Road map (PDF 2MB)


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 (JPEG 316KB) 

Project timescales

The project is dependent on legal statutory processes including the planning permission process and the acquisition of land for the route. If challenges faced by the statutory processes can be dealt with effectively the team are currently working to a date for commencement of construction in Spring 2021.

Project Cost and Funding

The cost of the project is estimated to be £ 112m. Funding for the initial design stages of the project has been allocated from Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council. The project team submitted an application to the Housing Infrastructure Fund in September 2018 and on 14 February 2019 funding to build the road was confirmed.

Project Development

Cumbria County Council, working with Carlisle City Council, have commissioned Carlisle based transport consultants Capita to progress scheme development up to submission of the planning application. 

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 for consideration. 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. 

The current stage of scheme development commenced in June 2018 and is ongoing. This includes further development of the design, additional data collection, completion of the environmental assessment and preparation of documentation to secure planning permission to build the road.

Further consultancy support will be required to take the scheme through the required planning processes and to prepare a detailed design in preparation for construction.

Look Ahead:

Planned for July 2019

  • End of Public Consultation; review comments received for potential to incorporate changes into the design
  • Further consultation with regulatory stakeholders
  • Complete ecology and environment surveys
  • Update Environmental Impact Assessment with survey information
  • Complete flood modelling
  • Progress Phase 2 Ground Investigation
  • Develop documentation for Planning Application and Orders

Undertaken in:

June 2019

  • Public Consultation events at Carlisle Racecourse (3/4 June) and The Lanes Shopping Centre, Carlisle (21 to 22 June) and Upperby Social Club (24 June)
  • Continued ecological surveys
  • Awarded Phase 2 Ground Investigation contract
  • Met landowners to discuss locations of Phase 2 Ground Investigation works
  • Undertook hazard and risk workshops
  • Progressed the design of the bridge structures

May 2019

  • Complete consultation material
  • Continue ecological surveys
  • Continue Environmental Impact Assessment on Preferred Route
  • Start formal public consultation
  • Meet landowners to discuss impacts and proposed mitigation prior to consultation

April 2019

  • Pond location and sizes finalised
  • Final topographical information received
  • Phase 2 Ground Investigation Tender issued

March 2019

  • Continued winter ecological surveys including tree surveys
  • Continued Environmental Impact Assessment on Preferred Route
  • Progressed design and start preparing consultation material
  • Met landowners to discuss impacts and proposed mitigation

February 2019

  • Received confirmation of Funding
  • Continued winter ecological surveys
  • Continued Environmental Impact Assessment on Preferred Route
  • Receive Topographical Survey results
  • Updated design with new survey data and progressed highway design for Public Consultation

January 2019

  • Ground Investigation results available to inform the design
  • Progressed the development of the highway design 
  • Started winter ecological surveys
  • Started the Environmental Impact Assessment on the Preferred Route

December 2018:

  • Completed Topographical survey work on site
  • Completed ecological surveys for hedgerows, reptiles and invertebrates
  • Progressed the development of the highway design
  • Progressed transport modelling

November 2018

  • Completed Ground Investigation site work
  • Progressed Topographical Survey work
  • Preparation of reports to document the ecological surveys
  • Progressed the development of the highway design

October 2018

  • completed meetings with landowners to arrange access for survey work
  • started ground investigation site work
  • started Topographical Survey work
  • ecological surveys; completed the badger surveys and this year's bat surveys 
  • progressed the development of the highway design

September 2018

  • submitted the Outline Business Case to Government to be considered for funding to build the road
  • continued to meet landowners to arrange access for survey work
  • continued with ecological surveys including hedgerow, reptile and otter surveys
  • ground investigation and topographical surveys planned ready to commence in October
  • progressed the development of the highway design

July 2018

  • meetings with landowners to arrange access for survey work
  • started ecological surveys
  • progressed the development of the Outline Business Case
  • completed the Economic Assessment report

June 2018

  • announced the preferred route for the Carlisle Southern Link Road
  • published the Preferred Route Decision Published report
  • published the Non-Technical Summary of Environmental Impact Assessment
  • published the consultation reports
  • progressed the economic assessment 
  • progressed the Outline Business Case
  • developed the delivery plan for the next stage of work

May 2018

  • finalised Consultation Feedback Report and prepared Consultation Feedback Summary
  • completion of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • progressed Economic Assessment Report
  • completed analysis to inform the preferred route decision
  • preparation of the Preferred Route Decision Report

April 2018

  • completion of draft Environmental Impact Assessment.
  • preparation of draft Consultation Report.
  • Outline Business Case progressed.
  • information on scheme development provided to the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

March 2018

  • public consultation closed (9th March) with over 1000 people attending the public exhibition events.
  • public consultation assessment of feedback commenced.
  • land valuation survey completed.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment draft completed and under review.
  • Outline Business Case progressed.
  • Expression of Interest application to the Housing Infrastructure Fund successful.
  • initial work on full submission to the Housing Infrastructure Fund started.

February 2018

  • public consultation drop-in events held - two days at Carlisle Racecourse and two days in the Lanes Shopping Centre.
  • technical assessments to inform a preferred route decision ongoing.
  • risk workshop held and cost risk analysis undertaken.

January 2018

  • public consultation launched 26 January.
  • consultation materials developed including the consultation document, consultation questionnaire and display materials for public events.
  • engagement ongoing with directly affected landowners.
  • route cost estimates developed.

December 2017

  • route option concepts finalised using updated environmental and traffic data.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment progressed further.
  • preparation for landowner and public consultation activity in early 2018.
  • preparation of consultation documentation.

November 2017

  • agricultural land classification surveys completed.
  • drainage surveys and field assessment completed.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment progressed using survey results.
  • design of routes developed following Environmental Impact Assessment feedback.
  • traffic modelling progressed.
  • cost estimates started.
  • joint working forums with St Cuthbert's Garden Village team.

October 2017

  • ecological, noise and landscape surveys completed. Structural assessments of existing bridges completed.
  • route options developed in line with emerging constraint assessments.
  • Non-Motorised User (NMU) counts to survey pedestrian, equestrian and cyclist numbers and movements completed.
  • opportunities for flood alleviation investigated.

September 2017

  • landowners to the south of Carlisle contacted to agree access for ecological and noise surveys and assessments to help inform the route options.
  • consultation with regulatory stakeholders including the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Highways Agency to ensure that high level regulatory issues are identified at this early stage of the project.
  • ecological surveys started.
  • Expression of Interest (EOI) application to the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) submitted. 

August 2017

  • consultant team (Capita) appointed to take the development of the route options forward.
  • a wide study area identified between Junction 42 of the M6 and Peter Lane.
  • optional route option corridors developed for the project in line with Transport Assessment Guidance (TAG) and the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB).
  • route option corridors were based on various factors including the required size of the road, impacts on communities, available crossing points for rivers and railways, environmental sensitivity of areas, ability to serve as link to new housing and project costs.

The consultation is now closed.  The consultation opened on 31 May for six weeks and closed on 12 July 2019. 

Public consultation events were held on:

  • Monday 3 June, 12pm to 8pm: Carlisle Racecourse, Durdar Road, Carlisle.
  • Tuesday 4 June, 10am to 8pm: Carlisle Racecourse, Durdar Road, Carlisle.
  • Friday 21 June, 10am to 5pm: Inside The Lanes Shopping Centre.
  • Saturday 22 June, 10am to 4pm: Inside The Lanes Shopping Centre.
  • Monday 24 June, 6pm to 8pm: Uppery Social Club, Lamb Street, Carlisle

Previous public consultation

Following a period of scheme development and assessment two route options were identified for a 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 Link Road proposals:  Public Consultation on Route Options for a Carlisle Southern Link Road (PDF 3903kb)

Following extensive consultation on two route options earlier this year, the consultation feedback is available 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 illustrate the two options.

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.

Following the positive announcement on 14th February 2019 confirming that funding has been approved to build the Carlisle Southern Link Road, a competitive tender process is underway in order to secure additional project management resources. Once a team is in place a supply chain event will be arranged and the details published here on the website.

At present the council is continuing to work with its existing consultants to develop the design of the road, the project is dependent on legal statutory processes (including planning permission process and the acquisition of land). The team are currently working to a date for commencement of construction in Spring 2021. As such, we are not meeting individual companies at this time. We will keep this page up to date to inform interested parties of progress and how and when to engage with us.

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