Cumbria County Council has appointed Morgan Sindall Infrastructure to undertake the detailed design of the Carlisle Southern Link Road, that will connect Junction 42 of the M6 with the A595 at Newby West.
The appointment follows a competitive procurement process which commenced last summer. The road will play a vital role in supporting both the economic recovery of Cumbria following COVID-19, and the successful delivery of initiatives such as St. Cuthbert’s Garden Village (SCGV). SCGV is a scheme led by Carlisle City Council that will deliver 10,000 new homes and employment opportunities within Carlisle, bringing significant benefits to the city and the wider county. The delivery of the new road will also improve east – west connectivity to the south of the city, reduce congestion and improve road connections to West Cumbria.
The appointed contractor, Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, is currently delivering several highways schemes throughout the UK under local authority frameworks and for Highways England. They are also undertaking important infrastructure works in Cumbria for Sellafield Ltd. Morgan Sindall Infrastructure’s knowledge and expertise will be used to further develop the design of the Carlisle Southern Link Road over the next 10 months.
The council received planning consent for the road in October 2020 following a period of extensive public consultation. The council is continuing to work with landowners and statutory stakeholders to minimise the impact of the scheme on their land.
The 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.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced funding towards the new road in February 2019. In July 2020 the council’s Cabinet agreed to enter into a funding agreement with Homes England for £134m. In addition, Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council have committed to make contributions of £5m each, which will be sourced from developer contributions as homes are built.
Welcoming the award of contract to Morgan Sindall Infrastructure Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said: “I’m delighted that we have reached this important milestone. The benefits the road will bring in connecting East and West Cumbria and unlocking housing for the new garden village as well as stimulating employment, economic growth and investment at a time when our county really needs it cannot be underestimated.”
Morgan Sindall Infrastructure’s Managing Director, Simon Smith, said: “We are delighted to be awarded this scheme to support the strategic improvement of the local area’s infrastructure. We look forward to developing and strengthening our relationship with Cumbria County Council and our local partners, whilst also helping to ensure that all the benefits of the project are realised as part of our commitment to delivering innovative and responsible infrastructure.”
The Housing Infrastructure Fund is administered and monitored by the government’s housing agency, Homes England. The programme is helping to deliver up to 300,000 new homes across England by providing local authorities with grant funding for new infrastructure, to unlock homes in areas of greatest housing demand.