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Warwick Road, Carlisle

Volume 630: debated on Thursday 26 October 2017

The petition of residents of Warwick Road, Carlisle,

Declares that they are against proposals from Cumbria County Council to construct a third lane along a section of Warwick Road, Carlisle.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges Cumbria County Council to withdraw proposals to construct a third lane along a section of Warwick Road, Carlisle, as it will provide none of the stated benefits to the city and cause an unacceptable negative impact on the quality of life of Warwick Road residents.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by John Stevenson , Official Report, 11 September 2017; Vol. 628, c. 608.]

[P002054]

Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Jesse Norman):

The Department for Transport provided funding through the National Productivity Investment Fund to all local highway authorities in England, outside London, for the 2017-18 financial year. This included a funding allocation of £4.6 million to Cumbria County Council.

The Fund is to help local highway authorities to improve roads, reduce congestion and improve journey times.

The proposed scheme as outlined in the petition to the House of Commons falls under the responsibility of Cumbria County Council, as local highway authority. It is for the council to determine how they utilise the funding provided by central Government based on their needs and priorities.

The A69 Warwick Road is one of the key arterial roads into the City of Carlisle, adjacent to junction 43 of the M6. Highway improvements to this area were originally identified within the Carlisle transport improvements study which was used to inform the infrastructure deficit plan, a key document supporting Carlisle City Council’s adopted Local Plan (2015-2030).

Traffic modelling undertaken by the council identified congestion in peak periods in the current year and in future years due to planned residential and industrial developments. To alleviate this congestion, the infrastructure deficit plan identified the requirement to improve the capacity at two significant junctions adjacent to the M6 junction 43 (Warwick Road /Montgomery Way and Warwick Road / Eastern Way) and widening to Warwick Road to provide two lanes inbound between these two junctions.

The concept designs for the scheme were identified in the infrastructure deficit plan and suggest the improvements on Warwick Road could be delivered within the existing carriageway boundary. During the outline design process, it became apparent that to accommodate two lanes safely, carriageway widening was necessary.

During public consultation that took place in June and July 2017, Cumbria County Council recognised the proposed scheme which incorporated widening the carriageway was strongly opposed by local residents, although aspects such as increased pedestrian provision was welcomed.

Recognising the concerns raised by the consultation respondents, Cumbria County Council modelled alternative schemes to the existing proposals and these are currently being considered. The alternative schemes incorporate the changes to both the Warwick Road/Montgomery Way and Warwick Road/Eastern Way junctions, with and without the widening to Warwick Road. Although the two junction improvements do not deliver the capacity benefits that the full widening scheme would achieve, it does provide some benefit and alleviate congestion at key locations where there is known development.

The Department for Transport understands that Cumbria County Council are now awaiting responses from Carlisle City Council and the local MP prior to making a decision as to how the scheme is taken forward.