Morgan Sindall Infrastructure has been appointed initially to develop the detailed design of the road that will connect Junction 42 of the M6 with the A595 at Newby West.
The 8km road will include four new roundabouts, three new road bridges, a combined cycleway/footway on the northern side of the road and four new shared-use overbridges.
The road will open the way for Carlisle City Council’s St Cuthbert’s Garden Village (SCGV) plans, a potential development of 10,000 new homes. It should also improve east-west connectivity to the south of the city.
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 start on site in spring 2022 and it is anticipated the construction of the road will take approximately two years to complete.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & 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, for a total budget of £144m for the new road.
It is understood that the value of Morgan Sindall’s contract is £65m.
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.”