New road reduces Carlisle congestion by 20%
First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
Carlisle, in north-west England, has seen as 20% reduction in congestion since the opening of the city’s US$284million (£176m) Northern Development Route in February this year.
Around 10,000 vehicles a day are using the new road, which is broadly in line with the predictions made by highways engineers when building a case to construct a new route connecting the A595 with the M6 around the western flank of the city.
Traffic counters positioned on the new road show an average of 9,583 vehicles a day along the entire route in the weeks after its opening on February 14th. This rose to 11,065 vehicles a day at the traffic counter positioned on the new bridge built over the River Eden.
Traffic movement data suggests the new 8.25km road has quickly become a key route to travel between the south west of the city and the industrial areas to the north - a big factor for employers looking to develop good communications channels in areas ripe for commercial development.
Initial indications suggest there has been a significant reduction both in average journey times and the number of HGVs travelling through the city, although these will need to be properly validated by a more detailed traffic movement study which will be compiled later this year.
Carlisle Northern Development Route (CNDR) is a PFI project managed and maintained by Cumbria County Council's contractor partner Connect Roads until 2039.
The road starts from the Wigton Road (A595) to the south west of Carlisle, follows a route around the west of the city crossing the River Eden on a new bridge near Stainton and the West Coast Main Line on a new two-lane bridge constructed at Kingmoor. The new road layout allows easier access to West Cumbria from the roundabout at Junction 44 of the M6 rather than having to travel through Carlisle city centre providing better links to Scotland and the North East.
Cumbria County Council said it would be releasing more detailed statistics next month from more than 20 permanent and temporary vehicle counters positioned around the city to monitor traffic flows before and after the new road opened. As well as reductions in traffic on some roads, these are also expected to show a higher level of traffic on certain radial routes that have direct links to the Carlisle Northern Development Route (CNDR).
Councillor Tony Markley, Cumbria County Council's cabinet member responsible for highways and economy, said everyone who lives or works in Carlisle will have noticed the changes that have occurred to traffic flow now that the CNDR is open.
“Although these are early indications and we are building a more scientific analysis, it's clear that the road has delivered immediate benefits and it's now a lot easier to travel through or around Carlisle,” he said. “Some regular commuters are telling me they're enjoying an extra 20 minutes in bed every morning because of the reduced journey times!”