City council leader calls for members to reject Warwick Road extra lane plans

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The leader of Carlisle City Council says that plans for an extra lane on Warwick Road are "a step too far" - and is urging his fellow members to reject the idea.

Colin Glover is set to table a motion at a full city council meeting next week which states that the authority does not back the scheme proposed by Cumbria County Council.

A petition, launched by concerned residents, has already attracted more than 5,000 signatures and will be presented in Parliament by the city's Conservative MP John Stevenson.

Robert Betton, who represents Botcherby on Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council, also asked whether the proposed scheme would be scrapped given the public's reaction to the plans at a full county council meeting earlier this week.

Mr Glover's motion, which will be put to all members of Carlisle City Council during a meeting at the civic centre on Tuesday, states: "This council recognises and shares the concerns raised by Warwick Road residents with regard to the proposed road widening scheme.

"This council does not support the current scheme proposed in the consultation documents.

"Any amended scheme should take into account the views expressed by the affected residents, recognise and protect the importance of the attractive visual impact of this key gateway to the city and should only proceed if residents are informed and involved in securing an evidence based and satisfactory alternative solution."

Mr Glover told The Cumberland News that he wrote to Cumbria County Council in July to say that he could not support the proposed scheme.

He said: "I know that by widening Warwick Road it is hoped that it will help to alleviate traffic at junctions but I think that this is a step too far. It's a key gateway to the city and we want a welcoming entrance.

"Although Carlisle City Council is not the highways authority, it is the planning authority and I think the removal of trees in particular would be wrong."

Money for the scheme, which is set to cost £1m, has already been allocated by the Government to Cumbria County Council, but Mr Glover believes that other options must be explored.

"Just because the money is there doesn't mean it has to be ploughed in," he said. "A consultation has taken place to gather the views of the people and they've shown that they are not happy with it. It's up to the council to find an alternative solution instead.

"Another option would be to look at how traffic can be improved on Montgomery Way and on the Rosehill Industrial Estate."

Joy Graham, a resident of Warwick Road who has been calling on the scheme to be scrapped, said: "It's great to hear that we've got the support of our local MP, the leader of the city council and more than 5,000 people who have signed the petition.

"All we can do for now though is to continue with our fight until a decision has been made - but we don't know when that will be."

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