A CARLISLE councillor claims a series of roadworks and road closures across the city have created a ‘gridlock’ situation for motorists.

Botcherby and Harrby north councillor Rob Betton also raised concerns that drivers could be tempted to avoid the city as retailers prepare for the busy Christmas shopping season, and head elsewhere to other places such as the Gretna Gateway, Hexham, and Penrith.

It comes as motorists have faced an agonising wait in their cars during the morning and evening rush hours while trying to get in and out of the area, as well as long queues and heavy traffic in the city centre and other main roads at various times throughout the day.

Following the closure of Victoria Viaduct due to concerns of the derelict Central Plaza hotel, drivers are having to take a number of different routes, including Bridge Street by Carlisle Castle, or Crown Street, leading onto the south-eastern end of Botchergate.

It’s not just the closure of the viaduct that has forced roads to become clogged with cars. Other areas including a project by United Utilities in Denton Holme have also meant closures to several streets there.

Mr Betton told the News & Star: “The number of roadworks going on at the moment, which are creating much longer journey times, aren’t going to encourage people to the city to do their Christmas shopping, especially when they have gridlock to travel through.

“If it’s going to take them about half an hour to get through all of it, then the likelihood is they won’t bother to come to Carlisle - which means businesses will lose out.

“Shoppers could instead to go the likes of Kingtown, via the M6, head further afield, or perhaps shop more online.

“It’s coming up to a busy time of the year for a lot of people with Halloween, Christmas and New Year, and the road works and road closures are going to continue to cause inconvenience for a lot of people.”

Last week, water engineers from United Utilities restarted work on pipes at Warwick Road.

They will replace a section of lining material which was installed earlier in the year.

When tested, the new lining was found not to be fitted correctly.

Temporary two-way traffic lights are in place between Botcherby Bridge and Greystone Road for the next five weeks.

There will be no vehicle access from Greystone Road onto Warwick Road while works are carried out.