Cycling and walking in Cumbria

It is the ambition of Cumbria County Council to get more people cycling and walking in Cumbria and that cycling and walking should be the natural choice for everyday short journeys. Cycling and walking more often is good for our health and wellbeing, the environment and the local economy. 

During the height of Covid-19, less traffic on our roads resulted in cleaner air and quieter streets, transforming the environment in our towns and city. Because of this, lots of people discovered, or rediscovered, cycling and walking as a means for exercise and travel.  We now have an opportunity to help maintain this interest and ensure people have the choice to take short journeys on foot or by bike, rather than use their cars. The proven way of encouraging more of us to walk and cycle is by providing routes that are coherent, direct, safe, comfortable and attractive.

To encourage cycling and walking, the County Council has established a Cycling and Walking Programme to identify, develop and secure funding to deliver infrastructure improvements. The development of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) is a key part of this and these are currently being developed in Barrow in Furness, Carlisle, Kendal, Workington, Whitehaven and Penrith.

A public consultation was undertaken between 7 May and 28 May 2021 on the draft priority cycling and walking networks in Barrow in Furness, Carlisle and Kendal. The feedback received is being used to inform the ongoing development of plans in these areas. More details are provided within the public consultations tab below. 

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) Public Consultation

Cumbria County Council in partnership with Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) and Cumbria's 6 district councils is developing a series of local cycling and walking networks for urban area across Cumbria.

Many of us recognise the challenges of Climate Change and the urgent need to act. We know that being active is good for us and more of us have walked and cycled throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  

When asked what would make people maintain this, safe walking and cycling routes were the number one priority.  

To make this happen, we are producing Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) for Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Kendal, Penrith, Whitehaven and Workington, with more to follow.  

We want you to have your say on this ambitious programme and seek your feedback on whether these plans connect you with the places you want to get to.


Public Consultation - Barrow in Furness, Carlisle and Kendal (7 May to 28 May 2021)

This public consultation presented the draft priority cycling and walking networks for Barrow in Furness, Carlisle and Kendal. Feedback was sought on whether the plans connected people with the places they travel to on everyday journeys including employment, schools or leisure. The consultation provided an opportunity for our partners, stakeholders and members of the public to share ideas with us and tell us about the barriers faced when cycling and walking and what should change to remove these barriers. 

The responses will be used to help us to identify the cycling and walking schemes that will be included in the LCWIPs for these areas.

The consultation is now closed however, we will be accepting paper copy Freepost returns of the questionnaire picked up from distribution points (PDF 38KB) until Friday 4 June 2021.  


Public Consultation - Workington, Whitehaven and Penrith (Summer 2021)

A public consultation will be held on the draft priority cycling and walking networks for Workington, Whitehaven and Penrith in Summer 2021. 

Public Consultation - All towns (Autumn 2021)

A second chance to comment on the draft proposals before finalisation of the LCWIPs will be possible in Autumn 2021.


Other Cycling and Walking Consultations

Public consultation on other projects within the Cycling and Walking programme is planned including:

  • Strategic Cycling and Walking Corridors; including the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal - Cycling and Walking Projects for Hadrian's Wall and See More Lake District (Summer/Autumn 2021)
  • Consultation on Phase 2 Delivery proposals as part Barrow Towns Deal Cycling and Walking Project (Summer/Autumn 2021)

Overview

It is the ambition of Cumbria County Council to get more people cycling and walking in Cumbria and that cycling and walking should be the natural choice for everyday short journeys.

During the height of Covid-19, less traffic on our roads resulted in cleaner air and quieter streets, transforming the environment in our towns and city. Because of this, lots of people discovered, or rediscovered, cycling and walking as a means for exercise and travel. We now have an opportunity to help maintain this interest and ensure people have the choice to take short journeys on foot or by bike, rather than use their cars. 

Cycling and walking more often is good for our health and wellbeing, the environment and the local economy.  Increased physical activity can lead to a happier healthy lifestyle. Cycling is a great fun form of low-impact exercise, so it's easier on your joints, particularly your knees. Walking is one of the easiest ways to get more active, its simple, free and even a short brisk daily walk brings lots of health benefits. These health benefits aren't just physical, getting active outdoors and enjoying the fresh air can have a positive effect on your mental health and wellbeing.  Choosing to take a journey by bike or by foot has benefits for the environment too. Cycling and walking has a lower carbon footprint compared to other forms of transport. Together we can all contribute to the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership's target to become the first carbon-neutral county by 2037. 

The proven way of encouraging more of us to walk and cycle is by providing safe, attractive and convenient cycling and walking routes. These routes need to be designed to be inclusive, so people of all ages and abilities can get around conveniently, confidently, and safely. Implementing a network of high-quality routes requires the following five design principles to be applied. Routes should be: 

  • Coherent - part of a wider strategic network that provide access to key destinations
  • Direct - reach their destination as directly as possible
  • Safe - of a high quality and designed to standards that meet safety requirements
  • Comfortable - accessible and attractive for all abilities
  • Attractive - contribute to good urban design by integrating with and complementing their surroundings.

In 2017 Cumbria County Council, together with Cumbria's district councils, national parks, cycling bodies and highways partners endorsed the Cumbria Cycling Strategy.  The Strategy sets the context for the development of cycling in Cumbria. A key objective is to improve the county's infrastructure and Cumbria County Council is committed to taking the lead on this aspect. 

To encourage cycling and walking, the County Council has established a Cycling and Walking Programme to identify, develop and secure funding to deliver infrastructure improvements. The development of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) is central to achieving the objective of improving the county's cycling and walking networks. This focusses on short journeys in Cumbria's urban areas, where most of these local trips take place. LCWIPs are currently being developed in Barrow in Furness, Carlisle, Kendal, Workington, Whitehaven and Penrith. The Council has complementary projects supporting walking and cycling in rural Cumbria, long distance routes and supporting cycling and walking sectors of the Cumbrian Tourism economy. 


National Context

The Department for Transport (DfT) launched the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy in April 2017, outlining the Government's ambition for cycling and walking to become the natural choices for shorter journeys or as part of a longer journey by 2040.  

In order to help local bodies that are interested in increasing cycling and walking in their local areas, the DfT published guidance on the preparation of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) in April 2017. 

In July 2020 the Gear Change - A bold vision for walking and cycling followed. This plan describes the vision to make England a great walking and cycling nation. It sets out the actions required at all levels of government to make this a reality, grouped under four themes:

  1. Better streets for cycling and people
  2. Putting cycling and walking at the heart of decision-making (transport, place-making and health policy)
  3. Empowering and encouraging local authorities - £2bn of dedicated new investment, funding only for schemes that meet the new standards
  4. Enabling people to cycle and protecting them when they do through changes to the highway code.

This was supported by New Design Guidance - Cycle Infrastructure Design (Local Transport Note 1/20) (July 2020) which set out the framework for Cycling to play a far bigger part in our transport system with the quality of cycle infrastructure to sharply improve to be consistent with national guidance. Routes should be:

  • Coherent - part of a wider strategic network that provide access to key destinations
  • Direct - reach their destination as directly as possible
  • Safe - of a high quality and designed to standards that meet safety requirements
  • Comfortable - accessible and attractive for all abilities
  • Attractive - contribute to good urban design by integrating with and complementing their surroundings.

The Government has an ambitious plan to accelerate the decarbonisation of transport. The Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP) sets out what government, business and society will need to do to deliver the significant emissions reduction needed across all modes of transport, putting us on a pathway to achieving carbon budgets and net zero emissions across every single mode of transport. 


Local Context

Cumbria Zero Carbon Partnership

In response to UK parliament declaring a climate emergency in May 2019 and amendments to the 2008 Climate Change Act to strengthen its climate ambition legislating for a target to reduce UK's emissions to net zero by 2050. The Cumbria Zero Carbon partnership was established in January 2021 and aims for a carbon neutral Cumbria by 2037. Decarbonising the impact of transport is key to achieving this and more cycling and walking will form part of the approach.

Cumbria Cycling Strategy

Cumbria County Council endorsed the Cumbria Cycling Strategy in 2017, together with Cumbria's district councils, national parks, cycling bodies and highways partners.  The Cumbria Cycling Strategy sets the context for the development of cycling in Cumbria. 

The strategy has 4 objectives: 

  • Promoting cycling as part of healthy lifestyle
  • Enabling cycling to support the Cumbrian economy
  • Promoting Cumbria as an excellent place to cycle
  • Improving the cycling infrastructure (routes and cycleways) to enable more cycling. 

The 4th objective of improving the infrastructure is key to enabling the other three objectives and the County Council is committed to taking the lead on delivering this.

What are Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans?

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) are part of the Department for Transport's (DfT) Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) and are a new, strategic approach to identifying cycling and walking improvements. LCWIPs will enable a long-term approach to developing local cycling and walking networks (ideally over a 10-year period). 

These local networks will be designed following the principals set out by the Department for Transport for local networks in England.  

Cumbria's LCWIPs will produce:

  • Network plans for walking and cycling which identify preferred routes and core zones for further development
  • Prioritised programmes of improvements for future investment
  • Reports which set out the underlying analysis carried out and a narrative which supports the identified improvements and networks.

Producing LCWIPs in Cumbria will allow the planning and improving the conditions for cycling and walking by:

  • Identifying cycling and walking infrastructure improvements for future investment in the short, medium and long term
  • Ensuring that consideration is given to cycling and walking within both local planning and transport policies and strategies
  • Providing the evidence base to make the case for future funding for walking and cycling infrastructure.

The LCWIP process 

The Cumbria LCWIP programme is developed in line with the Department for Transport (DfT) Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and their supporting LCWIP Technical Guidance for Local Authorities (2017). The LCWIP process is in 6 stages:

  • Stage 1- Determining Scope: Establishing the geographical extent of the LCWIP and arrangements for governing and preparing the plan
  • Stage 2- Information Gathering: Identify existing and potential future travel patterns. Review existing conditions and identify barriers
  • Stage 3 - Network Planning for Cycling: Identify origin and destination points, develop a network of routes and determine the improvements required
  • Stage 4 - Network Planning for Walking: Identify key trip generators, core walking zones and routes, and determine the improvements required
  • Stage 5 - Prioritising Improvements: Prioritise improvements to develop a phased programme for future investment
  • Stage 6 - Integration and Application: Integrate outputs into local planning and transport policies, strategies and delivery plans.

LCWIPs in Cumbria 

Initially the programme will prepare LCWIPs for 6 of Cumbria's district urban centres, which are:

  • Barrow-in-Furness
  • Carlisle
  • Kendal
  • Penrith
  • Whitehaven
  • Workington

It is expected that the programme will be expanded in 2021 to include more Cumbrian towns.

Strategic Overview document (PDF 1.7MB)

The County Council, as part of the development of the Cumbria Transport Infrastructure Plan is looking at cycling and walking over longer distances and routes more targeted at leisure and tourism. We refer to these as Strategic Cycling and Walking Corridors. 

5 strategic corridors have been identified:

  • A66 Strategic Corridor
  • A591 Strategic Corridor
  • Hadrian's Wall Strategic Corridor
  • Southern Strategic Corridor
  • Eden North Pennines Strategic Corridor

The corridors are aimed at supporting the growth of the county's visitor economy, providing local recreational and commuting value for residents of Cumbria and contributing towards a low carbon economy. They will target different sources of funding to the LCWIPs.

The Strategic Cycling and Walking Corridors will be part of a further public consultation in Summer 2021.