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. A key component of this programme is the development of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) which will identify and prioritise future improvements to the local cycling and walking network over the next 10 years. LCWIPs are currently being developed in Barrow in Furness, Carlisle, Kendal, Workington, Whitehaven and Penrith and we hope to extend the programme in the future to include more towns..

We held an initial public consultation on the emerging LCWIPs in Spring/Summer 2021.  A follow up consultation for Barrow in Furness, Carlisle and Kendal was held in November 2021.  The feedback received is being used to inform the ongoing development of the Plans. More details are provided within the public consultation part of this web page.

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.


Initial Public Consultation - Barrow in Furness, Carlisle and Kendal (7 May to 28 May 2021) 
and Penrith, Whitehaven and Workington (14 July to 6 August 2021)

This public consultation presented the draft priority cycling and walking networks for Barrow in Furness, Carlisle, Kendal, Penrith, Whitehaven and Workington. 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 have been 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 and we thank everyone who took the time to respond for their feedback.

We have analysed the responses for Barrow in Furness, Carlisle and Kendal and the results are provided as Full and Summary Consultation Reports below. Reports for Penrith, Whitehaven and Workington will be made available shortly. 

Consultation documents:


Follow up Public Consultation - Barrow in Furness, Carlisle, Kendal (5 November to 26 November 2021)

This follow up public consultation provided a second chance to comment on the updated draft priority cycling and walking networks, prior to the LCWIPs for Barrow in Furness, Carlisle and Kendal being finalised in early 2022.

The consultation is now closed, and we thank everyone who took the time to respond for their comments. A report summarising the feedback received will be made available on this web page soon. 

Consultation documents

Carlisle

Kendal

Barrow-in-Furness


Follow up Public Consultation - Penrith, Whitehaven and Workington (February 2022)

A second chance to comment on the proposals for the Penrith, Whitehaven and Workington LCWIPs will be possible in February 2022.


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 (March 2022).

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 (CTIP) 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
  • Coastal 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.

More information on the CTIP can be found on our Strategic Plans web page.  Further details of ongoing projects that align with the corridors: 

A591 Strategic Corridor - See More Lake District Cycling

The See More Lake District Cycling project is within the Destination Borderlands programme as part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. The project will identify and prioritise cycling infrastructure schemes to be delivered in and around the Lake District with a focus on cycle routes along strategic corridors, as well as shorter loops for active travel and recreation.  The ambition is to improve the cycle network, as well as the visitor offer, whilst also supporting the transition to a low carbon transport system. A business case is being developed in order to make the case for Borderlands investment. It is anticipated that the detailed business case will be completed by Spring 2021.

Coastal Strategic Corridor - Hadrian's Wall Cycling and Walking Corridor

The Hadrian's Wall Walking and Cycling Corridor project is within the Destination Borderlands programme as part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. Two business cases will be developed to support funding opportunities for cycling and walking improvements along the Cumbrian coast and within the Hadrian's Wall and the Wider Roman Frontier World Heritage Site.  It is anticipated that the detailed business cases will be completed in Summer 2022.  

The project will identify a strategic cycling and walking route to support active travel, delivering benefits to visitors and residents. The ultimate goal is to develop a multi-user route within Cumbria that would be wholly off-road (or using quiet roads where not possible), along the coastal corridor from Gilsland to the east of Carlisle, heading to Ravenglass, and on to Millom in the south west of the county.

Our Active Travel Team support a range of initiatives to help children and schools incorporate active travel into their daily journeys. Further details can be found on the Active Cumbria website.

Safer School Streets

What are Safer School Streets?

School Streets is a national initiative which introduces a temporary restriction on traffic, making roads outside schools into pedestrian and cyclist zones at peak times during term time.

The roads covered by the School Street restriction will become a walking/wheeling, scooting, and cycling zone. Traffic will be restricted for up to an hour at school drop-off and pick-up times in the morning and afternoon. Local residents and emergency vehicles will be exempt from the restriction.

Why are School Streets schemes being trialled in Cumbria?

Cumbria County Council are introducing several School Street initiatives, around the county to help reduce air pollution and keep children safe from traffic. The County Council's Local Committees for Barrow, Carlisle, Copeland, and South Lakeland all agreed to implement the experimental Traffic Regulation Order for some schools in their districts, with the aim of reducing traffic and improving air quality. The School Street campaign will be trialled for six months, starting in November 2021.

How are the School Streets being implemented?

The County Council will bring in an experimental Traffic Regulation Order for a School Street initiative outside five schools across Cumbria, which will start after the next half term holiday, on Monday 1 November 2021. The schools taking part are:

  • Barrow - Askam Village Primary School
  • Carlisle - St Bede's Catholic School and Inglewood Infants School
  • Copeland - St Patrick's Primary School, Cleator Moor
  • South Lakeland - Sir John Barrow, Ulverston

Details of Traffic Regulation Orders

How can my school find out more about the Safer School Street Scheme?

Cumbria County Council have not planned any further expansion of school streets at the moment, however, you can find out more about other active travel initiatives that we are currently offering to enable more children to walk, wheel and cycle to school.

Active Travel Fund

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted on the lives and health of many people across the UK, as well as the economic consequences.

With less traffic on the roads, it has also resulted in cleaner air and quieter streets, helping the environment in many of our towns and city. 

As many people are now returning back to work, we need those who can walk or cycle to continue to do so safely, and to be joined by many more. 

Active Travel Fund Tranche 1 update

Following on from Tranche 1, Cumbria County Council have installed 11 cycle repair stations in key locations in Barrow-in-Furness. The bike repair stations support the Council's drive to promote active travel options for people who live, work and visit the borough. 

The bike repair stations are in the following locations:

  • Biggar Bank Road, Walney
  • Earnse Bay car park, Walney
  • Rating Lane, Barrow
  • Coronation Drive, Dalton
  • Greenhaume Cycleway, Askam
  • Abbots Vale, Barrow
  • Westfield Trail, Barrow
  • Michaelson Road, near roundabout, Barrow
  • Dalton Lane, Barrow
  • Ormsgill Community Centre, Barrow
  • Bessemer Way, car park near Channelside, Barrow

Funding for the stations was secured as part of the County Council's bid to the Department for Transport's Active Travel Fund and supported by the County Council's Barrow Local Committee.

Active Travel Fund Tranche 2 update

On 13 November 2020 Cumbria County Council was informed by the Secretary of State for Transport that it had been awarded £886,350 for delivery of tranche 2 schemes.  Unlike the first tranche which was for temporary schemes, this second tranche of funding will be for permanent schemes, and the Council will consult more thoroughly than on the temporary schemes in the first wave, which is now a requirement of the funding offer.  As the Council is already consulting with the public and stakeholders, we have taken a decision to combine the consultation of the Active Travel Fund with the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs).  This will ensure that all areas are considered in the consultation with more focus on the public and stakeholders views.

The Council consultation and engagement programme will demonstrate to the Department for Transport how the scheme will work for our communities.

This project is the first phase of the LCWIP which will complement the Barrow Town Deal which will capitalise on a number of opportunities for further development within the town, bringing more jobs and education. This will undoubtedly bring more demand for travel in the town.

The scheme which DfT Active Travel funding has now been allocated to is on Bridge Road / Michaelson Road in Barrow. This proposed scheme includes segregated cycleways, enhanced pedestrian crossings and junction improvements for both cyclists and pedestrians.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Emergency Active Travel Fund?

The Secretary of State announced a new £250 million emergency active travel fund on 9 May 2020 to support implementation of pop-up bike lanes, widened pavements, and cycle and bus-only corridors.

The first tranche of that funding ( £45 million) has been allocated to successful local authorities. Bids for the second tranche must be submitted to the government by 7 August 2020.

Why can't any of the funding be spent on repairing potholes? 

The funding is specific to the purposes of promoting cycling and walking in Cumbria and to support social distancing as the lockdown is eased. It cannot be spent on potholes. The Council has received separate funding for potholes and road maintenance. 

Why are you taking road space from motorists and will it not impact on businesses?

The Department of Transport provided the funding specifically to enable road space to be reallocated and for some roads to be closed in town centres to support pedestrian and cycle activity

Part of the reason why so many people are reluctant to cycle is due to confidence and their fear of being in a collision with another road user. Separating cyclists from vehicles provides an element of security removing to some extent the psychological barriers which deter some people from traveling by bike.

There is an added benefit that by encouraging more people to walk or cycle for short journeys will help reduce congestion and improving air quality. 

What about people with disabilities?

The temporary measures need to consider how they will retain and improve access for disabled travellers. Many people with disabilities rely on their car and need access to blue badge parking spaces, others may need safe space for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and others hidden impairments. When introducing cycling and walking measures we need to be inclusive for all. 

The Council works closely with the Charity Cycling Project which promotes inclusive cycling and to remove the barriers facing disabled children and adults who want to enjoy cycling. The Wheels for All initiative is a nationally recognised programme that embraces all children and adults with disabilities and differing needs, to engage in a quality cycling activity.

We will also work closely with Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to ensure the schemes maintain or improve the accessibility of road layouts for blind and partially sighted people, who are more likely to rely on walking journeys than the general population.

Will these temporary measures be made permanent?

For the initial schemes all these measures are expected to be delivered quickly using temporary materials, such as barriers and planters. The benefits of the scheme will then be monitored with regards to increased cycle and walking and if they are schemes which could be made more permanent. 

Each County Council Local Committee is currently considering what schemes could be submitted for further funding for permanent measures.  

In some areas such as Penrith the Local Committee are looking to introduce different schemes for Tranche 2, in other areas the temporary scheme may be made permanent. No decisions have been made yet.

Who will these active travel measures help?

Increased cycling and walking has a number of benefits to our health and well-being. Providing safe cycling and walking infrastructure will assist in promoting alternative ways of travel, for both adults and children, particularly for short distances rather than using a car.

Why bother? I see lots of people riding bikes on the footway

Cycling on the footway contravenes existing laws, which are enforced by the Police who are allowed to use their discretion following advice from Government. Safer, wider or protected cycle lanes should help discourage people from riding bicycles on footways.

Drivers pay road tax, cyclists and walkers don't

What drivers pay is Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). The amount depends on the vehicle's carbon dioxide emissions, with owners of low-emission vehicles paying nothing. Since cycling and walking are zero emission, cyclists would pay nothing even if bicycles were subject to VED. Note that VED is not ring-fenced for roads, just as the tax on alcohol doesn't directly pay for alcohol-related illnesses. Roads are paid for out of: general taxation, which includes everything from income tax to duty on booze; and local taxation, which is to say, Council Tax. If you pay tax, you pay for roads.

Also, many cyclists also own a car and will pay Vehicle Excise Duty (VED).

How can I get involved and share my ideas for cycling and walking infrastructure?

Please email activetravel@cumbria.gov.uk with your suggestions and ideas.

What schemes will be included in the Cumbrian bid?

Barrow-in-Furness

The Barrow-in-Furness Emergency Active Travel Scheme is designed to get the people of Barrow to their places of work in a safe, healthy, and green way, by creating a high-quality cycle route designed to the latest standards.  This scheme would link the town centre and Barrow Island and Jubilee Bridge with new cycle provision from Schneider Square to the Bridge Road / Michaelson Junction and then along Bridge Road to the junction with North Road. The proposals builds upon the strong active travel culture that already exists in the town, enabling further uptake in cycling. 

Kendal

The Kendal Emergency Active Travel Scheme is designed to address a key pinch point in the town, seeing new cycle provision along Milnthorpe Rd between Romney Road and Kent Park Avenue.  As part of this proposal the junction there would also be pedestrian improvements to support access to Kendal College.  The scheme would change the feel of the highway to that more commensurate with a picturesque residential area and encourage slower speeds, further enabling active travel and bringing wider benefits.

How were these schemes selected?

Through it was a short period of engagement, the council has received more than 600 suggestions for cycling and walking schemes.  After careful consideration, the schemes were scored them against the Government criteria requiring fully segregated cycle and footways that could be delivered in early 2021.  The schemes also had to pass a HM Treasury value for money assessment.

What has been achieved so far in Barrow?

We are delighted to share with you some of the suggestions that you made, and here is what we did:

You said we did consultation 2021 feedback (PDF 504KB)