Cycling and walking in Cumbria

Emergency 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. 

Because of this, many people have discovered, or rediscovered, cycling and walking and there's been a significant rise in the number of people on bikes and walking - for exercise, or for safe, socially distanced travel.

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. 

We welcome any comments you may have or any suggestions for cycling and walking schemes in Cumbria. Please send them to activetravel@cumbria.gov.uk

Find out more from our Frequently Asked Questions:

The Secretary of State announced a new £250 million emergency active travel fund on 9 May 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.

As part of the first round, Cumbria Council has been awarded £260,000 for emergency and temporary measures. 

Cumbria has now had confirmation that we have been awarded £260,000 in Tranche 1 for a range of temporary walking and cycling schemes. The schemes included in the successful bid are listed below however please note that whilst these are the schemes which we have received funding for, they may change subject to design or review.

District/Local Committee area Temporary Cycling and Walking Scheme
Allerdale

Workington

Creating a number of bike boxes on approach to traffic lights/cross roads at:

  • Washington Street Lights
  • Harrington Road/Annie Pit Road
  • Oxford Street Light

Central Way (Workington Underpass) - Provide separate cycleway facility by way of barriers which allows easy two-way link between Northside and Workington.  

Stainburn Road - Formal cycle lanes on both sides of carriageway by way of road markings

Cockermouth

Market Place - Close off Market Place to through traffic, allowing more open space for pedestrians and cyclists with the use of planters.

Station Street - Provide separate cycleway facility by way of barriers and temporary extension of footway width to help social distancing.

Creating a number of bike boxes on approach to traffic lights/cross roads at Lorton St junction and Gallowbarrow.

Maryport

Creating a number of bike boxes on approach to traffic lights/cross roads at Netherhall Corner

Keswick

Creating a number of bike boxes on approach to traffic lights/cross roads at Main Street and Penrith Road.

Thirlmere Dam Road, Thirlmere, Keswick - create Shared Pedestrian and Cycle Footpath (restrict vehicles).

Western Road at Derwentwater - create quiet road with priority give way at either end.

Barrow

Abbey Road - Pop up cycleway and pedestrian priority with junction rearrangement

Cornwallis Street - Pop up cycleway and pedestrian priority with junction rearrangement

Bridge Road - Pop up cycleway and pedestrian priority with junction rearrangement

Michaelson Road - Pop up cycleway and pedestrian priority with junction rearrangement

Carlisle

Bus and cycle only gateway on English Street between The Crescent and Devonshire Street (outside the old Courts building) , providing a central cycle hub in the city centre which ties into existing cycle routes whilst also providing a safe and easy route through an area which can be intimidating for cyclists due to the existing road layout.

Copeland

Whitehaven 

Make Swingpump Lane one way from Rosemary Lane to East Strand and use the other lane to install a cycle way to allow safer journeys and alternatives to public transport.

Eden

Penrith 

Remove vehicle traffic from Middlegate, Market Square, Kings Street and Victoria Road from Old London Road to Kilgour Street (please note the revised scheme since the bid was submitted - Middlegate and King Street will not be closed)

South Lakeland

Grasmere 

Create One Way through village to create space for a widened pedestrian area.

Kendal 

Wildman Street in Kendal to be included pop up cycleway while allowing social distancing on narrow footway.


As part of the second funding tranche, Cumbria could also receive a further £934,000 later in the summer which can be used to install further, more permanent measures to cement cycling and walking habits. The deadline for submitting a bid for this funding is 7 August 2020.

The roads where we are implementing the temporary changes have been chosen because:

  • Some of the schemes have been identified as some of our busiest locations for cyclists and pedestrians, therefore where we might expect to see new and additional cyclists and pedestrians as people start to return to work.
  • They are also where cyclists might require additional support to feel safe and secure whilst cycling on road, particularly if they are new to cycling.
  • The measures help ensure that there is sufficient space for pedestrians and cyclists to maintain social distancing.
  • They were also schemes which could be delivered within the £260,000 funding available and within the timescales.

Due to speed at which the funding has been made available and the tight timescales for submission of the bid (approximately 2 weeks), it has not been possible to fully consult with residents and businesses before the bid was submitted

We welcome any comments you may have or any suggestions for the more permanent schemes in Tranche 2 and you can send them to activetravel@cumbria.gov.uk 

The Department for Transport has stipulated that work on the approved schemes must start within four weeks of receiving the allocation of funding and be completed within eight weeks of starting. The Department for Transport has reserved the right to claw back the funding if the deadlines cannot be met.

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. 

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. 


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.

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.


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.

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.

A few on-street parking spaces will need to be suspended to create space for social distancing and ensure that we can provide facilities for cyclists and pedestrians that are as safe, continuous and unobstructed as possible.

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).


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

CCC's indicative Tranche 2 funding allocation is £0.934m
The second tranche of funding will enable authorities to install further, more permanent measures to cement walking and cycling habits, and where applicable enable the implementation of schemes identified in the draft Cumbrian Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan.
CCC is required to submit an application to the DfT by 7th August 2020.

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.

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.
While no firm date has been set by the DfT, it expected that to be in mid-September.