£358,000 to develop walking and cycling networks across Cumbria

The funding will help to further develop prioritised routes identified in the county’s six Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans. Credit: Cumbria County Council

Cumbria County Council has been awarded £358,000 to design, develop and consult on new cycling and walking routes.

The funding, which has been secured from the Department for Transport’s Capability Fund, will enable the council to further develop prioritised routes identified in the county’s six Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs).

The plans cover the areas of Carlisle, Barrow-in-Furness, Kendal, Workington, Whitehaven and Penrith. In addition, the funding will be used to train and retain local authority officers and local councillors in the principles of high-quality active travel design - establishing a skilled local workforce that can develop the cycling and walking schemes.

The funding will support a programme of community and stakeholder engagement to help ‘co-design’ the prioritised routes, with the aim of enabling more adults and children of all groups to walk, wheel and cycle. It will also help to ensure the schemes reflect what local communities want to see being delivered.

Active Travel England, the government’s new executive agency responsible for administering the Capability Fund, will invest £32.9 million nationally to accelerate the development of walking and cycling schemes across the country.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport said: “This way we can encourage more people to take up walking and cycling within the county, to improve connectivity between communities, boost health and wellbeing, and tackle climate change.

“Thanks to this funding, from 1 April 2023, Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council will be able to expand these work streams even further.”

Jesse Norman, active travel minister, said: “Leaving the car and walking and cycling instead is an easy way to get fit, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

“Better designed schemes, which take into account the views of local people will help deliver improvements that have widespread local support.

“Skills training and local community engagement will help local authorities to make active travel an attractive choice for getting around.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...