Cumbria County Council has finalised the walking and cycling schemes which will now be put forward to The Department for Transport (DfT) for consideration of funding as part of their second stage of the £250m Emergency Active Travel Fund.
The aim of the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund is to try and embed walking and cycling as part of long-term habits to secure the associated health, air quality and congestion benefits. The fund has been divided into two tranches, the first worth £45m and the second £180m. Allocations for Cumbria County Council are £260,000 and £930,000 respectively. The first tranche submission has already been made and progress is being made in implementing the temporary measures.
The second tranche is intended for local authorities to install further, more permanent measures to cement cycling and walking habits. Notification of Tranche 2 was received on 10 July 2020 and bids had to be submitted to Government by the 7 August. All schemes put forward must include segregation from motorised traffic. Upgrading existing cycle lanes, and those marked only with white paint, will not be funded.
Through a short period of engagement, the council has received more than 600 suggestions for cycling and walking schemes, which shows the level of support and ambition for improved cycling and walking infrastructure in Cumbria – for commuting, everyday journeys, leisure or fitness. The Council has assessed the proposed schemes to identify eligible, feasible and deliverable schemes for inclusion in the bid.
The conclusion from this assessment is that we will submit the best performing schemes to the DfT by the deadline of today (Friday 7 August). These schemes are:
- Bridge Road / Michaelson Road in Barrow
- Milnthorpe Road in Kendal
Both permanent schemes include segregated cycleways, enhanced pedestrian crossings and junction improvements for both cyclists and pedestrians.
A significant amount of work has gone into the identification of schemes across Cumbria and will provide a good foundation on which to develop a series of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) across the county and will hopefully position the County Council to be able to take advantage of additional funding that is being made available for investment in cycling.
Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said: “It is very encouraging to see the level of support and ambition for improved cycling and walking infrastructure across the county.
“It has taken a significant amount of work to whittle all the ideas down to ones which meet the strict government criteria and I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to get in touch with the County Council with their suggestions.
“Should our application to Government be successful, the two proposed schemes will be widely consulted upon with residents, business, community groups, and disability groups. We will continue to work closely with partners to try to secure further funding to enhance and improve cycling and walking infrastructure, whenever funding for such schemes becomes available.”
Any changes require Traffic Regulation Orders and the appropriate use of recognised safe traffic management systems to ensure the safety of all road users. A funding decision is expected during the Autumn.
More information on the two proposed schemes:
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 build upon the strong active travel culture that already exists in the town, enabling further uptake in cycling.
The Kendal Emergency Active Travel Scheme is designed to address a key pinch point in the town, seeing new cycle provision along Milnthorpe Road between Romney Road and Kent Park Avenue. As part of this proposal there would also be pedestrian improvements to support access to Kendal College. The scheme would change the feel of the highway to that more similar with a picturesque residential area and encourage slower speeds, further enabling active travel and bringing wider benefits.
For both schemes Government funding will be necessary and if secure their further development and delivery will be supported by consultation activity.