Cumbria County Council receives £358,000 to develop walking and cycling networks throughout Cumbria

Cumbria County Council is delighted to announce they have been awarded £358,000 from the Department for Transport (DfT) to design, develop and consult on high-quality active travel routes within Cumbria.

The funding, which has been secured from the DfT’s Capability Fund, will support Cumbria County Council to further develop prioritised routes identified in the County’s six Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs). These 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, to establish a skilled and local active travel workforce that can develop well thought-through cycling and walking schemes.

The funding will enable the council to undertake 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 developed reflect what communities want to see being delivered.

Funded activities include:

  • Bespoke training for local authority officers and local councillors
  • Network design and planning
  • Feasibility studies
  • Public engagement/consultation and co-design
  • Data & evidence collection

Active Travel England, the government’s new executive agency responsible for administering the Fund, will invest £32.9 million nationally to accelerate the development of walking and cycling schemes across the country. With many people looking to improve their health or reduce their carbon footprint, the government are helping councils improve how they design and create active travel schemes. Local authorities will benefit from skills training, a boost to green jobs and support to maximise active travel investment.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said:

“It is fantastic news that the walking and cycling team’s funding application was approved.

“The funding will help develop the routes identified in the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs), which were published in 2022 for Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Kendal, Penrith, Workington and Whitehaven.

“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.”

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