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Monday, 22 December 2014

New scheme to provide missing link and extend Carlisle cycleway

A cycling link between the Caldew riverside cycleway in Carlisle and the city centre will be improved after the green light was given to traffic changes on part of the route.

Cyril Weber photo
Cyril Weber

Members Cumbria County Council’s Local Committee for Carlisle approved plans to introduce a contra-flow cycle lane and two raised speed tables in Viaduct Estate Road.

The scheme is being funded by £40,000 from Sustrans’ Linking Communities Fund and £20,000 from Carlisle City Council as well as a planning contribution from the Caldewgate Sainsbury’s development.

Once complete it will see the cycle lane run from the point where the Caldew Cycleway emerges at Eden Bridge Club to the road’s junction with Bridge Street.

It is hoped that enhancing this route will encourage more people to cycle – specially between the Denton Holme area, the city centre and north Carlisle.

Councillor Hugh McDevitt, who represents Denton Holme, was pleased that flower beds along the route would be lowered because he was concerned that people using mobility scooters could not see past them.

Councillor Cyril Weber, the committee chairman, said: “These changes will help make Carlisle even more cycle-friendly and will provide an important link between the well-used Caldew Cycleway and other parts of the city.

“Hopefully, it will persuade greater numbers of people to choose pedal power rather than the car.”

Elsie Martlew, the city council’s portfolio holder for environment and transport, said it was good news for cyclists.

She added: “The £60,000 scheme will facilitate safe access on to Castle Way, joining up with the existing cycleway.”

According to a council report the section of Viaduct Estate Road, from the point where the Caldew Cycleway emerges up to Bridge Street does not legally accommodate cycling at present.

It was identified as a significant weak link in the Caldew Cycleway.

To avoid lengthy and costly processes involving Network Rail, cycleway provision had been designed which used the existing carriageway on the ‘ramp’ as a contra-flow facility for cyclists.

This design had been approved by Network Rail and by Sustrans.

The revised layout features a 3.5m wide traffic lane heading down the ramp and a 2m wide contra-flow lane up the ‘ramp’ for use solely by cyclists.

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