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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Sainsbury’s to fund Carlisle cycleway extension

Carlisle's newest supermarket chain is to fund a £370,000 extension to the city’s cycleway as part of a £1 million programme of investment in the area.

Hugh McDevitt photo
Hugh McDevitt

Sainsbury’s recently had plans for a £40m store in the Caldewgate area of the city approved by councillors, and as part of the scheme they’ve pledged to help extend the city’s existing Connect 2 cycleway.

In a huge boost to the city’s cyclists, it means that riders will be able to travel all the way from Dalston to the north side of Castle Way on special cycle paths.

And Carlisle City Council has also revealed that the new piece of cycleway would be “element 3” of the Connect 2 scheme – acting as a catalyst for further cycling development in the city.

Sustrans have said that once that element was completed more funds would be released to allow further sections of the Connect 2 scheme to be completed.

Denton Holme’s Labour councillor Hugh McDevitt is a big supporter of the scheme, which will give much better cycle access across the city to people living in his area, as well as Currock and Upperby.

Mr McDevitt said: “It will be brilliant for the schoolchildren and good for Carlisle as a healthy city. Parents would know their children were safe going to school because they won’t have to go through the city.

“It will help bring the city closer together.”

Planning documents released by Carlisle City Council state that “the cycle link involves the provision of a ramp from the northern side of Castle Way, leading down onto the old railway track and onto Castle Way itself where it would connect with a recently completed section of the cycleway, which is located to the rear of the tile distributors on Viaduct Estate.

“In particular residents in Currock, Upperby and Denton Holme would have easy access to the proposed store as well as the parks and places of employment located to the north of Castle Way.”

And Mr McDevitt said that as well as improving access for schoolchildren and shoppers, the city’s disabled would also benefit from an improved cycleway. “It will be great for people with mobility problems,” he added. “It will be really suitable for mobility scooters and everything.”

The rest of the money will see £260,000 spent on highway improvements, including improvements to the roundabout by McVities and traffic calming within Rigg Street – required to “deter motorists from using these streets as a ‘rat run’.”

The remaining £370,000 will be put towards “public realm improvements” along Caldewgate.

Sainsbury’s hopes to start work on the new store next April and open early in 2012, creating 500 jobs.

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