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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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West Walls traffic ban plan likely to be dropped

Proposals to close Carlisle’s historic West Walls to through traffic have been revived – but look set to be shelved almost immediately.

West Walls photo
West Walls

Cumbria County Council has earmarked £400,000 to be spent on “pedestrian improvements” to West Walls between now and 2015.

It is understood that the plans involve closing the street to vehicles from St Cuthbert’s Church to a point north of the cut to Paternoster Row and making cosmetic improvements.

This would still allow vehicles to access Marks & Spencer, Heads Lane pay-and-display car park, and the houses in Abbey Street that back onto West Walls.

However, the council’s Carlisle local committee is likely to ditch the scheme when it meets on Monday.

Former MP Eric Martlew first suggested closing West Walls to through traffic in 2008.

Carlisle Renaissance agreed and drew up plans but the scheme was dropped a year later.

Mr Martlew still believes it is a good idea.

He said: “Sooner or later somebody is going to look at West Walls and say ‘there’s great potential’.

“It’s on the city wall, it has been neglected but it should be part of the historic quarter.

“Closing it to through traffic could be the start. It’s an area that’s crying out for sympathetic development.

“You couldn’t imagine a city like York ignoring such potential.

“When people come up from Town Dyke Orchard car park they should be stepping into the historic quarter.

“What they are doing is stepping into a run-down area, especially towards the Irishgate Bridge.”

Carlisle highways and transport working group considered the West Walls scheme again last month.

But its recommendation to the local committee, which has the final say, is that it “should not be pursued”.

Brampton councillor Lawrence Fisher, a member of the working group, said: “We came to the conclusion that the £400,000 could be better spent elsewhere.”

West Walls is the last remaining section of the defensive wall that circled the city.

It is reputedly haunted by the ghost of a 17th-century cavalier.

Have your say

The council should have gone ahead with the West Walls Escalator that was planned in I believe 1960's if they really wanted to rejuvenate the historic quarter. They then cited easier disabled access etc from Town Orchard/Viaduct car parks. Today they are no longer both filled to capacity. They might have reason to close the lane to traffic with increase in footfall which they mostly likely favour in the Carlisle Lanes with car parking. Fast forward to rejuvenating as with recent fire station and more? The West Walls is suitable for narrow carts, or cars of 1950's vintage not today's speedy white vans. Another Lane that warrant's attention urgently before an accident happens is the Stainton link with the CNDR road. Both are unsuitable for fast two-way traffic.

Posted by Royl on 30 July 2012 at 22:35

Mr Whitehead did you read the article?
"Cumbria County Council has earmarked £400,000 to be spent on “pedestrian improvements”"
"However, the council’s Carlisle [County council] local committee is likely to ditch the scheme when it meets on Monday."

Get it??? Cumbria County Council is responsible for highways everywhere and in all circumstances. Carlisle City Council carries out some maintenance on some roads on *behalf* of Cumbria County Council, but *never* on anything else.

Posted by Anon on 28 July 2012 at 22:21

View all 14 comments on this article

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