A new pedestrian crossing over one of Carlisle busiest roads is now fully operational.

The toucan crossing on Castle Way was switched on yesterday, meaning pedestrians can now cross the major four-lane, city route and drivers have another set of traffic lights to consider.

It comes after more than four weeks of work.

The street level crossing, for use by pedestrians and cyclists, was funded by Sainsbury's. At the time of building its Caldewgate store the supermarket giant agreed to provide money to fund public realm and transport-related improvements in the area.

It was constructed under contract by Cumbria County Council and project managed by Carlisle City Council.

The improvements also include a raise speed bump on neighbouring Finkle Street and Annetwell Street, and repaving work on Castle Way which is still on going.

The County Council have also carried out resurfacing work on Castle Way.

A spokeswoman for the city council said: “Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council have worked in partnership on the Castle Way Crossing scheme to provide a new toucan crossing over Castle Way together with enhancements to the paving adjacent to the signals.

"This scheme has been financed by developer contributions.

“County council engineers will be monitoring and adjusting the operation of the new signals to ensure they are operating efficiently. Drivers are asked to note the presence of the new crossing and observe the 30mph speed limit on Castle Way.”

The scheme had the support of some of key tourism partners including English Heritage at Carlisle Castle, Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life, Tullie House and Carlisle Cathedral.

Those in favour said it would reconnect the city and the castle, boosting the number of visitors to the castle, and that it would also help cyclists.

But plans prompted objectors to form a petition in a bid to have the controversial plans thrown out. It was signed by about 1,300 people who said there were already enough crossing on that stretch of road.