CUMBRIA’S newly-appointed bicycle mayor is hoping for a shift in attitudes from local government and from business.

Last month a bicycle mayor support group was established, which will help to champion the use of bicycles for journeys under five miles.

Richard Ingham was elected as mayor following an election last month and has since met with local councillors, including the leader of Cumbria County Council, Stewart Young.

He has been pleading his case about two key areas that he believes are instrumental in promoting cycling.

Mr Ingham commented: “We need the cycling infrastructure joined up. By that I mean you could get on your bike at Kingmoor Park and you could cycle all the way to Kingstown Road, into the centre of Carlisle and then out the other side to where you live.

“We only have bits at the moment, it is not joined up. We need a dedicated cycle lane on every throughway in and out of the city.

“We need employers to encourage people to travel to work by bike and on foot. Employers can benefit so much by doing this, first by not needing as many car parking spaces and the fact the workforce will be much more motivated and sickness and absence rates will drop because they will be healthier.”

It is now time, says Mr Ingham, for big employers to take the lead. He explained: “They can make a difference. They can provide somewhere to put your kit, somewhere to put your bike.”

Mr Ingham recently met with bosses at the Sellafield nuclear plant, who expressed their support for the idea.