Residents are being invited to have their say on improvements to cycling, walking and wheeling routes in Barrow.
The proposals are part of ambitious plans to provide safe, healthy and environmentally friendly travel options across the town.
Westmorland and Furness Council has today (Friday, 19 May) launched a consultation inviting views on various design options for the cycling, walking and wheeling routes, which when completed will be part of a wider network that connects Abbey Road from Park Drive down to Ramsden Square, through the town centre and right across Walney Island from the promenade to Earnse Bay.
The consultation will run from 19 May to 9 June.
Two sections of the route are being consulted on, the stretch along Abbey Road and the route that crosses the northern end of Walney Island.
The alignment of both routes has already been agreed, following previous consultations on the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) in 2021 and 2022, and this latest consultation will focus on asking for people’s feedback on the designs.
The routes will connect residential areas with major employment and education sites such as BAE Systems, Furness General Hospital, Furness College and the town centre, as well as allowing better access to green spaces and the coast, with leisure-based route options around the edge of town and on Walney.
Councillor Neil Hughes, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet member for Transport, said: “We want as many people as possible to let us know what they think of the design options for the two routes.
“Barrow already boasts a strong history and culture of cycling, particularly linked to the town’s main employer at the shipyard, and many Barrow residents will recall the shipyard’s heyday when thousands of workers would commute to work by bike.
“The compact nature of the town and small travel to work area still creates ideal conditions for cycling, walking and wheeling, with most trips to work taking place within the immediate town to a small number of major employers.
“Barrow is again experiencing exciting times, with thousands of new jobs being created at BAE Systems, £25 million being invested through Brilliant Barrow Town Deal initiatives to create a network of new community hubs and unlocking major new housing sites and a new Barrow campus is being developed by the University of Cumbria, which will be home to 1,400 students.
“This is in addition to £17.5 million of regeneration projects in Barrow’s town centre thanks to the Levelling Up Fund scheme.
“But with thousands of new workers, students and visitors comes the potential for thousands more car journeys around the town.
“We need to think about the future and creating opportunities for different ways for people to get around Barrow.
“We want to build on that strong cycling heritage to create cycling, walking and wheeling travel options that are cleaner, greener and provide a safe and sustainable infrastructure for generations to come.
“We hope this will appeal to everyone from the commuters travelling to the shipyard, students travelling to university, schools or colleges and families going out for a ride at the weekend.
“Not only will this avoid the roads becoming clogged up by more cars, it will help improve overall levels of health and wellbeing and will contribute to fresher air and a cleaner environment for all.
“We now have the chance to look at the designs for the two routes and I would encourage people to have their say on the options and really shape this exciting opportunity.’’
There will also be three public consultation events during the consultation period, where people can drop-in, view copies of the plans and the consultation document and fill-out paper versions of the consultation.
The public consultation events will be held at:
Tuesday, 23 May 2023 - The Forum, 28 Duke St, Barrow-in-Furness LA14 1HH (12noon to 5pm)
Thursday, 25 May 2023 - Barrow Library, Ramsden Square, Barrow-in-Furness, LA14 1LL (12noon to 4pm)
Tuesday, 6 June 2023 - The Roundhouse, Biggar Bank, Walney, LA14 3YE (12noon to 4pm)
Key stakeholders, including disability and inclusion organisations, community and cycle user groups are also being invited to focus group sessions.
You can also look at consultation documents at locations in Barrow, including Walney Library, Barrow Library and The Forum. Documents will be available in these locations from Tuesday, 23 May.
It is the ambition of Westmorland and Furness Council to get more people cycling, walking and wheeling and that cycling, walking and wheeling should be the natural choice for everyday short journeys.
Cycling, walking and wheeling is good for our health and wellbeing, the environment and the local economy and supports Westmorland and Furness Council’s key Council Plan priorities on climate change, supporting sustainable economic growth and helping our communities to lead active, healthy lives.
The proven way of encouraging more of us to walk, wheel and cycle is by providing routes that are coherent, direct, safe, comfortable and attractive.
To encourage cycling, walking and wheeling, the council has established a cycling and walking programme to identify, develop and secure funding to deliver infrastructure improvements identified in the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs).
The LCWIP for Barrow identifies and prioritises future improvements to the area’s cycling and walking network over the next 15 years (2022-2037) and the new routes being consulted on are part of that programme, which has been supported by funding from the Brilliant Barrow Town Deal walking and cycling infrastructure project and the government’s Active Travel fund.
The objective of the work is to build high quality cycling and walking facilities in Barrow which meet the current best practice for infrastructure design, building a network of routes that provide links to residential, school and workplace destinations.
Infrastructure will be designed for all people of all abilities and ages so they can choose to walk, wheel or cycle with ease.
The consultation will involve engagement with a range of key stakeholders as well as the public and feedback will be used to help finalise the designs for the two routes.