Funding linked to new supermarket will go towards extending Connect 2 cycleway

Supermarket operator Sainsbury’s has pledged £370,000 of funding to extend a cycle route in Carlisle ahead of the opening of a £40 million store in the Cumbrian city.

According to sustainable transport charity Sustrans, the funding, which extends the city’s existing Connect 2 cycle route, will pave the way for further development of the network, with further finance being released once it has been finished.

Carlisle City Council recently approved plans for the chain’s proposed supermarket in the Caldewgate area of the city, and says that the new infrastructure will provide “element 3” of the Connect 2 project, and will enable cyclists to travel off-road fromDalston to the north side of Castle Way, according to the News and Star.

Hugh McDevitt, Labour councilor for Denton Holme, welcomed the proposals, saying: “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.” He added: “It will help bring the city closer together.”

According to council planning documents, “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.”

Additional finance provided by the supermarket chain, which will begin construction of its store, expected to open early in 2012, next April, will be spent on highway and “public realm” improvements.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.