Work is officially underway on the ‘Solway Coaster’, a 14.1 km-cycleway between Allonby and Silloth, which Tetra Tech helped design.
The cycleway will join onto the already successful cycleway from Maryport to Allonby. This coastal towns link will form part of the National Cycle Network Route 72 (Hadrian’s Cycleway), which runs from Ravenglass, Cumbria to South Shields in Tyne and Wear.
As the contract manager for Allerdale Borough Council, Tetra Tech has assisted with detailed design, ecological surveys, planning and common land applications.
Nick Bunn, transport director at Tetra Tech, commented: “This scheme meets an important need for cycling and pathway infrastructure, especially during the pandemic. We are pleased to have supported a high-quality cycleway enabling more rural tourism in this scenic location.”
The Council is delivering the project for the Silloth-on-Solway Coastal Community Team (CCT) – a mix of public, private, and community partners. Once complete, it will deliver on objectives in the 10-year Council Strategy of creating ‘Thriving Towns and Villages’. It also supports a ‘Cleaner, Greener Allerdale’ by encouraging more journeys by bike and foot.
While the path prioritises cyclists, off-road sections will support pedestrians too – 4.63 km of the new route will be ‘off road’ and 9.47 km ‘on road’. The ‘on road’ sections will use the existing carriageway and include appropriate signage, markings, and line painting.
Cllr John Cook, Allerdale’s Executive member for leisure and tourism, said: “Cycling has always been a popular activity in this part of the world with people coming from far and wide to sample what we have to offer. But now more than ever as people are increasingly looking to get active outdoors in plenty of space, areas like Allerdale are well-placed to cater for these types of visitors.
“When complete this cycleway will be a great addition to our already fantastic offer in Allerdale and I can’t wait to have a go on it myself.”
To fund the project, the CCT secured £1m from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Coastal Communities Fund and £250,000 from DEFRA’s Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), which is part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Some funding will be used to resurface the existing section of the path between Maryport and Allonby, improving the cyclist experience and accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Eric Wright Civil Engineering began practical works on 8 September. The project is expected to finish by the financial year’s end.