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Call for new pedestrian crossing on Carlisle's Castle Way

Carlisle's Castle Way could see a pedestrian crossing created outside Tullie House, in addition to the Irishgate footbridge and Millennium underpass.

Castle Way photo
Castle Way

City councillor Elsie Martlew has written to county council leader Eddie Martin asking for a crossing over the dual carriageway at the end of Castle Street.

She argues that Castle Way is a barrier setting the castle apart from the city centre. A crossing would lessen the sense of separation and slow down speeding traffic.

Mrs Martlew said: “With the Carlisle Northern Development Route open and the road works in Caldewgate complete, now is the time to bring the castle back into the city.

“A pedestrian crossing would open up the bottom of Castle Street and make the castle an integral part of the city.

“The castle is the jewel in Carlisle’s crown.”

Castle Way opened in 1973 as a section of an inner ring road that was never completed. Various attempts have been made to lessen its impact.

The Irishgate Bridge, part of the Millennium Gateway project, has been beset by problems since it opened in 2000.

It was shut completely for 10 months after engineers found serious corrosion last year.

Carlisle Renaissance tabled an £8.4m proposal for an “iconic public square” in the middle of Castle Way, linked to either side by pelican crossings.

Consultants wanted to replace crash barriers with trees and lighting columns to transform Castle Way into a “ceremonial boulevard that befits Carlisle’s rich heritage”.

The scheme never got off the drawing board.

Mrs Martlew said: “We would never build Castle Way where it is now, in front of the castle. It’s a throwback to the 1970s.

“I can remember when we developed Tullie House.

“I was in favour then of trying to sink the road in a tunnel but the idea didn’t get anywhere and diverting Castle Way is too expensive.

“The most feasible solution is to create a pedestrian thoroughfare across the road.”

Mrs Martlew represents the city centre Castle Ward and is also the city council’s environment portfolio holder.

She has the backing of William Whalen, a fellow Labour councillor for Castle on the city and county councils.

And she has the support of city council leader Joe Hendry.

Dr Hendry said: “I have concerns about the underpass. It is fine during the day but when it’s dark it isn’t a pleasant place. A pedestrian crossing is an inexpensive solution – simple and straightforward.”

Carlisle’s Conservative MP John Stevenson also agrees with Mrs Martlew. He wrote to the county council last year asking if a pedestrian crossing was feasible.

His request was passed to the Carlisle local committee.

Chairman Cyril Weber said: “The committee’s decision was that we would take no action but review the matter after the Carlisle Northern Development Route and the new Sainsbury’s had been open a year.

“We wanted to see what effect they had on the amount of traffic using Castle Way.”

The road opened in February while Sainsbury’s began trading two weeks ago.

Have your say

Apologies if I am wrong.....

Weren't barriers put up along Castle Way many years to separate the two carriageways to STOP pedestrians crossing over the dual carriageway because it was such a dangerous road (was it not soon after a pedestrian got knocked down by a Police car??? Sorry memory fading her...)

If I recall it then became "an offence" to climb over the barriers to cross the road ? (At least that was what was threatened at the time!)

(Since Sainsbury's reorganised that whole stretch of the road.. the barriers have disapeared - which now gives the impression it is safe to just walk across anywhere!)

The speed limits along that road have not changed - so how is it that it can be considered "safe" to put in a crossing - especially at the stretch where it gives the impression it is okay to speed up because there is no houses etc.

Can I suggest Elsie and Mr Henry do like the Street Pastors do - and go down into the underpass during the hours of darkness and help to escort pedestrians along the dimly lit underpass - that their council built in the first place (and we all said at the time it was a dismal place and nobody would use it.....)

Posted by Carlisle resident on 18 January 2013 at 15:26

The ultimate in sheer stupidity showing a complete lack of understanding of the basics of traffic flow on a commuter route. Nothing less than sinking Castle Way below ground level and making a proper pedestrian precinct would be acceptable to join the castle to the city again.

Posted by D M Faulder on 20 November 2012 at 22:25

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