David Morris MP has reignited the Sedbergh to Kirkby Lonsdale cycleway plan, lending his expertise of securing Government funding for infrastructure to this exciting proposal., by securing a roadmap to enable the project to go ahead after 17 years of neglect.
David in his role as the Conservative Candidate for the new Morecambe and Lunesdale Constituency, which includes the ward of Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale, was contacted by Sedbergh resident Carole Nelson a few weeks ago to see if he would be interested in looking at the cycleway proposal which has been dormant since 2007 when a feasibility study into the route was completed by ARUP.
Carole contacted David as she felt he would be able to take the idea forward as his reputation for securing Government funding for large projects as the M6 Link Road and the Eden Project, leads into the skills needed to take on such a project. The Eden Project Morecambe received the highest Levelling Up allocation in the Country, £50 million, which was secured due to David’s efforts of securing funding for his community.
Since meeting with Carole a few weeks ago David has already engaged in a number of high level meetings with Transport Minister Jesse Norman and the Chief Executive of Active Travel England Danny Williams, to plan a way to take this proposal forward.
Speaking on the proposal David Morris MP said:
“The potential in the Sedbergh to Kirkby Lonsdale cycleway is huge. I have been approached to get involved with a large number of projects, but my rule is always to ask for a business plan or a feasibility study before lending my support to any project. When I met with Carole I was astounded that this was a ready made package with an extremely detailed business plan, I just couldn’t understand given the need for promoting cycling, especially in our rural areas where they are a great asset for tourism, that this proposals had been ignored and sat in abeyance for 17 years. Following my talks with both the Minister and the Chief Executive of Active Travel England a number of different funding pathways have been identified.
“The first and most obvious starting point would be to incorporate the route in the ‘Three Counties’ scheme, which is a funding bid, being jointly made by Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Forest of Bowland AONB, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Westmorland and Furness Councils, to fund access improvements in the mid- Lune Valley centred around Kirkby Lonsdale.”
I have already had a meeting with the Lead Member for Highways from Lancashire County Council and from their side in this holistic project, they believe that the cycleway fits in with the aims of the Three Counties Scheme.
I have requested to meet with the lead officers of Highways at Westmorland and Furness Council and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. For this economy boosting scheme it is imperative to get everyone behind this project. I will be supporting joint bids into Government where I can then champion this project to ensure the funding is awarded'