PLANS for cycling and walking could make Whitehaven a healthier, safer place to be.

And the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan initiative has moved a step closer with a contribution from the county council.

At a meeting of Cumbria County Council’s Local Committee for Copeland on Monday, it was agreed that £15,830 would be given to fund production of a Whitehaven LCWIP.

Authorities and organisations are currently being asked to contribute to the production of plans, Cumbria LEP has given £5,000 and the NDA has also contributed.

Cumbria County Council endorsed the Cumbria Cycling Strategy in 2017 along with district councils, national park authorities and cycling bodies.

The strategy sets the context for the development of cycling infrastructure in Cumbria. And the council is now looking to develop a cycling and walking infrastructure plan for Whitehaven.

Plans are likely to be considered in any bids for Government funding but funding is needed to produce such a plan.

When the recommendation was made to contribute £15,830 from the General Purposes budget, councillors were in favour.

Labour councillor for Cleator Moor Frank Morgan said: “I’m supportive of this request simply because I think it is important for us to get some walking and cycling infrastructure.

“We have as a local community missed out on a couple of rounds of Government funding because we haven’t had any plans in place. Members will recall that being the case.

“I think it’s important but one of the reasons we don’t have this in place was because of the absence of a Local Plan.

“I think it’s incumbent on Copeland members to see that we get contributions from Copeland Borough Council as well as ourselves.”

Conservative councillor for Egremont Chris Whiteside said: “If Frank is moving that I will second that. There has indeed been a lot of constructive discussions going on and I’ve had very strong representations both from St Bees Parish Council and from Egremont Town Council that they’re very keen to see this project proceed.

“This is something that very much has to be a joined-up approach. And indeed we need to link the various communities going out from Mirehouse through to St Bees and Moor Row and then out to the area that Frank represents in Cleator Moor and I think we need to invest this money to make sure that happens.”