Carlisle Healthy City Initiative

Carlisle has achieved the World Health Organisation Healthy City Status which means that the City Council has made a commitment to work with other organisations towards improving the health of its residents. The Director of Public Health for NHS Cumbria has described Healthy City Status as “all about putting health at the centre of the decisions taken by public organisations in Carlisle - there is now a real opportunity to redevelop the city with health in mind in all aspects of everyday living”.

What you may not be aware of is that Carlisle City Council is in the lowest one-fifth of local authorities in England for four of five given health and deprivation indicators and that four of Carlisle’s inner city wards are in the twenty-five percent of the most deprived nationally. One of these is Belle Vue Ward where average life expectancy is only 73.5 years compared to Stanwix at 81.7 years. To put it bluntly, if you live in Stanwix you will on average live 8.2 years longer than someone in Belle Vue; not only that but you will probably have enjoyed a far healthier lifestyle for most of your life. Is this acceptable?

One aim of the Healthy City project will be to encourage both adults and children to exercise more, which is one of the keys to a longer and healthier life. Walking as a leisure activity is not only an excellent physical exercise, but it gives a sense of wellbeing, both for young and old. But unlike Stanwix and other parts of Carlisle, if you live in Belle Vue there is little access to a network of Public Footpaths to take you out to enjoy the countryside, away from the traffic. This is where you can make a real difference.

Support the opening of the Waverley Viaduct once funding becomes available and you will change lives. Its southern side  is located in Belle Vue Ward and once over the Viaduct the public footpath goes alongside the river. It’s flat, ideal for young and old, families and people with mobility problems. Children especially love riverside walks. The footpath goes as far as Rockcliffe with several shorter circular options. Opening the viaduct would also reinstate what was once one of Carlisle’s most popular circular walks, between the Waverley Viaduct, Eden Bridge and the Memorial Foot Bridge in Rickerby Park. This walk, except for one short section, follows the River Eden. Its re-opening would be welcome and fit in with ethos of the Healthy City project.

Since this page was produced a lot has happened and our plans have changed somewhat. We have had a lot of help from Cycle Carlisle and John Grimshaw, founder of Sustrans, whose January 2016 report can be accessed from this website. Click Here We now envisage opening the viaduct as a bridleway with both foot and cycle access. Providing a link across the river for the cycle routes from the north and for cycling commuters between Etterby and Belle Vue can only be of benefit to the Healthy City policy.