Cumbria is set to be home to Europe’s first solar powered railway next year. A £5.5m scheme to extend and upgrade the Alston-based South Tynedale Railway is set to go ahead, including two major environmental projects. The upgrade won’t just benefit tourists but also run electric trains, powered by the sun, for everyday, all-year-round commuters. The volunteer-run railway will be extended to Slaggyford, just north of Alston, by 2016. It is hoped that by 2025 trains will run to larger towns such as Haltwhistle, encouraging commuters to leave the car behind. Steam trains will be adapted to be powered by processed wood waste.
Nurture Eden the award winning responsible tourism organisation seeking to encourage visitors to stay longer, spend more and show concern for the local environment when holidaying in Eden, is getting visitors to explore Eden on two wheels through its new ‘Cycling Eden’ project.
Rent an e-bike at one of the Electric Bicycle Network hire points and glide through the wonderful scenery of the Lake District. In the Lake District National Park, a 35-strong fleet of electric bicycles for hire are bringing the simple pleasure of cycling within everyone’s reach. It’s cycling, but not as we know it. Electric bicycles dismiss headwinds and flatten hills. Now everyone can enjoy the great outdoors on two wheels.
Plans to turn parts of the Lake District into a ‘hub for sustainable transport’ will bring 100 new jobs to the area, according to Cumbria County Council. A £5m government project has gained another £2m from operators in the area, bringing the budget to £6.9m.The four year plan will see new public transport and better traffic management to tackle congestion, the council said. The money will be spent on joining up passenger transport services, creating safe networks for walking, cycling and wheelchair use and also developing a system of pay-as-you-go electric bikes and low-carbon vehicles for hire. It will take place across the tourist hot spots of Windermere, Bowness, Coniston, Ambleside, Grasmere and Kendal.