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Sunday , January , 17 2021
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Safer Shopping in Carlisle

Non-essential stores in England are now able to reopen.

We have been working with Cumbria County Council's highways team, Cumbria Police and local businesses to identify the pinch points in the city centre and support public safety.

Please see our Carlisle reopening - guide for businesses and shoppers.

Plan your journey

When visiting the city centre please plan ahead. Think about how you will be travelling and if you’re driving, where you’ll park and what route you’ll take into the city centre.

Carlisle’s city centre is a safe place to visit and as it is pedestrianised, provides lots of space for social distancing. There is likely to be queuing at shops, so please look out for signage and follow the guidance. This is for your safety.

City Centre officers will also be out and about to help and advise people.

Remember to Stay Local and Shop Local. Please support our independent traders.

Please read the FAQs for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please follow safe distancing measures and look out for signage. We are also asking people to be aware of all the latest public safety messages.

  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
  • Only visit shops with people you live with.
  • Maintain social distancing at all times wherever possible.
  • Wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible including public transport.
  • Bring along your own hand sanitiser. There will also be hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities when entering premises (to reduce the risk of transmission by touching products while browsing).
  • Keep contact to a minimum and try to use contactless payments if available.
  • Some shops will need to limit the number of customers, so you may be asked to queue outside.
  • Shop alone where possible, unless you need specific assistance.

Due to restrictions on social distancing, some toilets are closed. Temporary toilets were provided to coincide with the reopening of retail businesses but are no longer in place as hospitality businesses have now reopened. This has provided additional provision within the city centre.

We will also put in place hand sanitising points. These are located at various points within the city centre.

City Centre officers will be out and about to help and advise people, while police officers will look to ensure people are observing the safe distancing rules.

All our car parks are open and charges in place (free parking is available in the following car parks for NHS staff, care workers and NHS volunteer responders involved in the Coronavirus response: Castle Car Park; Sands Centre Car Park; Caldew Riverside Car Park; Viaduct Car Park and West Walls Car Park).

When using the car parks, customers are advised to follow social distancing guidance and if possible, pay by card or contactless rather than use cash and park in alternate bays. The majority of our car parks provide contactless payment options including credit/debit card, mobile phone using MiPermit, Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Overnight closures of Caldew Riverside, Castle and West Walls car parks have been reinstated. This prevents access or exit from the car parks each evening from 8pm to 6.30am the next day in Caldew Riverside and Castle car parks. West Walls car park closes between 11pm and 6.30am.

The locations of car parks can be found at:

On Street parking

Cumbria County Council's on and off street parking enforcement restarted on Monday 22 June, this includes issuing penalty charge notices in all parts of the county where motorists are not parking safely and legally.

Parking enforcement in the national parks and other tourist hotspots was reintroduced on 15 June following an increase in visitors to the area who unfortunately were not parking in a safe and considerate manner.

Drivers are reminded to display their parking discs and residents parking permits where appropriate. Charging for parking in County Council car parks also restarted again on 22 June. Free parking for NHS and care workers will continue as long as they display a valid ticket.

Disabled blue badge holders can park for free in any parking space in all of our car parks when displaying their blue badge and a clock disc displaying your time of arrival (a note stating your time of arrival is also acceptable). This allows up to three hours of free parking. Please note Marks & Spencer’s car park is a two-hour maximum stay.

Blue badge holders can also park in on street pay and display bays when displaying their blue badge. These are managed by Cumbria County Council.

You are encouraged to use a car, cycle or walk if you can.

The government has indicated that people should not use public transport unless it is essential. Buses and trains are available, but you need to check their timetables, routes and safety advice. Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport as of Monday 15 June.

For the lastest Stagecoach timetables visit

The Stagecoach App has also been upgraded with a a "Busy Bus" feature. The traffic light system shows people which services are less/more busy to help plan their journey. Further info can be found at

Taxis can access the city centre as normal.

You can cycle to the city centre and park your bikes at dedicated cycle parks/bays.

You should not ride your bike through the city centre.

You can park your bike at existing cycle parks/bays: the Civic Centre/Lowther St Car Park, The Lanes opposite Iceland, the south end of Scotch Street near the Natwest bank and Cumberland Building Society, Bank Street near the HSBC and Castle Street outside Crown and Mitre hotel. 

The County Council is also seeking to secure government funding to provide cycling improvements across the city. More details will be available soon.

Our street cleaning team will be cleaning the city centre on a more frequent basis. Please don’t litter; put your rubbish in the bins provided.

Please check the retailer’s website or for shops and businesses based with The Lanes Shopping Centre, visit

We have been working closely with businesses to ensure they are fully aware of the government guidance. Some useful links are as follows:

Carlisle’s indoor market will reopen on Monday 15 June.

You’ll see a few changes when you walk into the market. In addition to hand sanitisation points, there will also be one-way system to follow. Please look out for the signage and guidance in place. The food providers will be reopening their stalls as takeaways but following government guidance, there will be no seating areas.

For updates follow The Market Hall on Facebook.

The next open-air market in Carlisle will be held on Saturday 4 July.

City Centre map (click to expand)

 Contact Details

This A to Z of services list provides links to service pages alphabetically