Missing cycle link forges ahead

Published on: 23 Oct 2014

Plans to create a new bridleway along Grasmere lakeshore have been given the go-ahead by Lake District National Park's rights of way committee.

Meeting in Grasmere, members made the decision after walking the route, which runs to White Moss.

It follows extensive consultations and surveys and although the need for a cycle way to the village was uncontested, the lakeside stretch has seen concerns raised about safety and disruption to walkers.

Committee chairman, Colin Barr, said members had carefully considered all the points raised before reaching a decision.

He added: "It is important Grasmere joins the existing cycle network and this was the only feasible route. All users will ultimately benefit from what will be a beautiful bridleway and the completion of a missing link."

Park management leader, Steve Tatlock, explained although fears were raised that walkers would be put at risk by cyclists, there were no recorded incidents on Lake District paths.

He said: "We have a good record of creating and managing such routes and nationally there is a strong drive to establish them.

"Along with Cumbria County Council and the Lake District Partnership, we have been given £5million by government to reduce the carbon footprint of our millions of visitors. Part of this will be achieved through better connected cycle networks.

"We want to see trails linking villages, train stations and many of the area's key attractions. Grasmere is a crucial hub and, at present, poorly served by links to Ambleside, Windermere and beyond."

Steve said the committee's decision was an important step in encouraging significant numbers to get around central and southern areas of the national park without using cars.

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