Tarmac Cycle Path the Last Straw for Lake District Activists

By Gary Cutlack on at

One local council in the Lake District has turned on the group in charge of managing the national park, with the enraged bureaucrats of Keswick Town Council passing a vote of no confidence in operators of the Lake District National Park Authority.

Tensions over the running of the park -- centring on repeated but ignored calls to ban access to non-local 4x4 vehicles tearing the land up for fun -- have been simmering for a while, but the latest thing, the final straw, the salad-option-at-midnight, the thrown milkshake of despair, is a decision to reinstate a cycle path using fangled modern surface tarmac.

Councillors and residents feel the LDNPA is putting commercial interests first, with the authority's rights of way committee particularly enraging locals. Pressure group Friends of the Lake District says the park managers have "...missed an opportunity to place conservation of natural beauty at the heart of its activities" with the rebuild of the old rail line cycle path from Keswick to Threlkeld, and is pressing ahead with calls for a Traffic Regulation Order to ban recreational vehicles from the crumbliest, flakiest of pathways and tracks; and the council appears to be onside too.

The park disagrees and says the new cycle path is a "...once in a lifetime opportunity to create a route that is truly accessible for all, be they people with limited mobility, young children, cyclists both traditional and electric, runners or walkers," and performs the key safety objective of removing cyclist traffic from the nearby A66. [Guardian]

Image credit: LDNPA