July 2022 – Hawes, North Yorkshire.

Following on from the news item in the last magazine, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) has conducted a survey which, it claims, shows there is strong public support for developing a multi-user route along the six-mile stretch of former railway in Wensleydale, between Hawes and Garsdale. Nearly four out of five members of the public have backed a proposal for a new family-friendly, wheelchair-accessible route on the old trackbed. The YDNPA said 2,261 individual responses were received, with a minority of respondents – 19% – against the proposal on the grounds that they would prefer the former trackbed to be protected from any development. Currently there is no public access along the former branch line between Hawes and Garsdale. At a subsequent meeting of the YDNPA, members backed the proposal for a trail. The railway closed more than 60 years ago and Neil Heseltine, YDNPA chair, said: ‘Members of the Authority made the point that it was no longer responsible to keep waiting in vain for railway reinstatement and that the route should be used by today’s generation of walkers, horse riders and cyclists.’ (Cycling UK; YDNPA; RR)