March 2022. Garsdale – Hawes, North Yorkshire/Cumbria.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has announced its proposal to create a multi-user route or bridleway on the railway trackbed, thus precluding reinstatement of the railway for the foreseeable future. The Upper Wensleydale Railway (UWR) said in response that while it ‘has been aware for some time of the interest in a bridleway from Garsdale to Hawes, it has always been evident that co-existence with a reinstated railway on what was a single-track formation is not achievable. It is clear that, whilst a number of similarly attractive routes for a bridleway are feasible, the railway can only follow its original alignment. We are therefore concerned that the loss of opportunity to realise the wide-ranging benefits of bringing back the railway is not properly considered in the proposal.’ However, two funding bids by the UWR were both rejected, prompting the decision by the Park Authority to proceed to gauge public opinion on converting the trackbed into a bridleway. (Stuart de Boer, Jane Ellis) (