Members of the South Lakeland locality board for Westmorland and Furness Council are set to recommend £99,999 from the local sustainable travel and transport fund goes towards the project to adapt the Arnside viaduct to enable walkers and cyclists to cross the Kent Estuary.
A report from Morecambe Bay Partnership says: “The proposed construction of a 5.5km raised boardwalk along the railway embankment and a cantilevered bridge over the viaduct creates a new leisure space that also limits the current harmful encroachment by people and dogs onto the highly sensitive saltmarsh. The enclosed trail route can play an important part in reducing bird disturbance and preventing damage to sensitive flora and fauna. These are all factors of concern locally to us and our partners Natural England and RSPB who are tackling this problem.”
“We believe the trail provides an opportunity to bring people closer to nature and educate them to care about the special environment and wildlife of the Bay.”
According to the report, feedback for the proposed scheme was ‘incredibly positive’ with 99.6% of the 6,000 respondents to the consultation supporting the proposal.
If the funding is granted, the partnership intends to progress the Arnside to Grange trail scheme to outline business case (OBC) status which is the planning phase of the project and acts as the final technical assessment stage prior to the initiation of scheme procurement.
The partnership will commission consultants to provide the technical engineering, environmental, active travel planning and place making expertise to achieve support for the scheme which provides a ‘compelling’ case for construction funding.
Members of the South Lakeland locality board for Westmorland and Furness Council are set to recommend the funding for the project on January 25 at Kendal Town Hall.