Repairs Commence on Gatescarth Pass

Originally Published: May 2016 Words: Alan Kidd Pictures: ANDREW@FLICKR.COM, CC-BY-2.0
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ANDREW@FLICKR.COM, CC-BY-2.0

ONE OF BRITAIN’S VERY BEST RIGHTS OF WAY is currently being repaired - thanks to a £2500 joint donation by the Green Lane Association and Trail Riders; Fellowship. Following a landslip this winter, Gatescarth Pass in the Lake District faced a prolonged spell of closure; with limited funds available but extensive flood damage to address in its area, the National Park Authority was highly unlikely to be able to turn its attention to such a low-priority matter during 2016 at least.

The donation of £2500 includes a contingency sum which, assuming the cost of the repairs does not over-run, GLASS says it would like to be used on remedial work to hairpins on the Sadgill-Kentmere byway which links to Gatescarth at its southern end. With volunteers assisting the authority’s contractor and the summer season already here, the organisation is keen for the lane to be returned to a drivable condition as soon as possible so that the LDNPA’s successful permit scheme can be put back into action.

Just over a year ago, another lane in the Lake District was repaired after donations by motor vehicle users paid for work which the authorities said they couldn’t justify paying for.  Specialist work on walls adjoining the lane at Tilberthwaite cost in the region of £4000, which was raised by an appeal co-ordinated by GLASS.

At around the same time as the Tilberthwaite appeal, the Welsh government donated £200,000 to pay for extensive repairs on Waun Fach in the Brecon Beacons – which were required due to damage caused by walkers’ boots. Motor vehicle users who were angered then by the apparent double standards in the two cases may have been equally unimpressed to read reports in The Guardian that while they were putting their hands in their pockets once again this year to pay for the repairs to Gatescarth (which in theory they had already done by paying tax), the South Downs National Park was spending £35,000 on a campaign to encourage people to say hello to each other while walking in the area.

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