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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Viking Way route unveiled

A NEW £700,000 off-road route connecting Seascale with Gosforth aims to improve access for cyclists, walkers and horse-riders.

Eileen Eastwood: “Route has been a dream for 20 years”

By Mark White

It is designed to join two villages currently linked by a 2.5 mile road with no footway. A renowned accident blackspot on it is even referred to as ‘Coffin Corner’.

A planning application has been submitted to Cumbria County Council for the proposed Viking Way (a nod to the area’s Norse heritage) creating a new right of way.

Chairman of the project group and Copeland mayor, Eileen Eastwood of Seascale, says the much-needed route would provide tremendous benefit.

“We have so many cyclists going to work at Sellafield – it is not wide enough for them. I hope we can achieve this soon; it has been my dream for 20 years.”

The two parish councils of Gosforth and Seascale each put up £1,000 to support the planning application but there is still a funding shortfall on the project cost itself. It is hoped planning approval will help release funding bids, including one to the Copeland Community Fund. Sellafield and NMP are also being asked to contribute.

“We hope we can persuade them,” said David Moore, councillor for Seascale, “particularly as it would benefit them in terms of access to work for their employees and would help their two closest neighbouring communities. This is not just about joining two villages.

“It was disappointing that we were let down by Britain’s Energy Coast on some funding, but we are still aiming for a December start date. This would also open up the fells for cyclists and walkers arriving at Seascale by rail on the Cumbrian Coastal way.”

The new route would run alongside the road and provide a safer crossing point over the A595. Work would last about three months.

It will be an extension of the Sustrans national cycle network and also provide a pathway into the Lake District National Park from the railway station at Seascale.

Have your say

This is great news. A friend and I walked this route last month and the speed of the passing vehicles, coupled with there being no pavement made it quite a stressful experience at times. Hopefully cyclists will have consideration for pedestrians on the new route and at least give them the courtesy of a warning on the bell (two tings) when approxing.

Posted by David Scameron on 19 July 2014 at 14:28

Would certainly be a better use of NDA cash (ours as taxpayers anyway) than the huge amount invested in a local distillery development. But for now there is actually a safe cycle route from Gosforth to Sellafield Calder gate via Fleming Hall and Seascale Hall

Posted by Dave Siddall on 18 July 2014 at 21:17

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