Frustrating lack of progress on cycle track
Sir, It has been in the news lately that the Government is thinking of reopening railway lines closed by Beeching. Though not a victim of Beeching, the Eden Valley Railway Trust has been trying to reopen the line between Warcop and Appleby.
Back in 1995 the trust was formed with this idea in mind and opened talks with British Rail (BR). However, this was overtaken by the privatisation of the railways and did not progress very far.
In 1998 the trust was told by BR that it had sold the line and 250 miles of other disused trackbed to a cycle path charity called Sustrans. The trust started talks with Sustrans and an agreement was reached for us to buy the first 2.25 miles of the line outright, which we did in 2004, and that we would share the remainder of the line with Sustrans, which wished to build a cycle path from Appleby to a point on the road to Sandford.
Since completing the deal, the trust has reopened 2.25 miles of the railway from Warcop. This has been done without the aid of grants, with the railway raising the money through running trains and donations. We now run a service every Sunday from April to October.
Unfortunately, Sustrans has so far declined to talk to us about the remainder of the line and done little to progress building the cycle path. This is despite the trust requesting meetings to talk about our ideas over the years since 2004.
We want to get the railway through to Appleby, believing it will be of benefit to the town and the Eden Valley in terms of tourism. Yours etc,
(Vice-chairman,Eden Valley Railway Trust)