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Appersett Viaduct between Hawes and Garsdale Station Wendy McDonnell

Views sought on Hawes-Garsdale bridleway proposal

Tuesday 29 March, 2022, by News Release

People are being asked for their views on the creation of a ‘family friendly’ bridleway along a former railway line in Upper Wensleydale.

This new bridleway would provide a safe secure space for families to use for cycling, walking and horse riding and create a level route for those with limited mobility.

At a meeting of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority held today, Members approved the principle of creating a multi-user route between Hawes and Garsdale Station and asked that a survey be carried out to determine the level of public support for it.

The survey will be available until Friday 22 April, with the findings made public in the summer. The issue will then come back to a meeting of the National Park Authority for further consideration.

Neil Heseltine, Chair of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “It’s important the public now have their say, and we have launched an online survey to collect those views.

“We have the chance to provide a safe user-friendly environment for local people and visitors to experience cycling and horse riding away from a busy, dangerous road network, and to develop Upper Wensleydale as a cycle hub by bringing this major capital investment to the area. 

“The question isn’t whether we can develop this family friendly route or reinstate the railway – sadly, little progress has been made on the latter over 40 years. The question is whether we should take the opportunity to develop an accessible bridleway or continue to protect the line of the former railway in the hope that, at some future date, someone will have the means to develop a line between Hawes and Garsdale”.

The report discussed at today’s National Park Authority meeting is here, the feasibility study is here, and the survey is available here until Friday 22 April 2022.

Picture of News Release

News Release

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority


179 Replies to “Views sought on Hawes-Garsdale bridleway proposal”

  1. Simon Godden says:

    About time! It has always been a no-brainer to open up this route. A sure-fire way of bringing visitors to Hawes in a sustainable environment friendly manner. Passing through this beautiful scenery under your own steam would bring immense pleasure to thousands.

    • Brian Jones says:

      Rail is by far the most environmentally-friendly way of transporting relatively large numbers of people. And you need to ask yourself, how would any walkers, hikers and so on get to the bridleway in the first place? Probably by car . . . or train . . . Also, the chances are that many of the horse riders will be local people, and not tourists, a fact that needs to be borne in mind when thinking about the long-term prosperity of Hawes and surrounding district.

  2. Annette Hirst says:

    If the railway could be reinstated that would obviously be of very great benefit to Wensleydale by bringing people without cars. If there is no chance of that happening then the bridleway is a great chance to make use of it and keep people safe away from traffic. Surely if the railway was reinstated at some future time then a pathway to one side could incorporate a foot/cyclepath.

  3. John riley says:

    Support bridleway

    • Brian Jones says:

      Rail is by far the most environmentally-friendly way of transporting relatively large numbers of people. And you need to ask yourself, how would any walkers, hikers and so on get to the bridleway in the first place? Probably by car . . . or train . . . Also, the chances are that many of the horse riders will be local people, and not tourists, a fact that needs to be borne in mind when thinking about the long-term prosperity of Hawes and surrounding district.

  4. Tim Moon says:

    I strongly feel that the reinstatement of the railway should be given priority. 1. A bridle way can easily take alternative routes. 2. As the world progresses environmentally friendly modes of transport are of paramount importance. Placing emphasis on road transport is foolish. 3. Rural transport is poor at best. Increased access to Carlisle and Leeds is desirable. 4. Progress is slow because of costs. Look at the Welsh Highland to see what can be achieved with funding.

  5. Vivien Baker says:

    I want to see the railway line protected for future use as such. It cannot be restored on any other line than the one that is already there without a great deal of expense while a bridleway could be put in on another route.

    I imagine changes would have to be made to the old railway line to make it fit for people anyway – eg the tunnel – and people with mobility issues are probably only going to be able to access it for a short way from each end if there are no entrances part way along which will require parking and new paths to be negotiated with landowners.

    Fencing to keep children and dogs, horses and adults for that matter within a bridleway would be an issue. Farmers may well prefer a railway rather than the possibility of animals being attacked by dogs, or people using the landscape as a toilet, or for barbecues etc.

    How much money would a bridleway cost anyway. If that money could be put towards reinstating a railway line the the benefits of could be seen in transporting visitors and locals without their cars, plus an alternative for goods when the road needs to be dug up.

    I could go on, but from me it’s a Nay.

    Yours faithfully,
    Vivien Baker

  6. Peter Brown says:

    The Yorkshire Dales National Park have never supported public transport or anything that would benefit the local community The committee are all off comers

  7. Les Leggett says:

    I would normally be in favour of making use of a former track bed for other purposes, but in this case I oppose the creation of a bridleway. There is much support for the re-instatement of a railway, being under Network Rail control or as a Heritage Railway. Once the track bed has been redeveloped as a bridleway that would put an end to plans for a railway. Bridleways can be developed anywhere, but a railway can only run along the former track bed.
    A railway would improve transport links to Hawes increasing tourism to the area, whereas a bridleway would do nothing for the area.
    I ask those in authority to use some common sense with this issue and support the railway line option.

  8. Mark Downey says:

    My comment is about usage and the forever removal of the possibility of providing a transport link to Hawes.

    Sure a track bed is perfect for a bridle way but how much use would it get? Cannot see it being a draw to many tourists just another route for those in the area that already ride.

    Yes little progress made in the last 40 years has been made to reinstate the rail, but developments around the country (and in particular Wensleydale) have seen expansion in train usage. If Hawes does not wish to stay as somewhere reachable reliably only by car then removing any possibility of an alternative is short sighted. Putting Hawes back into the rail map should be the priority towards a greener dale.

    The track bed should continue to be preserved and not repurposed for something that will benefit few and rule out forever reinstatement.

  9. Sue Wood says:

    I think the bridleway/walkway is a good idea and would be beneficial to Hawes and Garsdale. We need safe places for people to walk, cycle, ride horses off the busy A684.

    • Brian Jones says:

      Thinking abut the medium- to long-term benefits to, and prosperity of, Hawes and the surrounding area – the chances are that many of the horse riders and other bridleway-users will be local people, and not tourists, a fact that needs to be borne in mind when thinking about the long-term prosperity of the district. Without adequate public transport, Hawes may well suffer the well-documented fate of many other outlying towns and villages in being cut off from the ‘outside world’.

    • Paul Haywood says:

      Of course, safe access for walkers and cyclists are vital. However, most walkers come into Wensleydale by car and, apart from the small number of hardcore cyclist, many often bring their bikes by car. There are already many paths and bridleways for use for day trippers. The only environmentally acceptable access into Wensleydale for visitors is by train, otherwise there will continue to be a constant stream of traffic, all needing car parking space.

  10. Neil Anderson says:

    I think this is an excellent idea and one which will attract visitors to the area- ad evidenced by the success of similar schemes elsewhere. Whilst I can understand the disappointment of those wanting a railway reopening I don’t feel there is any realistic possibility of that. We should grasp the opportunity we have for a walking and cycling route and focus on linking it to nearby routes to maximise the potential for car free travel

  11. Tony Stevenson says:

    I strongly support the reinstatement of the railway between Hawes and Garsdale. This I am sure would bring large numbers of tourists to the area. I am sure provision could be made to have a walk way and bridal path alonside the railway. Only the reinstated railway could lessen the road traffic in the area. Yes the cost would be high but in the long run it would prove to be a good investment .

  12. Mr. James Cheers says:

    Why prevent the reinstatement of the railway when other routes for the bridleway are possible other than shear bloody mindedness? If reinstated, it would provide access to greater numbers of the public and bring income to the area. Once lost, the railway route the railway line will never be reinstated. Is this the real reason for choosing this option?

  13. John Richardson says:


    My view is that the old railway route would make an excellent multi use route from Garsdale head station down to Hawes. The viaducts along the route are magnificent structures and worthy of preservation and protection- in particular the old track bed across the viaducts should be cleared of all sapling vegetation so that the structures are not damaged by water ingress via the roots. I speak as a Chartered Civil Engineer and I used to live in Richmond and I am very familiar with the state of the structures having taken a close look in 2015. I accept that the dream of reinstating the railway is probably ` a bridge too far` but what a wonderful easy path it would be to link the national rail station across to the Pennine way and Hawes and would encourage additional walkers and cyclists into the heart of the Dales- maybe even to support the Little White Bus! I wish the project every success. Just make sure you cost it properly including up keep of the structures.

    • Paul Scott says:

      I think that the track bed should be preserved for possible future rail use. Removing as much road traffic from National Parks should be a priority and railways have their place in helping this.
      I would say though that there should be a time limit before the rail route is considered for other options, perhaps a decade.

  14. Mrs A D Allison says:

    This sounds like a fantastic idea! A safe space for everyone to use and enjoy.

    • Brian Jones says:

      Being transported into Hawes from relatively-remote places such as Carlisle or Leeds by train is also safe, as well as being extremely environmentally-friendly. The number of visitors to Hawes via the bridleway would be extremely limited when compared to that achieved by rail.

  15. Bruce Michael DREW says:

    I oppose the use of the track bed from Hawes to Garsdale as a “family friendly” bridleway. The track bed should be retained for future reinstatement as a railway. If the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority are interested in developing tourism within Wensleydale, they ought to realise that use of the track bed as a railway will bring greater numbers of visitors into Wensleydale as well as offering better connections to the Manchester area to those who live in Hawes.

  16. Richard Collins says:

    There is only one railway route from Garsdale to Hawes.
    There is an organisation, the UWR, attempting to re-establish the line.
    Government closed the original line and now throws everything in the way of anyone who attempts to bring it back.
    How about trying to help the UWR re-establish the line?

    • David Anthony Byrne-Bellinger says:

      It makes so much sense to restore the railway.
      It was built for a real purpose, and still has one!

  17. Kay Bruce says:

    As the Government are promoting “Active Travel” a new bridleway in the area would encourage families to exercise outdoors, thus helping them to stay physically and mentally healthy. Cutting costs to the NHS

  18. PAUL NETTLETON says:

    From past experience, once any type of railway infrastructure has been demolished or built on it is extremely difficult or virtually impossible to reinstate that route. Therefore, if there has been a policy to protect that trackbed, then that should be adhered to and not changed.

  19. Dennis Hill says:

    This is a fantastic idea, as it should encourage visitors to the area to use a safe off road well maintained bridalway/pathway for a variety of users of all ages, promoting health and a love of the outdoors.

    • Brian Jones says:

      Rail is by far the most environmentally-friendly way of transporting relatively large numbers of people. Once they get to Hawes, they would be able to enjoy their love of the outdoors in exactly the same way, as well as bringing much-needed trade to the area.

  20. Mr G H Butler says:

    While understanding the proposal, understand there are other options for bridleway, but once progressed the track bed will be lost forever. Feel that in future enlightened times the need for rail/intergrated travel will become more important and the trans north link from Northallerton westwards will have more strategic importance.

  21. Fred Harrison says:

    I do not support the current proposal. I would agree that a new family friendly route is desirable, however the proposed route compromises the potential to re-instate the railway at a future date. The question is not either/or as stated. The council should look for the new bridleway route, or come up with a design that allows for the railway and bridleway to co-exist.

  22. Dr A Sharma says:

    My previous comment appears to have disappeared.
    I am strongly in favour of reinstating the railway between Garsdale and Hawes. As others have noted, a bridleway can be established anywhere whearas the railway can only follow its original alignment.
    The A684 is a winding [albeit highly scenic] and somewhat dangerous road. Anything that reduces the number of cars along it as well as in Hawes itself has got to be a good thing.
    The viaduct at Appersett as well as the other structures on the line should be repaired at the earliest opportunity and Network Rail involved in relaying the track.

  23. Derek Coulson says:

    Why not provide both! Hardly rocket science and would really benefit the dale.

  24. Steve Birkin says:

    I support the creation of a bridle way as this would produce the active support from both residents and visitors. A railway development sounds good but would be both expensive and time consuming. On the other hand a brideleway would be cheaper and much faster to complete.
    I think a lot of work needs to done with landowners who are probably very negative about either option at the current time.


  25. Rob Macdonald says:

    There’s already a reliable public transport service between Garsdale and Hawes – 25 minutes and synced with the train service. All it needs is an electric bus to be more sustainable than a train could ever be.

    A re-instated train is a gloriously romantic notion – but it wouldn’t improve local connectivity and holding out for it (it wouldn’t happen for decades) simply denies a benefit that can be delivered in the very near future, that would provide a genuinely new amenity.

    So I support the bridlepath for the many opportunities it will create.

    • Brian Jones says:

      Rural bus routes and services are being axed far and wide, as you will probably already know from watching news reports on TV, so the present public service may well follow suit. A railway is much more permanent, and makes a statement that a bus route never could. And let’s face it – given the fact that there is an alternative route for a bridleway, both that and the railway can be created.

  26. William Graham Wilkinson says:

    I for one am in favor of re-establishing the railway, why NOT help the UWR with this task, I am sure more people would come to this area for a longer stay than a couple of hours, this would be of more benefit to the local economy.

  27. Bill Oldroyd says:

    Having walked in the Garsdale area many times in recent years, using the station every time and the Little White Bus on one occasion, I would say the usage of the bus, particularly mid-week, illustrates there is currently very little demand for public transport, certainly insufficient for a train service between Garsdale and Hawes.

    On the other hand Leeds to to Hawes by train would take about 2 hours. This would be almost competitive with driving from much of West Yorkshire. (And, if there were trains from Manchester/Bolton/Blackburn to the Dales, competitive times to driving from parts of Lancashire/Manchester.)

    There is already a footpath that parallels the upper part of the route. I find this rather rough and lightly used. A new bridleway on the old railway would be much easier and likely encourage far more walkers to walk along the route. I therefore support the idea.

    • Brian Jones says:

      Rural bus routes and services are being axed far and wide, as you will probably already know from watching news reports on TV, so the present public service may well follow suit. A railway is much more permanent, and makes a statement that a bus route never could. And let’s face it – given the fact that there is an alternative route for a bridleway, both that and the railway can be created.

  28. David Anthony Byrne-Bellinger says:

    For goodness sake!
    It makes so much more sense to restore the railway.
    People strove to build it because it had a real purpose.
    It still does!!!

  29. Mike Allenby says:

    The proposed bridleway is a fantastic idea. Many benefits to tourism and for local use as a commuter or leisure route. One of the only flat routes in the Dales this would encourage an active holiday for all abilities. A truly accessible route which would allow prams, wheelchairs, young and old, and those with mobility restrictions access to the countryside in a safe traffic-free environment which they would otherwise struggle to get. It runs through some stunning countryside and will be a destination route for many new and returning visitors to the Dales.

    The bridleway would benefit the whole of the Dales and provide an easy link from the existing rail connection at Garsdale then to Hawes, Wensleydale and beyond. This will benefit the existing Settle to Carlisle line boosting visitor numbers who wish to access the Dales on day trips or longer stays using rail to access the Dales. Not only an asset for the Dales but for other towns and rail stops which feed Garsdale Station.

    In other parts of the country these trails on disused railway lines prove to be great assets and promote health and well-being for all who chose to use it. The trails are free of charge to use and cause zero pollution. Encourage people out of cars and onto bikes, ebikes, on foot, or horseback. The bridleway is an obvious and relatively cheap way to allow access to the Dale and utilises a route which would otherwise be prohibitively expensive to reopen.

    A flat easy to use trail with no obstacles that can be used by absolutely anyone free of charge and runs through the best scenery in the country. Yes please!

    Great job YDNPA

    • Brian Jones says:

      How would people get to the bridleway? Yes, by public transport! A rail link would also run through the best scenery in the country, and be easy to use. Also, in the event that the weather is bad, many of the bridleway users may well secretly wish that there was a rail service available . . .

    • William Hunt says:

      If the trails are intended to promote good health through physical exercise in a safe environment then the last thing we want on them is e bikes.

  30. Steve Dennis says:

    Is there an economic case to open the rail line..if not please go with the Bridleway. There is evidence from other tourist area’s that Rail Trails have huge benefits for the local economy..Monsal, Tissington, Camel trails are just a few of many such examples. Developing this as a multi use trail is a no brainer really.

    • James Coulson says:

      Of course there is an economic case for the railway to be reinstated: fossil fuel supplies in the future will mean cars have to be electric – and the infrastructure is not there for long-distance electric car travel. But an electrified rail line simply has to be the best future of transport around the more rural parts of this country!

      If the Government spent less on vanity projects like HS2, then a fraction of that money could completely reopen our railway line, all the way from Northallerton to Garsdale: and thus, on to Carlisle and even further to the Northwest and the West of Scotland – thus taking some pressure off the East Coast mainline.

  31. Alec Horner says:

    I would point out that whilst alternative routes for the multi-user route are feasible, the railway can only follow its original alignment. It is a matter of deep concern, in view of the considerable public support for reinstatement, that the loss of opportunity to realise the wide-ranging environmental, transport, social and economic benefits of re-instating the railway to Hawes and Upper Wensleydale is not properly considered in the proposal adopted on 29th March by the Members of the Authority.

    In this age of the Climate Emergency, the National Park faces significant challenges of balancing the needs of tackling climate change with the needs of millions of visitors many of whom travel to and around the Park by car. The multi-user route would have very limited public transport access and would encourage yet more car traffic. The National Park Authority should be promoting the advance of a sustainable transport initiative and the multi-user route proposal is NOT compatible with the radical solutions that this challenge requires.

    If the Wensleydale line is eventually re-instated for its full length it would encourage sustainable tourism which would benefit the whole National Park and give potential access to many parts of the country, not just cities such as Leeds, Manchester and the surrounding areas, but also the whole of the East Coast main line through an effective interchange at Northallerton.

  32. Brian Jones says:

    The idea of creating a bridleway on the railway track bed from Garsdale to Hawes seems to be somewhat short-sighted, particularly in view of the fact that alternative routes for a bridleway are available.
    The reinstating of the railway between Garsdale and Hawes would provide far more significant and long-term financial and cultural gains to the area, and would open up Hawes and the surrounding region to much-needed tourism in a far better way that a bridleway ever could.
    After all, a bridleway is little more than a thoroughfare used by people riding on horses and which now, at best, serve a wider range of users, including equestrians, hikers and cyclists. When compared to the potential transportation of people by rail, the resulting footfall from a bridleway is rather meagre.
    It is now widely accepted that rail will be the transport of the future for moving people around, and this fact alone would virtually guarantee prosperity for this region of the Yorkshire Dales.
    A bridleway would only be used by a relatively limited number of people, unlike the railway, which would undoubtedly bring tourists into the Yorkshire Dales from a very wide area, and which would eventually benefit everybody concerned.
    We live in Bradford, and getting to Hawes by rail from here may only involve one change of train. Reaching Hawes via any other means would be either inconvenient (the bridleway) or polluting (by car).
    These are the certainties, and creating a bridleway on the track bed, especially in view of the fact that alternative routes are available, will be a decision that time will prove was not the best one for the Yorkshire Dales tourism industry. Indeed, history will reveal the destruction of the track bed to have been an erroneous and badly-thought-out policy.
    For the sake of the businesses in Hawes and the surrounding region, and the future prosperity of all concerned, you really do need to reconsider this decision.

  33. Hazel Cambers says:

    The track bed should be protected for the future expansion of the railway and the Park Authority should be working with network rail and wensleydale railway to secure this expansion.

    The Park Authority has declared a climate emergency and that should involve looking at ways of reducing non essential car traffic in the Park. Extending the railway should be part of a key part of that stratergy.

    Finally, there are many bridleways and footpaths in the Park so we do not need more.

  34. Marion Tasker says:

    I would like to point out that disabled people, such as myself, like to enjoy the Yorkshire Dales – including Hawes – as much as anyone else. However, I would not be able to access its beauty, other than by the use of either my own transport or by train – there are so few buses from the Leeds/Bradford area that they are not worth considering. Also, I want to do my bit to save the planet, and therefore trains are indeed the way forward in this respect. In other words, reinstate the railway from Garsdale to Hawes – it makes sense. A bridleway would exclude me rather than include me.

  35. Mrs P Adams says:

    I’m definitely all in favour of a new bridleway, where all abilities will be able to enjoy the great outdoors in a safe, traffic free environment. Apart from anything else, it would be the less expensive option, which could be completed much quicker. My choice …..the bridleway!

    • Brian Jones says:

      The number of people who would benefit from a bridleway is far lower than the number of people/visitors who would benefit from a rail link/service. And as far as the expense is concerned, the old adage of speculating to accumulate holds well with the idea of restoring the railway.

  36. Jo Ackroyd says:

    A multi user bridleway through the stunning Yorkshire Dales National Park? YES PLEASE!
    As a family we regularly enjoy trips along the Monsal, Tissington and High Peaks trails and can vouch from experience the success of such trails – abandoned rail tracks brought back to vibrant life.
    As I hear proposals are made to create a similar track through the Dales I’m filled with excitement! To us as a family, there’s nothing better than spending our holidays exploring on safe, traffic free routes, taking in beautiful scenery at our own pace on our bikes.
    We love visiting your beautiful dales, with a railtrail on offer, thats yet another reason to bring us back.

    • Brian Jones says:

      A railway through the stunning Yorkshire Dales National Park? YES PLEASE! And there is facility for both the bridleway and the railway. It’s a total no-brainer!

      • Paul Butler says:

        Why do you keep saying that? Read the papers. There isn’t a facility for both. The alternative means a different route entirely – nowhere near this proposal.
        There is no chance of a railway being re-instated in teh lifetime of anyone commenting on this thread. 60 + years of absolutely nothing = nothing. Put today’s generation first for a change. Get on with the multi use route.

        • William Hunt says:

          Today’s generation, and subsequent generations, will not thank us if we allow our environment to be continuously degraded by the pollution and congestion resulting from ever-increasing dependence on road transport. Schemes such as the Border Rail in Scotland and the restoration of the Exeter – Okehampton link with its benefits to Dartmoor National Park are showing that rail can have a vital role to play in our transport needs.

    • William Hunt says:

      Rather ironic that you want to enjoy cycling on traffic-free routes yet in order to get to the proposed leisure trail your coming by car means that you would be part of the traffic problem which you’re so keen to avoid. As someone once said,’ no snowflake in an avalanche ever feels guilty.’

  37. Jack Brown says:

    I think this is a brilliant idea because it will be a family friendly scenic route through Wensleydale. It is easy access for many users with different ages and abilities. Personally I would use it as a bike trail when I come on holiday to Hawes!!

  38. Jo Birbeck says:

    Coming originally from an area with a significant number of these ‘family friendly’ bridleways, I would warn … be careful what you wish for! For a start, horse riders are banned because of safety issues, so you’ve already effectively barred one sector. The ‘multi use trail’ soon becomes the privilege of the lycra clad cycling gang, and other users use it at their peril. Do you really think Sustrans will readily give up a cycle path for reinstatement of a rail line if funding is eventually found?? No chance! Once the track is lost, it will be gone forever. Furthermore, rather than reduce car dependency, all these users will have to drive to the start as there is, of course, no viable public transport link. Parking is limited at Garsdale so there will likely be more tarmac required to build a nice big car park to cater for all this additional vehicles. As an organisation which has declared a climate emergency, YDNP should consider the impact of all this additional traffic in a dale which hitherto has managed to avoid being urbanised, it is one of the few remaining true and unspoilt areas, let it stay that way. All efforts and funding should be put towards reinstatement of the railway for benefit of locals and visitors alike, and not to a project which is little more than another tourist attraction.

    • M Briggs says:

      You don’t need parking at Garsdale – you catch the train to get there from either end of the Settle-Carlisle aka “a viable public transport link”!!??. Then you get your bike out of the guard’s van, like in the olden days, and pedal 9 miles or so to Hawes, spend your money, maybe stay overnight and pedal back. Easy. No extra cars in the Dales necessary.

  39. Jack Brown says:

    I think it is a brilliant idea because It will be a family friendly scenic route through Wensleydale. It is easy access for many users with different ages and abilities. Personally I would use it as a bike trail when I come on holiday to Hawes!

    • Brian Jones says:

      You can still use your bike if you bring it with you by rail. And a scenic railway journey is a wonderful family-friendly way to travel!

  40. Sam Lindell says:

    I think the idea of a Bridleway would be the best, it could be used by everyone. The cost of a railway would be far greater and impact more on the environment during construction.

    • Brian Jones says:

      Trains can be used by everyone – even those who are unable to walk long distances. Also, not everyone can ride a horse (or even afford to), and many disabled people are unable to cycle. A train is by far the better option for bringing visitors into Hawes and the Dales – and encompasses all those with a love of our county.

  41. Ed Cleasby says:

    The idea of a railway link is no more than an expensive, romantic and uneconomic notion. Much as l love the idea of a return to a steam train vying the six mile line, it would be no more than a 90% empty desiel. Far better and healthier as a cycle, walk link …l’ve walked it, it’s a lovely trek with Cotterside a great back drop.

    Given the current condition it could be done without spending a lot for no great time delay.

    • Brian Jones says:

      Trains can be used by everyone – even those who are unable to walk long distances. Also, not everyone can ride a horse (or even afford to), and many disabled people are unable to cycle. A train is by far the better option for bringing visitors into Hawes and the Dales – and encompasses all those with a love of our county.

  42. Robert O'Neil says:

    What a fantastic opportunity we have to reinstate the complete branch line from Hawes Junction (now Garsdale) to Hawes. There is no doubt this branch line will be a success as a tourist attraction and a spin off from the current Settle & Carlisle railway. There is just a few minor obstacles to cross, however the tunnel and viaduct are in good shape, and it will bring extra passengers to Garsdale and the S&C with the market town of Hawes benefiting from increased trade. The visitor Centre at Hawes will also benefit and history will be created from the Railway perspective. If a walking pathway can be included that would be good however there are already plenty of walks in the dale, I believe priority should be given to the Railway after all the reason there is a trackbed is due to the Victorian Engineers and the Midlan Railway. I would support the railway on a regular basis and assist the UWR to achieve their goals as an active working member. I appeal to the National Park to support the Railway Project and bring trains back to Wensleydale and Hawes.

  43. Albert Wilkinson says:

    The first priority must be the retention of the trackbed as a future rail link to Hawes and beyond from Garsdale . This would provide sustainable transport to bring future generations of visitors to the area. It may be possible to incorporate a safe cycleway adjacent and/or provide cycle transport on future trains. This would benefit the whole of Wensleydale and beyond for the future.

  44. Ian A Watson says:

    I’m definitely in favour of a bridle way. It will provide a safe traffic free environment through the centre of the beautiful National Park. Being relatively flat it will allow access to some of the less abled who wouldn’t normally be able to benefit from being out among the wonderful scenery and wildlife. It would attract visitors from far and wide, providing a welcome boost to the local economy.

    • Brian Jones says:

      Trains can be used by everyone – even those who are unable to walk long distances. Also, not everyone can ride a horse (or even afford to), and many disabled people are unable to cycle. A train is by far the better option for bringing visitors into Hawes and the Dales – and encompasses all those with a love of our county.

    • Paul Haywood says:

      A bridleway would “attract visitors from far and wide”. But how do they arrive? By car. Bikers (apart from those few hardcore long distance cyclists) would also bring their bikes by car. Not only do they clog the roads, adding to pollution and danger, they need car parks which also exacerbate the problems.

  45. Gareth Bugler says:

    I have no issue with either option but let’s try & put aside the emotion & think about facts. If it were to become a multi user path where is the footfall coming from to boost the economy in Hawes? I agree that a small number of people would arrive by train at Garsdale to use the walk/cycle however the numbers of cycles able to be carried on the rolling stock currently in use on the railway (156 & 158 units) do not cater for sufficient numbers to show any marked increase in visitors. Even the more modern 195 units will not cater for much more. Are a vast number of people really going to want to walk or cycle from Hawes to Garsdale where there is really nothing to do except visit to Moorcock Inn or catch a train which is taking people away from the local economy of the Hawes area. The business case for railway re-instatement doesn’t really stack up currently but it will remain as an option for the future. As has been pointed out once a multi user path is created the railway option is lost forever. I think the time & energy should put into conversion of the route East from Hawes towards Aysgarth being converted into a multi user route. This route has places en route that provide far more scope for tourists to visit Bainbridge, Askrigg & Aysgarth. Whilst this also means the option for reopening to rail in the future would gone, the likelihood of it ever being viable as a rail route is very remote anyway. Who knows eventually the Wensleydale Railway may extend to Aysgarth which would give an even greater draw for tourist numbers.

  46. Mike Ward says:

    Very much support the multi-use path, I would certainly use it, and would like to see the work completed in a way that preserves existing structures.
    Reinstating the railway sounds good – anything that reduces private vehicle use is good – but would cost so much it seems very unlikely to ever happen.
    Multi-use path for me.

    • Brian Jones says:

      Reinstating the railway would preserve existing structures and would, if needed, ensure they are kept up to standard. As far as the cost goes, the outlay would be proved to be worth it when footfall increases and the businesses in Hawes enjoy the benefits. Rail is widely acknowledged as the best and most environmentally friendly way to travel, and is often looked on as the transport of the future. The railway would help to ensure the prospects and viability of Hawes and the surrounding region.

  47. “Action for Yorkshire Transport” campaigns for better transport across West and North Yorkshire. We support the use of this route in the long term for the reinstatement of the railway. The use of it as a bridleway is good but it should only be a temporary benefit.

    The reinstatement of the railway would bring the Railway Back to Hawes and would involve the reinstatement of the Garsdale to Hawes branch of the Settle to Carlisle Line for operation by through services from Manchester and East Lancashire via Hellifield and Settle. Leeds, Bradford and the Aire Valley would be reached by change of train at Hellifield.

    This would provide a huge advantage to this area in connectivity and economically. It would help reduce the traffic levels on local roads and provide benefits for the environment through less air polltuion, including green house gasses.

    The reinstatement of railways takes a long time, but that is not a good reason to abandon this option, the advatages of it are too good to miss out on.

  48. George Sidebottom says:

    The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority appear to have interpreted the recent Dft decision to mean that reinstatement of the railway line will never again be considered.

    In future years, governments (or the composition of government) will change, government transport advisors will change, and more enlightened administrations might be in place.

    If the YDNPA decide not to protect the trackbed of the line from development, and if at some future date a new proposal to reinstate the line is put forward, that option will no longer be available.

    A future proposal might envisage the use of a battery powered light railcar (perhaps with a cycle-carrier trailer car) to run a shuttle service between Garsdale and Hawes, connecting into a battery powered bus network, to transport visitors throughout Wensleydale and Swaledale.

    A high proportion of visitors to the Yorkshire Dales live in a polluted urban environment, and escape to the countryside to pursue their leisure interests. When these urban dwellers, using congested roads, eventually reach their destinations, they are often dismayed to find the Dales village greens and streets filled with motor vehicles, a scene familiar to them in their daily lives. A bridleway will result in even more motor vehicles heading for the area.

    The trackbed of the Garsdale to Hawes railway should continue to be protected from development, and an alternative route for a bridleway should be surveyed, and negotiated with landowners.

  49. Colin Brown says:

    In my view, protection of the historically important railway route between Garsdale and Hawes is of paramount importance.There is no other potentially affordable or practical route for the railway line to follow, whereas I have no doubt that other routes for a bridleway are possible.I believe that the benefits of a railway link from Garsdale to Hawes and thence down Wensleydale to Northallerton are self evident. The local population would gain swift and easy access to all parts of the dale and larger centres further afield, while tourists could visit the beautiful countryside easily and in comfort by train.Freight could also be delivered quickly and cheaply by rail.The use of motor vehicles on the narrow and often congested dale road network would be reduced.Surely we should be bending our energies to restoring the line from Garsdale to Hawes and thence to Northallerton?

  50. Sue Stokes says:

    Please keep to your green credentials YDNP. We understand why you want to keep cars coming into the Dales when you get so much revenue from car parks! The railway would reduce the number of cars coming into the Dales. There is already the Swaletrail bridleway / multi user cycle trail which hasn’t had to use a previous railway track. Please support the railway proposal and get an alternative route for another bridleway / multiuser path usable by those already here.

  51. Paul Whittle says:

    I strongly support continuing protection of the railway route – the only truly all-weather, fully accessible means of encouraging visitors to the area. The restored railway has to use its original alignment, whilst an alternative bridleway could make use of a variety of alternative routes.
    Pursuing both must surely make sense.

  52. Marten Lougee says:

    The track bed must be protected for future rail use, not as suggested.
    We must go forward, if this becomes a multi user track rail will be left for ever. Multi user tracks sound wonderful but in many places cycles and pedestrians do not mix especially in hilly areas. Transport is poor in much of Wensleydale, the mini bus does not serve enough Leeds/ Carlisle trains.We need cars off the roads and trains taking the strain. Please do not be short sighted, support what the National Park has supported before

  53. Doug Masterton says:

    I am greatly against using the railway track bed other than for the reinstatement of the line. There is no shortage of other paths for walkers and the railway would be accessible for far more people and therefor a more inclusive benefit.

  54. Adam O'Neil says:

    I feel that a fantastic opportunity to reconnect a link between the main line and the Yorkshire dales must take priority over yet another cycle path/multi user bridleway etc. Re-instating this link will be putting back the original purpose of the line which was to move people and goods both to and from the area. With more Footfall comes more opportunities for local businesses to maximise on tourist trade. Also worth noting a commute from the area to larger towns such as Carlisle or Manchester could be feasible allowing better access to employment opportunities etc. lot more pro’s for the line being rebuilt than cons. It will be a huge opportunity missed if this gets paved over and lost to a walkway etc

  55. Debra Bushby says:

    This would make a fantastic multi user trail in a beautiful area making some lovely countryside more accessible. Many are thinking of walking and riding but bridleways like this are also accessible by mobility scooter and wheelchair and due to being old railways are relatively flat opening up a new experience for many who can’t use traditional rights of way.
    The trail would be similar to the Monsal trail in Derbyshire which attracts thousands of visitors a year to enjoy exercise in the outdoors in relative safety and ease. There is an opportunity for a cycle/mobility hire business here too in addition to the extra revenue through local eateries etc. Tourists will always use cars but strategic areas of space left for parking along the trail may actually reduce traffic problems in Hawes as people can park outside the village and walk or ride in!
    Totally in support of the bridleway proposal.

  56. Rodger Harden says:

    I believe, like many others, that the best option for this route is to retain the possibility of it becoming a railway once again. Although I use a cycle for recreational riding, there are many options to do this, but no other options for railway reinstatement in this area.
    I am sure that future generations will not forgive us if we close off the possibility of the railway ever reopening . A more proactive attitude from the YDNPA to support reinstatement could really help, not just leaving it to volunteer groups.

  57. Kevin Tattersley says:

    Need to reopen the railway between Garsdale and Hawes – a direct service between Leeds and Hawes would bring in many visitors plus would allow Hawes area residents access to job opportunities over a wider area.
    Opening it as a pathway would just increase the number of vehicles in the area.

  58. Jim Walker says:

    Horses are more flexible than trains!
    Surely the bridleway can find another route. If it is on the old railway then the route can never be revived. This may seem unlikely right now but this is a forever decision.

  59. Paul Marchant says:

    Don’t turn the track into a bridleway, get the railway reinstated!

  60. David Incoll says:

    Rail investment is about to be significantly reduced and existing services are already been reduced in rural areas so the chances of reopening the line are negligible. Cycling and walking are sustainable and safe routes on former rail lines have proved very popular in other National Parks. Lets support the proposal and create a safe and beautiful route rather than leave a Victorian legacy to decay.
    There is room for both a railway and path if the former were ever to be rebuilt -precedent Meldon to Okehampton-Dartmoor National Park

  61. Brenda Peacock says:

    Walkway, bridleway cycling path, sounds great

  62. David White says:

    The former Wensleydale Railway has consistently been promoted by the Yorkshire Dales National Park as a potential economic, visitor and public transport corridor, along with the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle railway. Reinstatement of a branch line from Garsdale to Hawes would be the first step in achieving that longer term objective for Wensleydale and should be the National Park’s priority.


    What about the landowners who have spent thousands of pounds buying back the track bed from British Rail and developing and improving the land. Should they not have a say what happens to their land that they legally own?

  64. Allan Mirfield says:

    I think it is a great idea, like the cinder track on the east coast. Reinstating rail would need millions- from where?

  65. Neil Sutcliffe says:

    There are lots of other bridleway and cycling routes already available in the Dales. Adding another would merely increase road traffic in the area. We need planners with very long vision here (30yrs+). Reinstatement of the railway would be the most environmentally sound use of the track. This could be some way into the future and could end up as an electric light transport system rather than a traditional railway. All these possibilities are lost once re-purposed as a bridleway. Protect the trackhbed.

  66. Derek Flockton says:

    It is disgraceful that the destruction of the vital track bed resource is even being considered. Once again the thought of a busy road (A684) being too dangerous for cyclists, walkers and horse riders prompts the idea of rewarding motorists by removing other users. The roads are safe if vehicles are driven safely. No part of the A684 is safe to drive at a speed of 50 or 60mph. Twenty is plenty in villages and 30mph is the maximum safe speed elsewhere. We need far more public transport. I personally am barred from much of the Dales National Park because I have no access to a private vehicle and The Dales National Park only seems interested in more and more cars clogging up villages and polluting the air. Authorities need to join forces with the Wensleydale Railway Company to lobby the Chancellor and constituency MP Rishi Sunak to divert a miniscule part of his climate wrecking road budget to enable the rail link to be reinstated to to Garsdale in the west and Northallerton to the East. Then you could welcome tourists by rail to from anywhere in country, bringing disabled people like me to your many beautiful villages, with an integrated public transport facility to allow me to enjoy parts of the dales without a rail station nearby. But no, you want to ban me and instead encourage yet more SUVS to bring their fancy bicycles, cycle a couple of miles and then claim they are environmentally aware! In the meantime, Neil Heseltine should resign for even considering the destruction of the rail bed, when the climate crisis dictates that reinstatement of railways has to be a Number One priority.

  67. Mike Dalby says:

    I believe that the most desirable position is to reinstate the rail link from Garsdale to Hawes as it would enable a greater number of visitors to the area without additional car usage. Services from Settle (or further away) could be advantageous to the whole area and make more use of the Settle to Carlisle route which is a lifeline to the Dales.
    A bridle/cycling/waking trail would not bring in the same level of tourists.

  68. James Wood says:

    It’s easy to walk between Hawes and Garsdale mostly on existing footpaths with no need to use the former railway. I did this walk last year. All that’s needed is some improvement at the Hawes end so as to avoid some of the road walking. It should be easy enough to provide additional footpaths from the western edge of Hawes to get you to the former railway.
    Just because the old rail route is there doesn’t mean you have to make it into a footpath, whatever people sitting in an office may think looking at a map. Better to reinstate the railway, to give Hawes a rail connection (maybe through trains to Skipton or beyond ?) and cater for more passengers on the Settle-Carlisle line, thereby encouraging more people to use public transport (better for the environment) and hope they’ll leave their cars at home.

  69. Ian Griffin says:

    I think it should be reinstated as a working railway at least up to Hawes, it would open up the prospect of people getting to school and work and take more vehicles of the roads,I think WRA should try to get some grants and financial support to get it open ASAP.

  70. John Cooper-Smith says:

    The railway route between Northallerton and Garsdale should be reopened in its entirety as a railway (open as far as Redmire at present, by the Wensleydale Railway). Converting the section between Hawes and Garsdale to a bridleway would scupper this, as has happened to other similar schemes in other parts of the UK to reopen lines lost under Beeching, such as Rowsley to Miller’s Dale. The loss of such traditional, scenic railways is a national disgrace, especially with tourism having become such an impotant industry.

    For those wishing to walk/cycle/horseride in the area, the land (apart from dwellings) should all be made public access, as would be the case in Scotland. Doing this would not only facilitate these activities but also remove a most unpleasant factor in the visitor experience increasingly evident in recent times – abuse from hostile landowners. If the Yorkshire Dales were 100 miles further north, there would be the universal right to roam that is so refreshing for visitors to Scotland. It’s about time the North Yorkshire landowners were made to realise that there are other people in this world who want to savour the area without fear of unpleasantness.

  71. Michael Denholm says:

    Boeing a ‘multi purpose’ path on a former railway trackbed sounds (and reads) ok, but would seriously – if not terminate – the Wensleydale Railway’s eventual goal of re-connecting Northallerton to Garsdale. Besides, most ‘multi purpose’ users would no doubt arrive by road, adding to congestion and pollution in the dale. Re-open the route as a railway!

  72. Roger Hardingham says:

    As s a rail supporter, I do of course feel some support should be given to reinstating the railway back to Hawes. Branching off from the famous railway at Garsdale would have obvious benefits. There are of course various options if Sustrans is involved by having a railway AND a walk/cycling route alongside each other, thereby solving most requirements?

  73. Francis Pate says:

    Surely NOT ANOTHER bridleway. The dales are already well provided with them, most very rarely used by anyone. The most important matter is to get the rail link restored as soon as possible which would be of enormous benefit to Hawes and the Settle to Carlisle line.This proposition must be rejected.

  74. Roger Ely says:

    I would support the bridleway but ONLY if it is not a case of either/or and the rail route continues to be protected and earmarked for a future reopening. With the popularity of the S&C route and Hawes itself, the Hawes – Garsdale section is a prime candidate for reconnection to the national network.

  75. Gary Belshaw says:

    I do not agree with the bridleway, the line should be preserved for a future railway and all efforts should be made to reopen the line from Garsdale to hawes, with the future being used to connect to Aysgarth then Redmire. There are plenty of footpaths in that area of outstanding beauty getting people in and out of the dales without cars clogging up narrow roads with too few car parks and not only that there is not a good regular public transport system up the dale. The other thing to to consider is carbon emissions more traffic more problems, a future rail network in some form or another Wensleydale Railway, West Coast railways or British railways or a combination of all three

  76. Chris Shuttleworth says:

    The Railway should be reinstated,
    More people would benefit from that.
    In France all disused railway lines are protected to stop development which enables them to be opened up again if required.
    Funds should be made available for the line to be reinstated either by Network Rail or the Heritage Sector.

  77. William Bateman says:

    Let us take a look at what has happened since the closure of the Great Central route, which was done for the same reasons as those which led to the destruction of the Wensleydale line. It would have been the basis of a high Speed link from Birmingham to London, and at the time of closure it was said to be a route of strategic national importance and that the tracked and substructures would be preserved for possible future reinstatement. Instead of that the land was sold off piecemeal, so making it impossible to reinstate and now that circumstances have changed, whereas the GCR route could have been developed at relatively little cost we have the ongoing situation of the construction of HS2 to replace it at phenomenal cost and with much disruption. With every year that passes the trackbed of the Garsdale-Hawes branch deteriorates further so the cost of any possible reinstatement is escalating, so if it is going to be done at all it should be done now. I would love to see it reopened, in fact I would love to see the entire route fom Garsdale to Northallerton reopened and operated using low-cost vehicles such as the Pacers recently obtained by the Wensleydale railway, which are cheap to operate and were intended for use on routes such as this. Steam would be picturesque but wildly impracticable in real life. In other parts of the country Heritage lines have been encouraged and backed by the tourist Boards to attract visitors, and have been very successful at doing that. The Wensleydale Railway could be extended to cover the rest of the route, much as happened with the Welsh Highland Railway, which was in much the same condition of neglect.

    On the other hand, how much traffic would the reinstated short Hawes to Garsdale stretch carry railway carry? The cost of rail travel these days is such that it is only taken as a matter of necessity, To take a family anywhere by train means taking out a second mortgage. How many people will travel by train to Garsdale just to walk to Hawes? Who will use the bridleway? Probably people who have travelled to Hawes by car. I cannot picture hordes of commuters clamouring to travel between Hawes and their employment in Leeds every day As things are likely to be for the foreseeable future the branch would carry little passenger traffic and little freight, so would be of no real benefit and would lose money hand over fist, so being a burden on whoever operates it, which was why it was closed in the first place. Regretfully, I have to consider that on balance, the bridleway would probably be the better option, mainly as financial considerations seem likely to be the deciding factor governing whether anything will happen at all, and such use would at least help to preserve the historic and interesting structures such as the viaduct and the tunnel before they collapse while the bickering goes on and they are are lost forever.

  78. Martyn Griffiths says:

    The National Park needs to effectively manage it’s funding to co-ordinate a well balanced transport system covering electric vehicles to enable charging points in all settlements for both buses and private cars. Safe and accessible cycling and footpaths and horse riding bridleways.

    This should include helping to reinstate the railway and not lose this established albeit mothballed route through the dales. A bridleway on other underused footpaths could be organised.

  79. Terry Wood says:

    40 years to reinstate a railway is about par for the course in this country!
    I believe that reopening this line would be of great economic benefit to Hawes and surrounding area. Running off the Settle & Carlisle line it would be popular and profitable all year round.

  80. Felix Schmid says:

    The potential for the restoration of the railway is strong because:
    (a) it is a relatively short stretch and most of the structures and embankments / cuttoings are still in place;
    (b) the area is very attractive and access by public transport is poor;
    (c) a link to the Settle and Carlisle line would stimulate tourism in Hawes.
    Mixed use (foot, bicycle and horse) bridleways are always leading to conflicts between different users.

  81. Derek Slater says:

    I agree with Action for Yorkshire Transport’s views. Not only would reinstatement of this much-missed line be of immense benefit to the county’s visitors and from beyond, but would also provide another rail route for east-west/west east freight traffic, removing heavy vehicles, congestion and pollution from our roads. Freight could move across country from Hull via York and from Liverpool or Manchester, and also Holyhead, providing a new rail link to Northern Ireland and Eire. Just think of all those massive 40ft containers on our roads. Let’s not repeat the bad mistakes of the past, for example to Bridlington’s dire cost when most of the cross-country lines to this popular resort were closed after the Beeching savage cuts. Today, the only way rail passengers can reach Bridlington is via Hull-York, or York-Scarborough and then travelling up or down the coast to the resort! Only a bureaucrat could come up with such a short-sighted solution!

  82. Martin Underwood says:

    I am very much in favour of the whole route from Northallerton to Garsdale being reopened to rail use. In the mean time, as much as possible of the Redmire to Garsdale route should be open to foot/bicycle/horse use, with the provisio that this should be done in such a way that it does not prevent subsequent opening to rail.

    Until rail usage is required, the width of the trackbed should, as far a possible, segregate foot, bicycle and horse users, to “encourage” walkers not to stray into the path of cyclists who want to cycle at a sensible speed (eg up to about 15 mph).

  83. Mr Nigel Bill says:

    It is essential that the longer term future is recognised and not just a short quick adaption as a bridleway.

    It has been seen in the last 3 or 4 years that many of the branches closed under Beeching are now being looked at with more realisation of how the Dales can be improved with a rail network.

    Do not prevent the branch being reinstated in the future.

  84. D Stuart says:

    The route should be protected for future railway use, i.e. what it was designed for in the first place! The whole attitude of government is totally different now to 40 years ago and re-opening closed railways is very much on the agenda. Hawes would benefit far more from having the railway back than a walking/cycling/horseriding route which would either only be used by locals (to what extent?) or visitors coming by car, on already overcrowded inadequate roads.

  85. Ted Parker says:

    An interesting array of comments , sugestions and ideas, the rail re -instatement is the obvious choice, the hard work has been done, clearing and repairing the trackbed with todays modern technology would not be a hard job.
    It would be a an amazing investment to Hawes which is no longer a sleepy little village but becoming a vibrant and well known town of the Dales.
    But what an opportunity to realise the future of rural ‘Light Rail’ !
    A dedicated line from Garsdale – Hawes using a battery technology rail-bus, which would be pollution free and using renewable energy, Wind/ solar and possibly Hydro, (we get plenty of all 3 in the dales!)
    Unless EV Car battery capacity increases, Average range seems to be 150 miles, you may find not many cars on a day out could get to Hawes and back in a day!!
    The Rail option offers the long term solution for the future of Hawes and upper Wensleydale, and a perfect opportunity to becom the pioneers of rural rail travel, when eventually the petrol pumps run dry.

  86. Mark Allison says:

    I would support the idea of a cycle route/bridleway/ up to Garsdale. The main road is busy and potentially dangerous and our foreign friends (I speak of countries like France, Belgium and the Netherlands) have shown us what can be done with existing infrastructure. It could provide business opportunities along the track as cafes etc could take the place of stations. This idea is increasing in popularity in the Derbyshire Dales, why not in the Yorkshire Dales?

  87. Tony Hudson says:

    This proposal will clearly result in more vehicle journeys into the Hawes area with cars bringing in bikes and horse carrying vehicles thereby creating more pollution. When the railway was original built it was truly a remarkable feat of engineering and the track bed should therefore remain protected for future use as railway. It has always been the aim of the Wensleydale Railway from its creation to restore the link between Northallerton and Garsdale. The more recent activity of the Upper Wensleydale Railway also amplifies the benefits of restoring the link, not as a heritage railway but as part of the national rail network service. If this proposal is accepted, it means that the WR and UWR will not be able to achieve a joined up rail link.

  88. Mark Allison says:

    I would support the idea of a cycle route/bridleway/walking route up to Garsdale. The main road is busy and potentially dangerous and our foreign friends (I speak of countries like France, Belgium and the Netherlands) have shown us what can be done with existing infrastructure. It could provide business opportunities along the track as cafes etc could take the place of stations. This idea is increasing in popularity in the Derbyshire Dales, why not in the Yorkshire Dales?

  89. Nigel Smith says:

    Safeguarding the trackbed for reintroducing trains to the area is the best thing. Getting people to the area in an sustainable way and leaving the car at home. Altering the route for other uses will scupper any chance of reviving the railway as a through route.

  90. John Wilcock says:

    Reinstate the Wensleydale Railway single line from Garsdale to Hawes as soon as possible, with a fenced footpath parallel to the railway

  91. Tony Young, FICE, FCILT says:

    The reinstatement of the Wensleydale Railway in full to Garsdale must remain a key objective, even if a long term one. If the alignment is used for any other purpose, the railway will never be reinstated.

  92. William Hunt says:

    The restoration of a rail link between Garsdale and Hawes would eventually enable a full restoration of rail between the East Coast main Line and the Settle to Carlisle Line with the benefits which that would bring in transporting people and freight between parts of N.E. England and Lancashire. For this reason the link would need to take the form of standard gauge since any other form of rail would not allow continuity. If the possibility of a rail link is denied then access to the Wensleydale area of the national park will be solely via road with all that that implies for congestion, air pollution and inadequate car parking [OK let’s overcome the problems by covering the area with more car parks and having more road ‘improvement’ schemes so that more motorists can drive at ever increasing speeds on Dales roads with all that is implied for safety, or the lack of it]. Do we really want Wensleydale to go the same way as, for instance, Keswick in the Lake District, or even the Peak District where congestion charges are under consideration? Before celebrating the apparent success of rail trails in Cornwall and Derbyshire let’s keep in mind that the Tarka Trail in Devon faces relocation because it lies on a former track bed which is now required for restoring a much demanded rail link to Bideford. As rail is increasingly seen as the most environmentally favourable form of transport and more locations demand restoration of rail services how many more such trails will eventually be facing the same outcome and how long will it be before the Y.D.N.P. finds itself having to backtrack if its current leisure route proposal goes ahead? The DalesRail scheme on the Settle -Carlisle line has brought in countless visitors who might otherwise have come by car or not even come at all. The role of rail in the ‘Ride to Stride’ walking festivals, which have incorporated additional attractions such as folk evenings and talks, has brought considerable trade to the hospitality businesses in the S and C corridor and allowed visitors to explore the area without recourse to car usage, and the potential doubtless exists for such businesses in Wensleydale to benefit in the same way, something which a leisure trail would be hard put to match. Would the cost of reinstating the railway be so prohibitive when one considers how much is spent on road schemes? English national parks are poorly served as far as rail links are concerned and it is difficult to see how they can fulfil their conservation and climate commitments if they are only accessible by road.

  93. Philip Lomas says:

    The rail track should be kept open for the railway to come through, this will be a great tourist attraction joining the Settle Carlisle line with the east coast main line. Car journeys will be cut.

  94. Lee Senior says:

    I can’t support this as it will scupper the railway to Garsdale once and for all. Surely monies, energy and time should be channelled towards overcoming the problems that are stopping the rail extension, not creating this idea. There are a number of ways to walk from Garsdale to Hawes already on existing paths (admittedly not necessarily all are suitable for cyclists etc). They are fine walks, I’ve done them, as a keen walker and book author. Neither Garsdale nor Hawes need anymore cars, ( some folks will arrive by car to use it). Instead a joined up plan for supporting rail reinstatement should be devised to carry on the good work already done by the Wensleydale Railway.

  95. Cusion says:

    In the era of mass railway closures it was assumed that only cars would provide our transport by this point. That has been proven totally wrong and rail travel is again at the forefront of our transport system. Fossel fuel vehicles are on their way out, and their electric replacements are of dubious worth on several fronts.
    Give it a few years and rail lines to places like Hawes will become crucial. Cutting off that possibility would be very short sighted indeed. We should learn from our past mistakes, not repeat them.
    This from an active hiker and cyclist.

  96. Andrew says:

    Would cyclists and horseriders dogwalkers be flocking in Autumn winter months without waterproof clothes it would only be more suitable In spring summer for cycling or walking. And would cyclists and horseriders be able to do so without a mad horse kicking someone off their bike? And Using the old railway trackbed as a go between route its got a Mossedale head tunnel 245 yards on it could be used for shelter, but I do also think a few old bridges on the Aysgarth garsdale link are missing as well. And how would dog walkers or a cyclist plan their 40 mile tour of the line if in a car or Vehicle unless there planning a tour of all the Yorkshire dales. Long term its environmently good but at hawes or garsdale we need our parking spaces not so good for the environment if travelling far in a vehicle. My final If the Wensleydale and Swaledale councils agreed with the ministry of transport to reinstate the Railway from Aysgarth
    to Garsdale to run trains on the route again I would definitely support the scheme.

  97. Guy Smith says:

    To me to re-instate the railway should be top priority and if other users can be accomodated so much the better !

  98. Ian Dolby says:

    The route should be preserved for future reinstatement of the railway. Once turned to a bridle/cycleway, this would become very difficult.

    There is no way that making this route a bridle/cycleway will encourage people to leave their cars and walk to Hawes. Where will they walk from? Garsdale (the nearest public transport interchange for visitors) is too far to walk to Hawes and back. Where are the joining points along the route? How will people get to those points? Oh, they will drive so increasing road traffic.

    The most likely outcome is that people will drive to Hawes and take a short stroll along the route and then return to their cars parked in Hawes.

    Rather than reducing car usage in the area such a proposal will encourage more car usage to/from the start point and any intermediate joining points.

  99. Len Stanway says:

    The railway route must not be obstructed to provide a path for a brave few who want to punish themselves for over indulgence elsewhere by braving the upper dales weather. The “bridleway” in unlikely ever to see a horse, and rarely walkers, except in the height of summer. Instead of wasting its money on this scheme, the National Park authority should instead be investing in enabling an environmentally-friendly and educational public transport facility for the future to be reinstated as authorities are doing all over the country.

  100. Oliver Bouckley says:

    Hawes is only accessible by a country road, and I have no idea what the bus service is like. On this basis, resinstatement of the railway would be a great boon to this lovely town – see what has happened to Leyburn since the railway went that far.

    As a tourist, I don’t know the area well enough to pronounce on this, so this may be a silly proposal: are the bridges wide enough to accommodate both a railway and a bridleway? The rest of the trackbed should be able to be widened enough for this anyway.

  101. Peter R bleasdale says:

    This proposal is ill founded and reinstatement of the railway line between Garsdale and Hawes would be a major step forward to attract more visitors to this wonderful area, lessening car use and keeping the environment safer for future generations.
    Please learn from past mistakes where keeping the railway line would have been beneficial to the local community and keeping local businesses thriving.
    No to more walking and cycleways on existing railway formations.

  102. Roger Hudson says:

    The opportunity to re-open a rail link between Garsdale and Hawes should not be lost. With grants and other funding streams, the objectives of the UWR could be realised to provide an environmentally friendly transport link across the Dales for residents and tourists to support the local economy. If restoration the whole section from Northallerton to Garsdale could be completed there are great opportunities for visitors and some freight to be taken from the roads which would then be safer for cyclists and horse riders.
    So not a bridleway but a railway for me.

  103. David Willows says:

    Keep the railway track bed is so important. So that the railway can be restored a soon as possible in the future.

  104. Mr A R Ward says:

    The railway must make a sustained effort or else it will be lost for ever to the car. A railway is the most desirable way to travel anywhere, most of all the countryside

  105. Mark Warr says:

    I love walking and cycling around the UK but I think a railhead further up Wensleydale at Hawes with links to Manchester and further away would ease the transport in the area in future

  106. Jon Horsman says:

    I am opposed to any use that compromises the relaying of the railway on all grounds of public interest. The railway would provide a huge injection of income for the dale and all communities within, through tourism and public transport to places further afield for local people currently effectively land-locked, especially with the massive hike in road fuel prices. If there is money to use for creating a multi-use pathway and all the associated works to build and maintain, that money should be invested in the railway. Simply look at the former Welsh and Scottish lines relaid and reopened; ALL have exceeded the predicted usage multiple times over within just a few short months, repaying the capital investment in record time ! Why is it that greedy short sighted accountants and consultants are commissioned to gobble up the funds for utter claptrap reports that are proven time and time again to be utter tosh. Bring back the railway ASAP, and therefore, NO to obstructing such coming to fruition.

  107. Tony Hudson says:

    Just to remind everyone here is an extract from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan 2019-24 Updated November 2021

    “E5 Support the development of rail services and related economic
    uses along the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Railway, and measures to re-instate other lines to and within the National Park, including the reinstatement of the Wensleydale Railway to Garsdale, starting with the stretch from Redmire to Aysgarth by 2024”.

  108. Tony Hudson says:

    This proposal will clearly result in more vehicle journeys into the Hawes area with cars bringing in bikes and horse carrying vehicles thereby creating more pollution. When the railway was original built it was truly a remarkable feat of engineering and the track bed should therefore remain protected for future use as railway. It has always been the aim of the Wensleydale Railway from its creation to restore the link between Northallerton and Garsdale. The more recent activity of the Upper Wensleydale Railway also amplifies the benefits of restoring the link, not as a heritage railway but as part of the national rail network service. If this proposal is accepted, it means that the WR and UWR will not be able to achieve a joined up rail link.

    Just to remind everyone here is an extract from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan 2019-24 Updated November 2021 “E5 Support the development of rail services and related economic uses along the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Railway, and measures to re-instate other lines to and within the National Park, including the reinstatement of the Wensleydale Railway to Garsdale, starting with the stretch from Redmire to Aysgarth by 2024”

  109. M. Reali says:

    The Wensleydale Railway needs the extension so please do not go ahead, but instead work with the WR, which is an ethical organisation, and needs your support, thank you.

  110. Tony Pickles says:

    I am an occassional visitor to Wensleydale from Lancashire. The A684 through to Hawes is a difficult road to negotiate. I do feel that if the proposal for the sought after bridleway does go ahead it will create an increase in road traffic into Hawes -from this and other directions with the associated problem of where do the vehicles eventually park? Another problem thus exaserbated!!. I do consider the relevant authorities need to take a long term view on the future use of the trackbed. Whilst appreciating the (I suspect limited) value of a potential bridleway on the trackbed I am of the view that it would be shortsighted of the authorities if the trackbed was not preserved for its originally intended purpose. I endorse the views of many persons who have expressed
    their views here with their concerns that the future does indeed lie ahead with a rail connection to Hawes in whatever form that rail use may take. It would certainly assist in reducing traffic movement in the area – which must surely be – or become – government policy in reducing pollution levels as well as protecting upper Wensleydale
    from becoming overrun by cars and car parks. I call on the Authorities to take a long term view -with its likely benefits – and determine to protect the trackbed for the use it was originally intended to have. How many people would use the bridleway and could the varying users live comfortably with each other ? There must surely be other alternative routes between Hawes and Garsdale already in place whereas a trackbed route – once lost is likely to be irretrievable . No -Save the Trackbed for rail use and think long term.

  111. Stephen says:

    Restore as a railway as soon as possible. You can only get a few bicycles on a Settle/Carlisle train so most users of a bridleway would come by car. The Hawes railway line would further increase use of the S/C with the possibility of S/C excursions visiting Hawes; over 300 non car visitors would be good news for Hawes
    Millions of pounds seems to readily available for road projects so divert a bit of that money onto an environmentally friendly project.
    Invest in the future.

  112. Nigel Harbron says:

    This was a railway, and could well be a railway again in the not too distant future – but not if it has been turned into a bridleway.

  113. Frank Dunne says:

    Would like to see the trackbed being kept for rail use but can’t see it happening for a long, long time.
    Why aren’t WR running the Northallerton/ Leeming Bar route where the track is in situ.

  114. Frank Dunne says:

    Would like to see the trackbed being kept for rail use but can’t see it happening for a long, long time.

  115. Bruce Yarborough says:

    If this railway route is opened up to horses and cyclists, it effectively means that the route will never ever be used as a railway line again. Horses and trains do not mix. The route is too narrow to allow them joint access
    At a time of rising energy costs, I think it is foolhardy and short sighted to squander taxpayers money in this way. Future generations will have to rely more heavily on public transport, and a railway is one of the most efficient forms of transportation. Taking cars of the roads will help alleviate global warming. There are more than enough footpaths and bridleways in the area without the need for more. You should be actively supporting the retention of all previous rail routes and not allowing any development on closed trackbeds at the present time.

  116. Brian HAWORTH says:

    The priority must be to preserve the track bed for future reopening.

  117. Tony Pickles says:

    I wish the trackbed to continue to be protected for the purpose originally intended ie as a railway. I note that there is already in existence a footpath network which connects Garsdsale with Hawes so pedestrians /walkers are already provided for.. As to other users ie cyclists or horse riders -how many would use it and to what degree ? The number of cyclists and horse riders using it would surely diminish substantially away from the summer months and any cyclists that would use the proposed route are likely I believe to have arrived in the area in cars. I suspect any horse riders that would use the proposed bridleway would be local people anyway – who already have routes nearby available to them for exercising their horses – including the Pennine Bridleway. A rail link to Hawes would help reduce traffic inflow ,bring additional benefit to the local economy and help reduce carbon emissions. If the railway were to be reinstated then there is the possibility of the route carrying freight also -which would in turn reduce heavy vehicle use of roads not best suitable for them. If a rail link were to come about it would certainly bring additional visitors to Upper Wensleydale and probably reduce the number of vehicles coming into an area much deserving of protection from an increase in traffic use. I consider the benefits deriving from a potential rail link would far outweigh those that would come from the use of the trackbed as a bridleway. So I call on the Authority to reject the bridleway proposal and to pursue -along with other Authorities and organisations – the case for a reinstement of the railway between Garsdale station and Hawes.

  118. Peter Mackness says:

    I would prefer to see Hawes reconnected to the Settle and Carlisle railway corridor. The list of social, environmental and economic factors and solutions would be immediate, widespread, and benefit the whole community. A bridleway would undervalue a precious resource.

  119. Fred Landery says:

    I would want to see the former railway trackbed protected for future rail use. A future rail link would bring more visitors and business to the local ecenomy, more so than would a bridleway

  120. Martin Addison Atkinson says:

    I am pleased to be able to respond to the survey.This country is becoming choked to death with traffic and it is high time that those with the means to do something about it get on and provide the only realistic alternative to travelling about are the railways. Wensleydale surely can not cope with huge amounts of extra traffic and yet this is the message given by the Park authority, come and walk on a lovely bridle way from Hawes to Garsdale and leave your Camper vans Caravans and cars in some huge car park in the area. This just not the way forward .This bridleway plan must be opposed now is the time to push forward and reinstate the railway and to promote the beauty of Wensleydale by use of the railway. How bad would it have been if the Settle to Carlisle line had been closed?

  121. Vera Silberberg says:

    KEEP THE RAILWAY! There are so many rail enthusiasts who come to Yorkshire just for that. There are lots of good walks to be done, using the railway, to help make a linear route. And just think of all the fuel saved, and the cleaner air!

  122. sam jones says:

    Restoring the railway is totally unviable as there is not enough footfall. The Settle Carlisle is barely used bar the special services. We live right by it an the majority of trains are near empty. If the Skipton to Colne line cannot get restored where there is a genuine need this has no chance. A bridleway on the other hand would give a multitude of people a safe space to walk/cycle and a link for active tourists from Garsdale to Hawes. Have you ever tried taking your kids on a bike from Garsdale to Hawes?

  123. Mark Wright says:

    I think that any footpath should allow for the future reinstatement of the railway. I understand that there are a number of options for a footpath route but only one for a rail route. Alternatively there are a number of cases (like the Bure Valley) where single line railways and footpaths exist side by side. The huge success of the Settle-Carlisle line should be allowed to spill over into Wensleydale and what is really needed is a public initiative to make this happen.


    With gathering difficulties with energy and the need to bring tourists etc back to this part of North Yorkshire – rail is the answer and everything should be done to get this part of the Country re–connected in has worked with Dartmoor it can work here

  125. Rod Enderby says:

    Reinstate the railway-which means protecting the trackbed meantime. It is essential and common sense.

  126. Mr Adrian Romano says:

    The railway needs to be reinstated – as does the Buxton – Matlock line in the Peak District! I know it presently forms part of the well-used Monsal Trail, but Peaks & Dales Railway are looking to reconfigure the trail when a railway is reinstated. The benefit of a railway is that more visitors to the Peak District can come on public transport, cutting down the number of cars in the area and enabling residents to enjoy a less congested car journey – and good for the environment as well!

  127. Andy Shackleton says:

    At a time when we face a global crisis in the form of CO2-driven climate change, together with more recent gas/oil supply issues, we need to look to a future where there is an alternative to energy-hungry + increasingly congested and polluting road transport for both personnel and freight. And to obliterate a critical section of a former rail route that has the potential to complete a future strategic East-West link via Northallerton [on the East Coast Mail Line], Leyburn and Hawes to the prized Settle to Carlisle line is to drive coach + horses through a commitment (on the Yorkshire Dales National Park website) to “doing our bit to help to tackle climate change.” The more so when one considers that rail is the least CO2 intensive form of land transport.

    Further, it is clear that, whilst there is no alternative route that a reinstated rail line linking Hawes with Garsdale could take, it should not be beyond the wit and skills of those with the power to say “yes” to the selection of an alternative route for the multi-use bridleway ….. thus ensuring that the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority can follow its own policy of supporting the future reinstatement of a strategic rail link in Wensleydale.

    It is widely accepted that investment in rail is a catalyst for economic growth. And offering the potential for car-free access to Wensleydale when the rail line is eventually reopened. This, in contrast to certainty that near-100% of potential users of the proposed bridleway will travel there to use it by car ….. with its attendant congestion + pollution.

    I believe readers need to be aware that, with an eye on extending the current Manchester to Clitheroe rail service to some point on the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle line, Ribble Valley Borough Council made a successful bid to the Restoring your Railway fund. As a result, Stantec [consultants] prepared a Strategic Outline Business Case. And guess what? Extended that service to turnaround facilities at Garsdale offers the best value for money and greatest economic benefit. Please, therefore DO NOT obliterate the line from Garsdale ….. thus opening up the possibility of a Hawes [and beyond] to Manchester at some point in the future.

    My final comment is the hope that, at a time when, for a whole heap of sound economic, social and environmental reasons the UK is once again embracing its railways and pursuing policies aimed at reopening long-disused routes, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority does not go down in history as the organisation that bucked the trend by making its own long term ambition of bringing back a potentially strategic rail service to communities within Upper Wensleydale an impossibility. Think about it!

  128. Paul Butler says:

    Have posters not read the papers?

    The re-instatement of the Railway line is not on the table; it’s not an option.

    It’s either the multi use route or……nothing – again. Crack on with the muti use route. Over 60 years have already been wasted.

  129. ChrisC says:

    The chances of the finances being available for reinstatement of the rail line are negligible. A rail line would be nice but why not open the route to walkers and riders until such time as money is available. Public transport is available to Garsdale which would bring the cyclists, especially those looking for safe routes. For the naysayers have a look at the Derbyshire cycleways, regularly used by walkers and riders throughout the year and providing some employment in cafes and bike hire establishments.

  130. Bill Briggs says:

    I entirely agree with Andy Shackleton’s comments and would like to add a few of my own.

    The trackbed of the Hawes branch is in quite good order (better, in fact, than was some of the S&C not long ago), the branch and its structures, having been built by the Midland Rly, were built to last and still do so after almost 150 years. The trackbed is in the condition it is because, by and large, it’s been left alone. It wasn’t designed for walking, cycling or horse riding on. It was designed for sleepers and rails to be laid on it. The bridge over the A684 at Halfway House and one near Hawes Stn would need to be rebuilt and some repairs to the roof of Mossdale Tunnel. In comparison with the infrastructure required for the Borders Rly (the former Waverley Route) it would be far easier to reinstate.

    An official survey revealed that the economy of the Dale received a significant boost when the Wensleydale Rly commenced rail services between Leeming Bar and Leyburn in 2003. In 1993 the predicted yearly passenger usage of the then newly-reinstated rail service between Clitheroe and stations to Manchester was exceeded in the first month of operation!

    In response to “Restoring Your Railway” Ribble Valley BC, supported by Ribble Valley Rail and others, is pressing for the extension of rail services between Clitheroe and Hellifield. One of the suggested turn-backs is Garsdale. Why not reinstate the branch and run through to Hawes, a much more useful destination? The UWR would like Hawes – Manchester trains but, owing to severe congestion in the M/c area, Preston would be the better bet.

    Q: Why is the YDNPA suddenly reversing its long-held policy of protecting the trackbed for future rail restoration? A: To trumpet its “green” credentials, of course, and when all the vehicles bearing scores of hikers, bikers, and horse riders come piling in to an already congested Hawes, to be able to charge them more for parking. Q: In a fuel and climate crisis what’s “green” about that?
    Q: How often is this proposed multi-user bridleway going to be used? A: Having an all-seasons familiarity with the Camel Trail in Cornwall, my experience is that more people visit Padstow by car in one day in January than the Camel Trail sees in a year.
    Q: When would it be used? A: Dry days in mid-summer, maybe. Mid-winter, unlikely. After dark – no chance! But you would be able to use a train at any of those times.
    Q: Who would be looking after it, picking up the litter and shovelling the horse muck? A: Scores of volunteers, of course, and when they get fed up – “The Bottomless Purse”!

  131. Del Hintze says:

    It makes so much sense to reopen the railway line to Hawes. Through passengers from right around the country will find it possible to reach Hawes and district by rail, meaning more income for the area.
    Much as I approve of walking in the Dales, there is no shortage of available footpaths as it is. Adding the proposed route is not necessary.

  132. David Banks says:

    As many people have said, a path from Garsdale to Hawes will reate more road traffic, when there is a policy to encourage use of public transport. There have been many times when short-sighted plans have wiped-out chances of re-instating Railway lines. Please, don’t make this mistake.

  133. Tony Skill says:

    As much as I would dearly love to believe in the reinstatement of the Garsdale to Hawes line, I do not believe this will ever happen. I was in admiration at the efforts of Andrew Longworth to make this happen but unfortunately the money is not there, the funding is not available and as a consequence…not in my lifetime!

    I am very much in favour of the YDNPA’s concept of a bridleway from Garsdale station to Hawes. The distance is not great (6 miles or so) and at present, it’s difficult to avoid the road to walk or cycle the journey. On the proviso that the bridleway commences from Garsdale station, I am in total support of this innovation.

  134. Barrie Russell says:

    Just a point to note, any issues with farmers blocking access is not a problem. That’s what the CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order) process is there for to recover previously used Railway or any other land for the greater use of the area.

  135. Phil Lawler says:

    We should encourage people to visit the dale by train rather than by car. Converting the track to a bridleway will remove any real prospect of reopening the line. There is room for a bridleway on other land. I am opposed to the proposal.

  136. John Harrison says:

    It appears from minutes (29/03/22) of the YDNPA committee meeting that YDNPA have held back on the proposal for a multi-user route to allow funding bids for reinstatement of the railway to be pursued. As both bids have been unsuccessful doesn’t it make more sense that in the medium term the track bed is used which will ensure that the associated structures will not fall further into disrepair. In an ideal world the railway would be reinstated but this is not going to happen anytime soon so creating a multi-user route is the next best option.

  137. Walter Stamper says:

    Reinstate the railway. Trackbeds should be maintained for that purpose and railways can cater for a much wider audience especially those less mobile. Bridleways can always be established on other land.

  138. Dan Smith says:

    Being a rail enthusiast and cyclist, and having had many happy visits to Hawes I can see a strong argument either way. However, when one looks at what a rail service might be like I seriously wonder whether it would be viable. The existing Settle Carlisle railway runs well below its capacity to divert people from their cars, and a branch line would be even less attractive. The country is saturated with heritage lines and realistically the Wensleydale railway is unlikely ever to get to Hawes. On the contrary, a multi-use bridleway would be a massive asset to the area, the Monsall trail in the peaks and Camel Trail in Cornwall are important all-weather attractions in their respective areas. Surely a trail between Garsdale and Hawes would be a powerful draw in its own right; encouraging tourists to travel to Garsdale by train and then on to Hawes (using their own or hired bikes)? The choice should surely be made on the basis of which scheme encouraged the most users? My money would be on a bridleway.
    Even if a bridleway were built it would not rule out restoration of a railway eventually, the Avon Vally railway and South Tynedale railway both share their routes with cycle paths.

  139. Chris Rigby says:

    Reading through a sample of these contributions I sense there is a lack of understanding of precisely what UWRA has been engaging with the DfT for and therefore confusion on several matters – these include (among many) (a) UWRA is NOT seeking the funds to rebuild the railway at this stage rather the DfT has been providing valuable feedback to strengthen the case; (b) the railway once reinstated will NOT be a heritage line for the rail hobbyist/enthusiast – it will be a branch line of the national network, managed and maintained by Great British Rail or whichever body has that responsibility.

  140. Susan Way says:

    As a keen walker, I would generally support schemes for improving access to the countryside but in this particular case I do not think that the YDNP should be promoting any scheme that would make the re-opening of the Garsdale to Hawes line more expensive and more difficult and thus less likely. There is no alternative route for the railway and I think the YDNP have a duty to protect the trackbed and not make a decision which would prevent its future reinstatement.

  141. Geraint Bowen says:

    I do not support the proposal to create a multi-user route on the former trackbed of the Hawes to Garsdale railway. The trackbed should continue to be protected so that it remains feasible to reconnect Hawes to the national rail network at Garsdale at some stage in the future, and it’s clear from the feasibility study by Arup that a bridleway could not exist as well as a re-instated railway because the trackbed’s width is insufficient to accommodate both.

    I think it would quite wrong for the YDNP to drop from its current local plan, under BE6, the far-sighted commitment that ‘Development that would prejudice the reinstatement of the Wensleydale Railway, including operational land and station facilities, will not be permitted.’ If this part of the trackbed is turned into a bridleway – for which an alternative route could surely be found between Hawes and Garsdale – that opportunity will be gone forever.

  142. Michael Hedderly says:

    It is essential that any multi-purpose bridleway, if authorised, should include passive provision for a single line standard gauge railway as an extension to the Wensleydale Railway. This will be of major tourist benefit which the bridleway on its own might not be.

    Prior to retirement I was Rail Officer for Hampshire County Council and implemented various Community Rail Scheme. I was able to see at close hand their beneficial effect on local communities and tourism.

  143. Tim says:

    Bridleway, now, please. A railway is a long shot, but if it happens moving the bridleway to the side will be a relatively minor job.

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