The coastal area at Crosscanonby were the cycleway is planned. Photo: Rose and Trev Clough CC-BY-SA-2.0

The coastal area at Crosscanonby were the cycleway is planned. Photo: Rose and Trev Clough CC-BY-SA-2.0

Campaigners have expressed their dismay at plans to allow a cycle path on common land in Cumbria.

The Open Spaces Society said, although it was in favour of the building of the cycleway, it shouldn’t be constructed on the common, which lies along the coast north of Maryport.

Cumbria County Council approved the planned path at Crosscanonby, which will form part of the Hadrian’s Cycleway running from Silloth, on the Solway Firth, and Wallsend on Tyneside.

But because the land in question is a common, it needed Government permission to go ahead.

A planning inspector approved the scheme.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, said: “We are disappointed that the application for works on common land has been granted.

“We are in favour of the cycleway, which will take cyclists off the B5300 road with its speeding motorists, but do not consider it should be constructed on common land.

“We are concerned that a 2.5m-wide cycleway with a 1m-wide planted verge will be intrusive in this narrow coastal strip and will not blend in with the adjoining dune system.

“The strip of common land between the coast and the inland agricultural fields is narrow and the lovely landscape will be adversely affected.

“We had hoped that the cycleway would be realigned to avoid this sensitive area of common land.”

Crosscanonby Parish Council and local residents also objected.

But the inspector, Alan Beckett, said the cycleway would not interfere with local use of the common nor would it have an adverse impact on the character of the surrounding area.

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