Lake District area ranger Graham Standring at the site near Wythburn. Image: Lake District NPA

Lake District area ranger Graham Standring at the site near Wythburn. Image: Lake District NPA

National park bosses have announced they will install a new trail for cyclists and walkers near a section of main road washed away by the December floods.

The trail will be built over Dunmail Raise in the Lake District to provide a better route for non-motorised users.

The national park authority said the project is separate from works to rebuild the A591 road linking Grasmere and Keswick. A temporary bridge was installed recently south of Wythburn to allow a shuttle bus service to operate.

The route is the main one linking the North of the Lake District with its southern area. The new track will follow the route of an existing bridleway but will have an asphalt surface. It will link the main road with the quieter road that follows the western side of Thirlmere, under the western flanks of Helvellyn.

The authority said the surrounding land has a steep gradient in places and is subject to heavy rainfall, so the new surface will improve the trail, whilst being laid in a way that is sympathetic to the landscape.

Steve Ratcliffe, director of sustainable development for the Lake District National Park Authority, said: “We are delighted to be starting work on this route. In the short term this will ease the challenges of mixing vehicles, cycles and pedestrians over the temporary A591 road, and will offer a more attractive, separate route over Dunmail.

“Importantly this multi-user trail will also have longer term benefits, including securing an important cycle route linking the southern and northern Lakes, and supporting the local economy in those communities.”

Weather permitting, the project will take six weeks and will begin in March. Work on replacing the main A591 road will take much longer, and motorists face a diversion over Kirkstone Pass and through Patterdale if travelling between Windermere and Keswick.

More details are on the Lake District authority website.

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