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Keighley Tarn campaigners are split over footpath idea
Keighley Tarn campaigners have clashed over plans to build a footpath to the hilltop beauty spot.
Some people believe a new pavement on Black Hill Lane is essential to keep families safe while walking to the site.
But most of the lake’s Friends group feel a pavement would be too costly and could threaten the tarn’s rural situation.
They believe it is more important to work on measures to protect its wildlife, including the many waterbirds that visit it.
The Friends of Keighley (Redcar) Tarn was formed recently by town and district councillors along with several people who live nearby.
The move grew out of a campaign by Keighley man Harry Plunkett to create a safer route to the tarn from busy West Lane.
The latest Friends meeting, in Keighley’s Central Hall, attracted more than 20 people.
Friends spokesman Dorothy Tennant said: “The main thing that came out of the meeting is that nobody wants a footpath. It was more or less unanimous.
“People felt that a path would bring the tarn into town. They believe it’s countryside and they want it kept apart.”
Mrs Tennant said Bradford Council had costed the footpath at £60,000 and several trees would have to be removed.
She added: “There’s a difficulty with the terrain. They’re talking about putting in a path about two feet wide, just enough for a pushchair but not a wheelchair.”
Mr Plunkett, who was not at the latest meeting, said: “There are quite a lot of people who still want a pavement. There are a lot of families walking up there and taking a big risk.”
District councillor Jan Smithies, who helped set up the Friends, insisted no formal vote had been taken at the meeting and that the pavement plan was still active.
She said local people were being sought to work on various improvements, including wildlife protection and road safety.
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