Walkers campaign for safe pathway to Keighley Tarn

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Alex Gardner on the stretch of road leading to Keighley Tarn, on which campaigners want a pavement Alex Gardner on the stretch of road leading to Keighley Tarn, on which campaigners want a pavement

Keighley Ramblers are backing a campaign for a pavement on the main road linking Keighley Tarn with the town centre.

The walking group believes a paved path is needed on Black Hill Lane to improve safety for all visitors to the hilltop lake.

They are backing Keighley man Harry Plunkett, who lives near the tarn and is spearheading moves to provide a safer route.

Ramblers spokesman Alex Gardner said there is an uneven verge on either side of the road where a pavement could fit.

He said: “At present, a minority of people, normally dog owners, walk along the verge while most walk on the road because it’s easier going.

“Keighley Ramblers would argue that it makes sense to construct a standard pavement on one side, so all categories of pavement-user could get to and from the tarn in safety.”

The Friends of Keighley (Redcar) Tarn are currently in talks with Bradford Council about providing a pavement, at an estimated cost of £60,000.

The issue has divided members of the recently-formed Friends group, with many believing there are more important issues such as the welfare of the tarn’s wildlife.

Mr Gardner believed the Friends should focus on the path project before discussing other issues concerning the lake.

He said: “A standard pavement should be constructed first. The safety of people should have priority over the protection of wildlife.”

Mr Plunkett yesterday welcomed the support of the Keighley Ramblers, the local branch of national campaigning charity The Ramblers.

Mr Plunkett said support from individuals and groups such as Keighley Ramblers was vital to ensure the pavement scheme went ahead.

The Friends recently issued a list of priorities, which included improving footpath access, tackling road safety issues, safeguarding wildfowl and wildlife, tackling anti-social behaviour, and improving the “family-friendly” environment of the tarn.

The Friends are also looking at providing a cafe or other refreshments outlet, and encouraging healthy outdoor activities and exercise.

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