STEAM train enthusiasts, locals and visitors will be rubbing their hands with anticipation at the prospect of Addingham once again appearing on the railway map of Britain.

Although a railway line from Bolton Abbey to the village would be a long-term plan requiring many millions of pounds of investment, hope is high on the agenda.

If a determined band of loyal enthusiasts can succeed in re-establishing the railway link between Bolton Abbey and Embsay, there seems no reason to doubt that a connection at each end from Embsay to Skipton, and from Bolton Abbey to Addingham can also be completed with the same resolve.

The first step will be the creation of the Sustrans walking, horse riding and cycling path, which will not only, with the Dales Way, give visitors and locals another attractive corridor to the Dales from Addingham, but will serve to protect the old rail route while plans for an extension can be put in place. It is one of those projects which does not seem to have a downside, unless fears are raised about the number of tourists who will be attracted to Addingham.

While scores, perhaps hundreds of extra visitors each year will be a much-needed economic boost, the strain on Addingham's infrastructure will have to be considered, particularly the parking problem. And what of the major piece of public art envisaged by Sustrans at the start of the route? Would something the size of Tyneside's Angel of the North, or Manchester's new 'B of the Bang' suit, or would a more sober and representational sculpture be appropriate?

Bearing in mind that officials from Sustrans want to involve as many people as possible in the decision affecting the new footpath we would like to ask readers to send in their ideas for the big sculpture to grace Addingham Main Street in the near future. Please send in your ideas by letter or postcard to 8 Wells Road, Ilkley, LS29 9JD, and the Gazette promises to forward them all to Sustrans for their consideration.