Park policy welcomed by Penrith-Keswick rail line promoter

Date: Friday 4th September 2009

CEDRIC Martindale, the man behind an ambitious plan to reinstate the Penrith-Keswick rail line, says he is heartened by policy in the new national park planning framework document.

Writing in the latest edition of his rail line newsletter, he says: “In May and June the Lake District National Park Authority consulted on the Core Strategy for its Local Development Framework (LDF).

“In the final draft published at the end of the consultation there is the following clear statement, ‘Disused railway lines will be protected from development that would compromise future reuse as viable transport routes’. The Keswick to Penrith route is one which is specifically named in that document.

“The route lies within the national park, or along its boundary, from Keswick to a point some way east of Penruddock about two-thirds of the total route length. This is therefore a significant step which it would be nice to see copied by Eden District Council within whose territory the remainder of the line runs.

“Many other policies relate to public transport being encouraged and developed. Land use planning and development are linked with transport and accessibility as well as minimising the use of energy and other resources in a good example of ‘joined up thinking’.

“Keswick is seen as one of the national park’s ‘transport hubs’ for which inter-regional connections by rail would be a logical component.”