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Beauty spot safety row over footpath to Keighley Tarn
Keighley Tarn campaigners have clashed over plans to build a footpath to the hilltop beauty spot.
Some members of the lake’s Friends group believe a new pavement is essential to keep families safe while walking.
Others feel a path alongside Black Hill Lane would be too costly and could threaten the tarn’s rural status.
They believe it is more important to work on measures to protect wildlife, including the many waterbirds that visit the tarn.
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 to discuss a range of potential improvement projects.
Friends spokesman, Dorothy Tennant, said: “The main thing that came out of the meeting is nobody wants a footpath – it was more or less unanimous.
“People felt 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.”
But Mr Plunkett, who was not at the latest meeting, said his main concern was helping parents get their children safely to Keighley Tarn to enjoy its beauty.
He added: “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 group, insisted no formal vote had been taken at the meeting and that the pavement plan was still active.
She said local people are being sought to work on various tarn improvements, including both wildlife protection and road safety.
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