An award of £50,000 to Morecambe Bay Partnership will cost and explore the opportunities of a walking and cycling route alongside Arnside viaduct.

A community group called Arnside to Grange (AToG) has been working with Morecambe Partnership and others to see how this could happen. The idea comes from the local community who had looked forward to walking across the viaduct on Christmas Day. 10 years ago the tradition was stopped for safety reasons and the idea to build a new footpath and cyclepath along the side of the viaduct was born.

Susannah Bleakley, Chief Executive of Morecambe Bay Partnership said: “We are excited to be leading this project, working closely with the local Arnside to Grange community group, investigating whether or not it’s possible to cross the Bay on foot and by bike using Arnside viaduct, linking communities along the coast. We will be exploring where the route could go, if it’s worth the investment and whether there would be more positives than negatives. If the studies show it’s a good investment we’ll have everything we need to fundraise to build the route.”

This connection will create a vital link in the English Coastal Path and offer a new route for the Bay Cycle Way creating a new circular route starting from either Grange or Arnside stations.

The award will mean that studies can be done to find out how much it will cost, what benefits and challenges it will bring and how it should be designed to help manage visitors positively. Several studies will be carried out over the winter to see how we can make this idea real.

Network Rail has supported initial feasibility and will work with partners to evaluate and test the route, economic impact and costs.