Diversion hope over Coast to Coast walk

Rishi Sunak discusses the Coast to Coast Walk with B&B owner Mary Pearson.
Rishi Sunak discusses the Coast to Coast Walk with B&B owner Mary Pearson.

A move to make one of the most famous long distance paths in the UK safer has taken a step forward.

Alf Wainwright’s renowned Coast to Coast Walk passes through the village of Danby Wiske, near Northallerton, to Lovesome Hill using busy public roads.

Parish councillors want to divert the route onto footpaths between the two villages to protect walkers from traffic on the increasingly busy roads.

Danby Wiske Parish Council enlisted the help of Richmond MP Rishi Sunak who is campaigning to have the Wainwright walk from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire designated a National Trail.

Mr Sunak wrote to North Yorkshire County Council, which has responsibility for public footpaths, asking the authority to consider the parish council’s request.

He said: “Wainwright used public roads on this section of the walk because he wanted to reach the North York Moors as soon as possible. But that was more than 40 years ago when there was much less traffic.

“The safety issue is clear and I fully support the parish’s initiative.”

Margaret Goldie, chair of Danby Wiske Parish Council, welcomed the county’s positive response.

She said: “There is a existing footpath route to Lovesome Hill across the fields but it is in a poor state and would need some work to make it suitable for the Coast to Coast Walk.

“The existing route along the roads is dangerous because there is no walkable verge.”

The parish council’s move has also been backed by Mary Pearson, owner of the multi award-winning Lovesome Hill Farm B&B, whose business is supported by Coast to Coast walkers.