CONSULTATIONS ARE starting in a fresh attempt to widen a pathway to take cyclists across Beverley Westwood.
East Riding Council’s original plans had to be ditched after protests and campaigners have already said they will fight the new proposals as they believe the land being offered in exchange is already part of the common.
However, the council said improvements are necessary as the route between Walkington, Broadgates and Beverley is used by children cycling to school. As they want to widen the path by 20 inches, they have offered to swap a larger unregistered area, which has been fenced off, next to Minster Primary School, known as Fishwick Mill.
They claim that will mean the total area of land registered as common will increase.
Ian Burnett, strategic transport planning manager, said: “The B1230 is a heavily-used commuter route and the development of an off-road cycle route would help ensure the safety of cyclists and in particular children attending the local schools.”
However, Beverley Civic Society has said everyone in Beverley considers the piece of land to be already part of the Westwood and taking the half-a-mile strip will diminish the pasture and set a precedent.
But Neil Pickford, verger at Beverley Minster, who has written about a dispute in 1861 over the rights to the land which saw Fishwicks Mill burned down by enraged townsfolk, said he thought the safety argument won out.
He said: “To me for the small amount of land they are talking about and the vastly improved safety, I think it is a compromise well worth making.”