Greenlaners and Cumbrians have a reason to be happy as Gatescarth Pass is set to reopen later this month and the vital A591 has reopened today ahead of schedule five months after its closure.
'It’s a lane that’s on the bucket list of most greenlaners'
Gatescarth Pass, one of the most spectacular and much-loved greenlanes in the UK, was extensively damaged by Storm Desmond in December 2015, closing the route to motorised vehicles.
Hard work and funding from the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) and Green Lane Association (GLASS) mean it will reopen on May 21 with the permit system is being reinstated.
Damage caused across the Lake District by the storm was estimated to cost £10m to repair by The National Park. GLASS and TRF realised that Gatescarth, which is ultimately used for leisure, would be low on the list of priorities so they funded the repair themselves.
TRF and GLASS were advised by The National Park to get a contractor and digger to fix the landslip and do preventative maintenance to Gatescarth as well as nearby Longsleddale Pass. This cost around £2,500 making the pass drivable again. The work was completed in early May, so the first recreational vehicle use will recommence on May 21 and it will be open one day a month on a permit system.
If you want to drive the Gatescarth greenlane you can apply for a permit via the Lake District National Park with a suggested £2.50 per wheel voluntary contribution from each user to provide a pot of money for if a similar issue arises in the future.
LRO Deputy Editor Neil Watterson, who drove the Gatescarth Pass in 2014, said: ‘It’s a lane that’s on the bucket list of most greenlaners, so it’s great to see the organisations representing us helping to restore the route. Not only has it been reopened for the few days a year that motorised vehicles can drive it, but it’s been cleared for every other user for the rest of the year – everyone benefits.’
‘Lake District open for business’
Gatescarth isn’t the only road to have required substantial repairs in the wake of Storm Desmond.
The A591 between Grasmere and Keswick has been closed since December 5 after a stretch was washed away by floodwater. This morning the road has opened three weeks ahead of schedule ready for the spring Bank Holiday and May half term.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, said: ‘The A591 is vital for tourism, business and residents in Cumbria so I am pleased Highways England has delivered this challenging project ahead of schedule
‘I am pleased to have met some of the 100 workers who worked so hard on this project so that the Lake District is fully open for business this summer.’
The effects of Storm Desmond have not only caused damage to homes and roads but have cost the Cumbrian economy, which relies on tourism, millions.
It’s great to see things starting to look up for Cumbria.
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