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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 December 2005, 11:37 GMT
Cash threat to Lake path repairs
View of Lake District
The park authority claims it can no longer afford to pay for path repairs
The maintenance of rights of way in the Lake District is under threat because of a 100,000 cash shortfall.

The Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) took over the upkeep of the paths from Cumbria County Council 24 years ago.

But it said it can no longer afford the cost of path repairs and if it does not get cash help it will have to hand path responsibility back to the council.

The council said it would consider the request at a meeting on 20 December.

A spokesman for the county council said: "We have been aware for some time that the LDNPA wants the council to, either pay them for the upkeep of certain rights of way which they volunteered to maintain, or to carry out the work ourselves.

"Their request is one of many calls on us for funding which will be considered at a cabinet meeting later this month.

Economic benefits

"We have yet to receive an indication from the government about what the county council funding will be for 2006/7."

The LDNPA said it is facing a 600,000 overspend in the next financial year and spends almost 1m a year on the upkeep of paths.

A spokesman said: "A first-class rights of way system is regarded as vital in attracting walkers and ramblers to the area and the associated economic benefits they bring to the tourist industry.

"But faced with its current financial problems, LDNPA members have decided to ask the council to make a worthwhile contribution to that annual rights of way bill."

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