Support for project but major concerns over access route

Ian McRae, of Gallery Youth.
Ian McRae, of Gallery Youth.

Access to the site through a residential area was the main concern as proposals for a bike track in Alnwick were discussed this week.

The scheme, which has been in the pipeline for more than five years, already has support from a number of organisations in the town, including the town council and the police.

And on Tuesday night, representatives from Gallery Youth, which launched the project, environmental charity Groundwork North East and the council met residents to discuss their views on a proposed facility to the east of Allerburn Lea, near to the sewage-treatment plant off Alnmouth Road.

Lisa Shearer, from Groundwork, said: “It seems to me a really good opportunity to do something for the young people.”

And PCSO Adele Catlow added: “The police do back the cycle track, we believe it’s a very positive initiative.”

At this early stage of the plans, there are two proposed accesses to the site; one via the road which goes to the sewage treatment plant, which would provide vehicle access to a car park, and a second which would involve upgrading the footpath/bridleway through Fisher Lane and Allerburn Lea so that it is bridleway all the way to the site.

And it was this latter proposal that caused concern on Tuesday night.

One resident, who described Allerburn Lea as a ‘sleepy little hollow’, said: “Having youths coming down Fisher Lane and through Allerburn Lea would not be ideal.

“I don’t see this heaven you portray, I see hooligans.”

Another added: “Access down Fisher Lane is just downright dangerous.”