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Derwent Walk

Volume 712: debated on Wednesday 27 April 2022

I rise to present a petition on behalf of my constituents who are members of the Save our Derwent Walk campaign group. Derwent Walk country park runs through my constituency, from Swalwell, through Winlaton Mill and Lockhaugh, and on to Rowlands Gill. I thank the campaign group for their tireless efforts to retain our magnificent country park. The petitioners state that the walk is under threat of destruction or irrevocable change through the proposal for a permanent transport route linking Consett and Gateshead. In addition to this petition, the campaign group has an online petition of over 25,000 names, from my constituency and beyond.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of the constituency of Blaydon.

Declares that the Derwent Walk is under significant threat of destruction or irrevocable change through the proposal of a permanent transport route linking Consett and Gateshead and/or Newcastle; notes that the walk lies on the former track bed of the Derwent Valley Railway, opening in 1867 and closed in 1962 under Beeching proposals, due to underuse; notes that the walk has since developed, enveloping C2C cycle routes, the National Cycle Network (No. 14) and a country park, and is also the site of a Scheduled Monument, with a vast area covered by the protected status; and further that the proposal of a permanent transport route does not properly account for access for the disabled or the importance of walking and cycling routes.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to accept the concerns of residents, to commit to maintain the integrity of the Derwent Walk, and reject the feasibility study for the above reasons. And furthermore, to discuss the current proposal with members of the ‘Save Our Derwent Walk’ group.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

[P002729]