A SOUTH Lakeland village has benefited from a major cash injection which has created a direct link between it and a nearby town.
Casterton residents are celebrating after £23,000 was spent restoring Laitha Lane, an ancient, boggy footpath, connecting the village with Kirkby Lonsdale, two miles away.
The news has come as a relief to pedestrians who for years have been forced to dodge buses, trucks and farm vehicles on the busy A683 to reach their nearest library or supermarket.
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Casterton Parish Council chair, Coun Enid Hastings said: “There was no pavement on either side of the A683 all the way down, so if people walked to Kirkby Lonsdale, which a lot of people do, they were being forced onto the road.
“People have expressed safety concerns for years about it. It was a danger.
“People with prams and wheelchairs would have had to use that route, so most wouldn’t have risked it.
“It is great news that this path is now open.”
The money has come from South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria County Council through a local project grant and a right of way improvement scheme.
The work has been carried out to make Laitha Lane level and accessible for pedestrians and horse riders, after it had become unpassable with mud.
“We are very grateful to the councils for their help because, as you can imagine, the total cost was far too much for a parish council to foot the bill,” added Coun Hastings.
Villagers also hope the clear link between the two places will also encourage tourists in Kirkby Lonsdale to visit Casterton’s pub, cafe and shop.
“We can see the very clear benefits to local people,” said Coun Claire Wildsmith.
“Not only can pedestrians reach Kirkby Lonsdale safely, but tourists in Kirkby can now reach us.
“We also hope a lot of walkers will come up this way while using the wide footpath network.”
The path is now in use but will be officially opened with an event later this month.