A 40 MPH speed limit on all Lake District roads except trunk roads and dual carriageways will be debated at a key meeting this summer.

National park authority members this week agreed to push their counterparts at Cumbria County Council to adopt a package of transport measures as part of their Local Transport Plan submission to the Government.

They include the 40mph limit, a maximum limit of 20mph on shopping and residential streets and the development of 'a functional road hierarchy'.

This would direct traffic onto the most suitable roads and restrict the use of coaches and other large vehicles to the most suitable roads.

Pedestrians and cyclists would have priority in main town and village centres.

Members of the authority's planning policy committee agreed to "pursue vigorously" the package of changes originally sought last year.

In 2000, the county council said that measures such as a local road hierarchy and 40mph zones would emerge through the Area Action Plan process, LDNPA countryside and conservation team leader John Nash told the committee.

But there was no guarantee of this, or that the result would be a coherent strategy across the national park, he said.

He later told the Gazette that it was hoped the meeting with the county council representatives would explore the proposals and find common ground.

The authority did not want the area 'plastered' with 40mph speed limit signs every few hundred yards but at the same time members felt there was a case for speed restrictions.

During the committee meeting, member David Thornton felt the area action groups were not the bodies best equipped to develop the authority's 'wish' list,

Some, such as Windermere and Ambleside, were suburban in nature and he could not see them proposing speed limits outside their centres.

He also expressed concern about the way funding was to be allocated.

There was no guarantee that the groups would be persuaded to spend money on ideas suggested by the national park authority.