§ Ms Kingham
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement about the Cotswold Way. 731W
§ Mr. Meacher
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has today approved without modifications the Countryside Commission's proposals for a Cotswold Way National Trail. The Trail will be a long distance walking route between Bath and Chipping Campden, mainly within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, following broadly the route of the existing Cotswold Way path.
Establishment of this new National Trail will safeguard the Cotswold Way for future generations. It will increase the enjoyment of users through better safety and overall facilities, and introduce new recreational opportunities for many people of varying abilities. It will bring economic benefits to businesses in the area and provide increased protection for wildlife and historic sites. The decision took account of the strong local support for the Commission's proposals and local people will be involved in the planning and development of the route.