South Shields MP urges Government not to abandon Coastal Path project

September 10, 2013

Houses of ParliamentSouth Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has called for the Government to affirm its commitment to popular plans to improve access to Britain’s coastline.

The English Coastal Path was proposed in 2009 as part of the Marine and Coastal Access Act, with widespread support from both members of the public and political parties. The path was originally marked for completion by 2019, but so far the Government has only delivered 20 miles of path. Ministers are showing every sign that they have abandoned the project, with Environment Minister Richard Benyon describing the project as “a sledgehammer to miss a nut”.

But the benefits of the path are there for all to see. In 2012 the Welsh Government completed a path stretching the length of the country’s entire coastline. In its first year the path has generated £32m for the Welsh economy, more than double the cost of its construction.

Today Emma tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, calling on the Government to “bring forward its proposals for the completion of the path without further delay.” Other MPs will have the opportunity to sign up to the motion to show their support.

Emma Lewell-Buck MP said:

“MPs from coastal constituencies like mine know that our coastline is one of our greatest natural assets, attracting a huge number of admirers each year. Parliament and the public agree that the coastal path would provide a tremendous boost to tourism and improve access to our treasured coastline.

“I hope the Government will listen to what they have to say, and will reaffirm their commitment to the Coastal Path.”

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