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Plea to end dispute and switch on towpath lights
Skipton woman Claire Nash has launched a campaign to re-light a canal towpath.
The lights, between Brewery Lane and the town centre, were first installed in 1999 after a long campaign by local residents.
The project cost of tens of thousands of pounds and was part of a wider £200,000 scheme which saw new signage, seats and fencing. Resurfacing work was also carried out.
Half the money came from Craven District Council and the other half from a group of other organisations that included British Waterways.
But half the lights went out in a few years ago and rest went out in July of this year.
And despite repeated approaches to Craven District Council and British Waterways, Claire says nothing has been done, with each denying responsibility.
Now she had launched a campaign to get the lights back on.
She said: “The Canal and River Trust has taken over the canal from British Waterways and they are keen to resolve the situation but Craven District Council disclaims all responsibility.
“It was the council who in 1998 asked British Waterways to undertake the project and in 1999 the council agreed to contribute to maintenance costs. It seems to me that that it should take some responsibility towards resolving this.
“It is appalling that so much public money went into installing these lights and already they don’t work.”
A spokesman for Craven District Council said the lights on the canal towpath were owned by the Canal and River Trust.
She added that when they last failed in late 2007, British Waterways organised a repair.
A spokesman for the Canal and River Trust said: “The trust is aware of the issues regarding the lighting along the towpath in Skipton. “The trust has been investigating the ownership of the lights with the district council for the last few years as we don’t have any records to prove that the lights come under the ownership of the trust. “Several years ago our teams did undertake a service on the lights following a number of complaints. However, this service was very costly and, as we do not believe the lights come under our ownership, we simply cannot fund the works on something we do not consider to be our responsibility. “The Canal and River Trust will continue to work with the town council, Craven District Council and the county council to try to determine whose responsibility the lights belong too.”