A 10-YEAR campaign to reopen a Carlisle viaduct may take a step forward tonight - as councillors discuss the next steps.

Carlisle City councillors will consider - among other things - a motion put forward by Les Tickner indicating his and the authority’s support for the Carlisle Waverley Viaduct Trust (CWVT) and its ambitions to reopen the public walkway.

The CWVT continues to campaign to bring the Waverley Viaduct - which links the Cumberland Infirmary to Etterby and Stainton across the River Eden - back into use.

Mr Tickner’s motion says the council supports the objectives of the CWVT in their efforts to reopen the viaduct, and the council should agree to fund the preparation and issue of the public path creation order.

The motion also pledges to underwrite any potential compensation claims and legal costs to a maximum of £30,000. It states the money should be allocated from existing budgets or general reserves.

It also calls on the PPCO to be prepared and issued before the end of the month. After discussing the motion, councillors will then vote.

The CWVT has £100,000 in funding for the project promised from the Railway Heritage Trust, which would help to restore the footpath to its former glory.

It is estimated the project would cost in the region of £325,000, but to apply for further funding the trust must first acquire a public path creation order, which would allow work to start on repairing the footway. The stumbling block to the order has been the cost of any potential legal challenge.

Recently, the city council’s Conservative leader John Mallinson and Labour’s Mr Tickner agreed to work together to move the project forward.

Mr Mallinson has asked officers to draw up an options paper, which will be discussed at the September meeting of the authority’s executive.

Mr Tickner said Labour also had its own plan to help push the project forward, by setting aside up to £30,000 in a contingency fund to underwrite any challenges to the footpath order.

David Ramshaw, of the CWVT, said: “We, the trustees of the Trust, hope a decision to impose the PPCO without further delay will go through and look forward to hearing about it.”