A CAMPAIGNER who has fought for 10 years to reopen the Waverley Viaduct says he is frustrated by a council amendment, which he believes will stall plans.

On Tuesday the Conservative-led Carlisle City Council met at the Civic Centre to discuss - among other things - the plans for the viaduct.

A motion put forward by the deputy leader of the city council Labour group Les Tickner called on the council to support the Carlisle Waverley Viaduct Trust (CWVT) to open the viaduct to pedestrians and cyclists; fund the preparation and issue of the public path creation order and underwrite any potential compensation and legal claims up to £30,000; said the money should be allocated from existing budgets or reserves; and the order be prepared and issued before the end of the month.

After a fiery debate among councillors, it was rejected in favour of an amended version put forward by the leader of Carlisle City Council and the city council Conservative group, John Mallinson.

Mr Mallinson’s amended motion proposed to remove the upper limit of £30,000 to cover any potential compensation claims and legal costs; add a clause to say the PPCO should be issued but only after the council receives “legally binding assurances from the CWVT that funding for the capital costs of the work are in place”; and to remove the clause in the motion which suggests the order be prepared and issued by the end of the month.

David Ramshaw, secretary of CWVT, has criticised the motion.

Mr Ramshaw said: “I’m very frustrated.

“I hope that something comes out of this next meeting on Monday.

“It is basically a blocking motion, I agree with Colin Glover.

“Every time we seem to be getting somewhere, it is blocked by councillors.”

Mr Ramshaw says he has not given up hope just yet.

“We are going to keep fighting, but it is getting silly really.”

Responding to the claims, Mr Mallinson said: “I gave an undertaking on Tuesday that it was my objective to get the viaduct open with the support of the trust. I believe the the Labour motion was inadequate.

“The timeframe was inadequate, the money was not necessarily adequate. We have to do costing on the worst case scenario.”

Labour backed the amended motion, despite criticising it. Cllr Tickner explained the decision: “We felt we had to give support either way.

“It wasn’t an amendment we wanted, we feel the amendment is a blocker because of the part about having the money in place before the order.”

The viaduct will be discussed by the city council’s executive committee on Monday as a “part B” item, meaning the press and public are exempt from attending.

This is due to the financial sensitivities involved in the creation of any order.

Cllr Mallinson confirmed he would reveal any updates as soon as possible following the meeting.

The viaduct is marked as an “urgent” item on the agenda.