The Isle of Wight Ramblers have launched a campaign to ensure that a comprehensive
coastal trial is developed for the Isle of Wight as part of the national implementation of
the 2009 Marine and Coastal Access Act.
They argue that the Isle of Wight economy could be losing out to the tune of £35,000,000 per annum, after a study commissioned by the Countryside Agency identified that the South West Coastal Path is worth over £300 million each year to that regions economy.
A total of £50m has been budgeted by the Government for implementation of the new act over ten years (2010-2019).
Special Order needed in order to be included
Natural England have already started work on six stretches of coast in Dorset, Cumbria, East Riding, Kent, Norfolk, and Somerset, but only a special Order signed by the Environment Minister will ensure that the Isle of Wight coastline is included.
Isle of Wight Ramblers say that around half of the existing path on the Isle of Wight runs either inland or along public roads and that “more than ten miles of our northern coastline between Yarmouth and Ryde have no public access or footpath”.
The Ramblers’ Association is urging members of the public to join their campaign by signing the petition to include the Isle of Wight in the English Coastal Route.