THOSE fighting to keep a local asset out of private hands (D&S Times, August 25) are to be commended.

But doesn’t the current furore present a perfect opportunity for Wensleydale Railway to think outside the (signal) box?

They have held sway over the line between Redmire and Aysgarth for more than 20 years and done nothing with it. A shortage of money has been a perennial issue and that, realistically, is not going to change.

Why not consider turning the line into a cycle and walkers’ track? Would it not generate more revenue for the railway from those putting their bikes on the train at Leeming and pedalling from Redmire?

Couldn’t the station at Aysgarth provide refreshment and accommodation?

Wouldn’t a growing number of cyclists that some readers of the D&S Times find so distasteful be taken off narrow Wensleydale roads? And wouldn’t the ensuing tourist attraction be a great example of a sustainable, integrated transport system?

If the powers that be at Wensleydale Railway think it is pie in the sky may I suggest they take a look at what the authorities have done in northern France, on the disused railway line between Dieppe and Paris. It is a part of l’avenue verte and has been responsible for many local business being established to cater for those that go to enjoy it.

Richard Wells, East Witton