Conservative MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, Ian Liddell-Grainger says the idea is "utterly unacceptable"
Plans for a mountain ibke trail netwrok called Exmoor Bike Park have drawn heavy criticism from the local Member of Parliament.
Quoted in the Somerset County Gazette, Mr Liddell-Grainger says the bike park plans will cause “unacceptable levels of damage to a protected wildlife site and ruin the area’s tranquillity” and states that National Park authority “simply has to refuse consent”.
The MP continues: “There are bound to be unacceptable impacts on walkers and horse riders who already use the area … And new buildings in the outstanding landscape which surrounds the village are the very last thing we want to see … a line has to be drawn between promoting the national park and allowing naked commercialisation to wreck it – and this quite clearly crosses that line.”
Comparing Exmoor Bike Park’s plans to BikePark Wales, Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “If you check the aerial images [of Bikepark Wales] and see how much erosion has already been caused at the Merthyr Tydfil centre and then imagine the same outcome at Dunster it is quite clear the whole project is utterly unacceptable.”
What are Exmoor Bike Par’s plans? The general plan is to put bike trails in and around an area called Gallox Hill and the adjoining Dunster Deer Park.They also have plans to put in some new walking trails and tourist information boards.
Emoor Bike Park: “Some trails will challenge highly skilled riders, while others provide the opportunity for family-friendly exploration of Exmoor’s outstanding landscape.
“Trails are graded in the same way as ski runs, green being easiest for family use and black being the most challenging for experienced riders.
“In addition to cycling trails, riders and members of the public will be provided with purpose-designed walking paths to explore and enjoy the Park off the bike.”