PEOPLE with disabilities should have more wheelchair paths to peaks in the Lake District, a meeting has heard.

Cllr Hugo Graham used a speech to Cumbria County Council to point out a lack of access in the national park which is home to more than 214 peaks and all of England’s highest mountains.

He called on the national park authority to develop more paths so disabled people can enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Conservative councillor for Dearham and Broughton said: “I’ve said it before, the beauty of the Lakes is that it’s not only for the super-rich, or the super fit, everyone in the world has the right and should have the ability to see what we have to offer.

“The disabled have access to the Lake District’s Miles without Stiles, but the highest point they can get to is just over 300m.

“I believe in this great natural wonder, that there is at least one summit or peak, that would lend itself to a wheelchair friendly path.

“Imagine if we as a national park where to have the highest point in England if not the UK for accessibility?”

He called on the council to work with district authorities, the national park, sports bodies and third sector organisations.

“Cumbria is a land of opportunity, but to reach peak opportunity, and peak prosperity, we need peak accessibility,” said Cllr Graham.

In response, the Lake District National Park Authority said it remains willing to look at better access to the fells.

In a statement, Steve Gaskell, park management team leader, said 48 miles without stiles routes in the park had been “varied” to ensure more people could enjoy the scenery.

“These routes total a distance of over 125kms and are suitable for people with limited mobility, including wheelchair users, families with pushchairs, and the visually impaired,” said Mr Gaskell.

“Currently the highest miles without stiles route is a 2km ascent to near the summit of Latrigg which provides fantastic views over Keswick and Borrowdale.”

“When we can, we take the opportunity to replace stiles with gates, improve path surfaces and widen boardwalks and bridges.”

One of the national park’s current project is at Orrest Head, Windermere.

It plans to resurface the existing paths and remove other barriers over the next few years.

“In the 1930s it was the place where author Alfred Wainwright first fell in love with the Lake District,” added Mr Gaskell. “It set him on the journey to writing his much loved Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. We want the views from Orrest Head summit to inspire many more visitors of varying abilities much like it with Wainwright.”