21 FEBRUARY 1987, Page 27

Disfigured Dales

Sir: C. A. Williams of London SW4 (Letters, 31 January) demands the demoli- tion of the Ribblehead Viaduct on aesthe- tic grounds.

Yes, C. A. Williams, demolish it by all means, though your fellow ramblers who are the principal users of the Settle-Carlisle line may whine a bit. My only criticism is that you and the other letter-writers from London postal districts who complain from time to time in the national press that the Yorkshire Dales Park is not entirely to your liking, don't take the thing far enough.

What really disfigures the national park is not a viaduct here or a conifer plantation or quarry there, but the inhabitants. You can see them, or their spoor, almost everywhere. Their peasant quaintness does not compensate for the visual intrusion (as the park planners say) that their sadly inorganic lifestyles make into the spectacu- lar views from the Pennine Way.

A park authority that was properly mindful of its responsibilities would surely move all these unhappy people out of the open countryside to a location where visi- tors from the home counties would not notice them and where they would not make unreasonable demands (as our plan- ners also say) 'for the uneconomic and in some instances visually intrusive extension of public utilities and communal and emergency services' — i.e. a town.

With a warden or two to keep the place tidy, C. A. Williams and the others could then enjoy the Dales in peace.

M. T. Sykes

Hind Keld Farm, Garsdale, Sedbergh, Cumbria