New route avoids busy main road

Cyclists in Harrogate can now avoid the busy Wetherby Road thanks to a new cycle path which opens next week.

The path has been constructed through the Great Yorkshire Showground to allow walkers and cyclists to gain direct access to Crimple Lane and beyond from the south side of Harrogate.

 Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), which undertook the construction of the path, has licensed the land for the cycleway to sustainable transport charity, Sustrans, to enable the route to open to the public. Volunteers from Sustrans have supported the development of the path by contributing to the supply of materials.

 The construction of the new cycle route was made possible when the local Sustrans group was awarded a prize in the Yorkshire Water and Laing O’Rourke ‘Dragonfly’s Den’ competition held last Summer.

 Martin Weeks, member of the local Sustrans group, said: “We were awarded a runner-up prize of 40 tonnes of road building stone by Laing O’Rourke following their approval of the idea to construct a new cycle path.

 “I discussed the development with the Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, Nigel Pulling, who very generously offered to take the material and in exchange, YAS set about building the new cycle route. Nigel and his team have been very helpful and Sustrans has been able to see the development of the new route much faster than we had envisaged.”

 The new route, which opens next Tuesday (Jan 12) is accessed from the cycle path that already runs on the service road through the Showground. It leaves the Showground adjacent to the Travellers Rest Inn on Crimple Lane, from which cyclists can continue on their journey to Rudding Lane and into the countryside south of Harrogate, and walkers have a number of picturesque footpaths to enjoy.