Harrogate cycling route a step nearer

Hopes that public inquiry can be avoided

by Mark Appleton   October 22, 2010  

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The prospect of a new walking and cycling route in Harrogate has moved a step closer, as the date for the public inquiry into the Bilton to Ripley bridleway has now been set for February 16 next year.

 The inquiry will allow a planning inspector to decide whether the proposed new bridleway should be built or not. The new route will connect Bilton, on the northern edge of Harrogate, to Ripley an historic village 4km north of the town, providing a fantastic new route for local residents and tourists to enjoy the countryside and access the major tourist attractions of Ripley Castle and Nidderdale.

 The scheme is being developed by Harrogate Borough Council and Sustrans, the charity that enables people to make more of their every day journeys by foot, bike and public transport. It is part of the Connect2 national project, creating new walking and cycling routes across the UK, and funded by part of a £50million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, awarded to Sustrans after a public vote in 2007.

 Scheme Manager for Sustrans, Claire Wright, said, "We are looking forward to being able to get this scheme off the ground and provide an excellent new walking and cycling facility that will be of major benefit to people in the Harrogate area."

 Supporters of the scheme are hoping that negotiations with objectors will be successful in avoiding the expense of a public inquiry

Cllr Michael Harrison, of Harrogate Borough Council and chair of the Connect2 Steering Group, added, "Assuming we get a positive result from the inquiry then we are well on the way to seeing this project completed."

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A Sustrans traffic free route in North Yorkshire! I'll believe it when I see it.

Take a look at the Sustrans map and you will see very few green lines in England's largest county. They seem happy to put up signs directing you around winding country lanes, but to spend money on a traffic free alternative or a shorter route, not a chance. The City of York council (a UA) has done amazing work, but you can tell when you cross the boundary cos you're back on the roads.

NCN Route 1 runs from Dover to Shetland, but it has one missing section, in North Yorkshire. The only major off road route in the county is a converted railway path between Scarborough and Whitby. Conversion is too stronger term, they lifted the tracks in the '60s and that was about it.

I hope Harrogate get their cycle way, and I look forward to using all 4 miles of it.

posted by sharpsharp [6 posts]
22nd October 2010 - 8:52

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