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Something for everyone in the South Pennines

A new cycling and walking route will be officially unveiled next week at the South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival. Thousands of people in Keighley, Bingley and Shipley can now walk or pedal their way into some of the region's most picturesque settings via the Airedale Greenway thanks to the seven-mile route which links the Leeds and Liverpool canal towpath to the three town centres and local bus and train stations.

The Greenway has been developed over a number of years with the Airedale Partnership, Bradford Council, British Waterways, Sustrans and other organisations, and it’s hoped that the scheme will encourage local people and visitors to the waterways and surrounding areas by more sustainable means.

The route, which principally follows National Cycle Network route number 696 along the towpath, includes some on-road sections to the town centres and has been signed using time rather than distance to help people see how little time it takes to travel from one place to another by walking and cycling.

Information boards at key locations show the route, places of interest and a code of conduct for all users and a pocket-sized map will also be available.

Councillor Adrian Naylor, Bradford Council's executive member for regeneration, will officially open the Greenway this Monday during the Festival.

Council officers will be giving away 100 free cycle bells at the launch which starts at 11.45am at Shipley Wharf, and which can be reached by walkers and cyclists from Victoria Street, Shipley.

The second South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival runs from September 12 -27 and includes a range of outdoor activities across the South Pennines area so you can leave the car at home. The programme offers something for everyone, from short, medium and long walks, various cycle rides and horse rides.

There are also interpretive walks, talks and themed events, focusing on special aspects of South Pennines life and landscape – social and industrial history, transport, literature and the environment.

Most events are free – there are a few that charge – so you can just turn up. To find out which events are on where, visit www.southpenninesfestival.com