Move to create beauty-spot green route for walkers and cyclists

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A public consultation will get underway to create a new walking and cycling “green route” in Yorkshire.

The move marks an important stage in plans by local councils to create the route linking Burley, Menston, Otley and Pool which will be known as the Wharfedale Greenway.

The proposed route largely follows the former railway line between Burley and Pool on a newly-constructed path, covering a distance of just over five miles.

It will provide the opportunity for off-road walking and cycling offering views of Wharfedale.

The scheme will also connect people to railway stations, schools and shops by providing a safe alternative to busy local roads.

In the joint initiative, the parish councils of Burley, Menston and Pool, together with Otley Town Council, have come together to develop the project following a feasibility study carried out by sustainable transport charity Sustrans. The project has also been supported by Bradford and Leeds councils and three cycling organisations from Otley.

The consultation will involve an exhibition at venues in Otley, Pool, Menston and Burley from June 9 to 21.

Town councillor John Eveleigh, leader of Otley Town Council and chairman of Wharfedale Greenway steering group, said: “All of our communities share a desire to improve facilities for cyclists and walkers, and this project has really caught the imagination – what could be better, in this, the year that the Tour de France comes to the beautiful Wharfe Valley?”

Paul Osborne, regional director for Sustrans, said: “Sustrans are pleased to be working with the local councils and community developing this long-term aspiration.

“Walking and cycling for everyday journeys is great for our health, the environment and it’s fun too.”