YOUR recent article about ambitious plans to extend the Nidderdale Greenway from Ripley to Pateley Bridge and then to Scar House Reservoir fills me with dismay.
At a time when the world is trying to reduce its carbon footprint, encourage conservation and care of the environment and preserve historic footpaths and bridleways, it seems ludicrous that there should be a suggestion of a greenway.
We all know it is not a greenway, it will never be a greenway but a blackway as it will result in 19 miles of Tarmac being laid over footpaths, bridleways, disused railway lines and virgin land.
It will destroy bridleways which are used by walkers and horses, it will destroy footpaths that are used by walkers, it will destroy the environment and flora and fauna. It will destroy and displace wildlife, animals, birds and insects from their homes and it will urbanise what is a beautiful rural dale.
I have no objection to cyclists, but there is a perfectly adequate road system in Nidderdale for them to use which, in part, requires some physical fitness.
The first cycle route from Knaresborough to Harrogate to Ripley is an urban route that people can access easily by cycle or on foot from the town. The proposed greenway is not an urban route. It would require people to drive to it and then walk and cycle part of it.
Having viewed the Knaresborough to Ripley cycle route, I see that there has been a great deal of encroachment on to adjoining countryside and I am appalled to think of the amount of encroachment that would happen on any proposed extension.
I have yet to speak to a landowner who is in favour. I have yet to speak to a resident who is in favour, but I have spoken to many people who enjoy walking and riding on the existing footpaths and bridleways, and they are not in favour. Instead of this constant misplaced enthusiasm that Harrogate Borough Council show for cycling, it would be better if they tried to spend the ratepayers’ money on improving the town centre.
Equally North Yorkshire has many challenges to deal with and a proposed Tarmac track up Nidderdale should not be high on its priority list.