New cycling and walking network in Leeds to be named after Beryl Burton

A new bike and walking network around Morley is set to be named after Beryl Burton, after the cycling legend’s family gave their blessing to the idea.

A 6.5km-long greenway linking the town to the White Rose Shopping Centre and Capitol Business Park in Tingley is set to be constructed over the next three years.

Local councillor Robert Finnigan said on Monday that the daughter of Beryl Burton – one of Morley’s most famous citizens – had backed naming the new route after her.

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Burton won five world track cycling titles between 1959 and 1966 and broke a host of records across a glittering career.

New cycling and walking route set to be named after Beryl BurtonNew cycling and walking route set to be named after Beryl Burton
New cycling and walking route set to be named after Beryl Burton

Given the low profile and poor coverage of women’s cycling time, however, her achievements went largely unnoticed outside of the sport, until a play about her life by Maxine Peake brought her to a wider audience in 2014.

Now Morley’s new greenway, which is being financed by the government’s Levelling Up fund, is likely to be named after her, after the board overseeing the project supported the idea too.

Speaking at a board meeting on Monday about the plans, Councillor Finnigan said: “We have spoken to Beryl Burton’s daughter and she said she’d be delighted if we named it after her.

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“We are inclined to call it Beryl Burton Greenway, taking into account the emphasis on walking and cycling. We have the support of the family for that.”

The board was told that negotiations over the route are continuing, as much of the proposed network snakes across private land.

There is said to be support for the idea among some landowners whose properties would be affected, although others have expressed concerns.

Councillor Finnigan also acknowledged that people in nearby Churwell and Cottingley are currently “feeling left out” by the scheme, as the proposed route runs to the south of both communities.

Further consultation work is likely to be done over the coming months.