Wharfedale Greenway

The Parish Council have been in partnership since 2013 with Pool, Menston and Otley Parish Councils, plus Bradford and Leeds District Councils to develop a Wharfedale Greenway from Pool to Burley, with plans later on to extend to Ilkley and Addingham.

The Wharfedale Greenway is a proposed safe walking and cycling path that will link Burley with Otley and Ilkley with a traffic free route. Burley, Menston, Otley and Pool councils are working with Sustrans to seek funding for the proposed route. Sustrans primary objective is to make it easier for people to ride, walk and cycle providing traffic–free routes. Sustrans are custodians of the National Cycle Network (NCN), a series of safe, traffic-free paths and quiet on-road cycling and walking routes that connect to every major town and city in the UK. Phase one of the Wharfedale Greenway project will provide a riding, walking and cycle route between Otley and Burley. Otley, Ilkley and Burley have a flourishing cycling culture and have hosted the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire. However, there are no facilities suitable for family cyclists, and local businesses are missing out on this strong potential market. Sustrans propose that the project will form the first phase of a major tourist route linking York to the Yorkshire Dales.

In 2016, a series of studies undertaken by Leeds City Council identified a number of potential cycle facilities, but concluded that there are limited opportunities for continuous linear cycle routes due to the hilly terrain of the region. However, the disused Arthington to Burley railway (closed in 1965) links Arthington to Burley-in-Wharfedale via the Harrogate line, offering a unique opportunity to provide traffic-free cycling in the valley. Re-joining will provide: an easy link from Pool (avoiding a major road), for which Otley is the main centre of services and schools; an easy link from Burley-in-Wharfedale to Otley which offers alternative amenities to Ilkley; a link from Otley to the railway stations at Burley-in-Wharfedale and Menston; and, has the potential to provide a longer greenway route from York to the Yorkshire Dales capable of generating a tangible increase in the local tourism economy

Public consultations and requests have highlighted a desire for more family-orientated facilities that can provide leisure opportunities and links to schools that are suitable for novice and proficient cyclists alike.

wharfedale greenway

Update: July 2018


Phase 1: Burley to Otley

Land ownership details are now in the process of being resolved. As a result, an application for formal planning permission will be submitted to both Leeds and Bradford Councils during April. Sustrans (custodian of the National Cycle Network) has recently submitted a bid for European funding to meet the full cost of construction for Phase 1. We should know if this is successful in the late Summer. If sufficient funding isn’t secured, then Burley can start work on a shorter cycle and walking path on the land that we own, and wait for external funding to be made available in due course.

Phase 2: Otley to Pool

The preferred route has now been adopted and the Sustrans team is working with Pool Parish Council and Otley Town Council on land ownership and construction details.

Phase 3: Link with Menston

On completion of the phase 2 work, Sustrans will commence a detailed appraisal of a suitable alternative route for the Greenway Steering Group to consider

Phase 4: Burley, Ilkley, Addingham link and onwards to Bolton Bridge

Sustrans is at present preparing a detailed appraisal of a number of alternative routes, and plan to make a submission to the Greenway Steering Group in July 2018