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: January 2019

Phase 1: Burley to Otley

The Parish Council have been working with a range of partners to create a safe walking and cycling route. Phase 1 (Otley to Burley) is at the final stage of discussion. The Parish Council have previously approved the purchase of land towards Menston, and have recently agreed to purchase land owned by Otley Golf Club.

To fund this work, an expression of interest bid has been accepted by the Rural Development Programme which means the full grant application can now be made. Leeds Cycling officers are working on the grant application which is around three-quarters complete. The Rural Development Programme application is subject to planning permission being granted by Bradford MBC, so an outline planning application has been resubmitted.

The planning application can be found here (enter reference 19/008 93/MAF) https://planning.bradford.gov.uk/online-applications/ . The application contains the full Design and Delivery Report for the Wharfedale Greenway Phase 1 (Otley to Burley in Wharfedale)

When the outline planning permission is granted, the bid for funding can go in and a decision on funding should follow quickly after that.

If for whatever reason a grant for the full costs is not available, the plan is to carry out a simplified scheme, and create a low cost surface for the greenway stretching from Otley roundabout to Burley Station.



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 have prepared an appraisal of a number of alternative routes. These are being considered by Ilkley Parish Council who plan to hold a public consultation for Ilkley residents on the preferred route in June