A few weeks ago at the start of September, I posted an article to CyclingEurope.org about something called the Ryburn Valley Greenway. You may want to read what I wrote at the time (and watch the videos that I made) before you continue to read this but basically… it’s a disused railway line that is not too far from where I live here in West Yorkshire and, after having seen many successful greenways created from disused railway tracks across the continent, I am convinced that the Ryburn Valley Greenway would make an excellent candidate to join the greenway club (for reasons as set out in that previous post). Indeed my conviction verges on frustration in that I cannot help myself from asking the question why has this not happened before now?
With this thought in mind, I decided to contact the association that is pushing the council – Calderdale Council – to invest the money and do the necessary work and last Saturday I met up with Corinne, one of the campaign’s leading lights. We arranged to meet in the pretty village of Ripponden and spent a very enjoyable hour or so wandering along the publically accessible section of the proposed greenway in the direction of Rishworth.
You will be able to hear how I got on in the second episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast which will be published on Sunday October 1st.
Before we went in our separate directions Corinne suggested I walk along a lane on the other side of the village of Ripponden to a section of the old railway line where support for the proposed greenway is less enthusiastic than mine. Corinne herself had to go off and meet friends but she did encourage me to climb the short hill by telling me that a poster / leaflet had been put up and that I had been quoted… How intriguing. Off I went and, a few minutes later, I found this:
Ever the diligent investigative reporter (are you sure?), I followed the instructions and took a leaflet… And here it is (story continues after the leaflet):
…OK, I’ll turn over…
In the spirit of openness and democracy, I have no problem in posting the (anonymous) objector’s thoughts here on CyclingEurope.org. I agree with little of what has been written however and even where I feel there is partial justification in the concerns raised, I don’t believe that any of them are insurmountable (the car parking associated with extra tourists for example). What I do find a little curious is that the way in which this very website – yes, CyclingEurope.org – has been described. I am kind-of flattered that we should be referred to in the following terms:
I would like to point out to the writer of the leaflet* – whoever he or she may be – that I am a local and that nothing about the proposed greenway is being done in secret. The only aspect of this that may be considered ‘international’ is the comparison with other projects that have been seen to be so successful in many countries across the globe. The Waterford Greenway in Ireland, which I was fortunate to visit earlier in the year, is a classic of the genre that is now bringing money into the economy, jobs to people who need them as well as being a valued piece of the local sustainable transport infrastructure. How wonderful it would be to bring a little bit of that to the Ryburn Valley. The debate continues…
*In addition to THEIR grammar error…
It will almost certainly have been put up by some one local to the path who does not want any people “intruding” on what they see as their patch. I am not a cyclist but my wife is considering buying a bike and I was looking at cycling options around where I live in Sowerby Bridge. I noticed that there had been many meetings and consultations etc, going back a number of years with Calderdale Council regarding, the proposed Ryburn Valley Greenway. It all seemd to go quiet around Autumn 2017 and I cannot find any conclusions or results from the consultations. I hope I am wrong and matters are still ongoing, for If projects like this are sidelined beacuase of a few objections probably from private land owners then it bodes ill for the development of walking, horse riding and cycling routes around Calderdale.
Things are beginning to move; a new consultation has just been completed and the council are moving to the next stage of detailed implementation from Sowerby Bridge to Kebroyd. Watch this space!