The Ryburn Valley Greenway: Making The News (And Not Making The News)

There’s been much about the Far East in recent weeks, but let’s come back to Yorkshire and more specifically the Ryburn Valley. Some of you may remember me mentioning the Ryburn Valley Greenway project on in the past – follow this link to read the previous posts. It’s very much a long-term ambition to turn a disused railway line that runs from Sowerby Bridge to Rishworth into a viable walking and cycling route. The benefits for anyone wanting to travel along the valley (not accompanied by a combustion engine) are significant yet the consultation drags on. The report was supposed to have been published by now but all that has been produced is a side and a half of A4 (see below) that looks as though it has been quickly cobbled together in order to keep the local group of ‘activists’ happy. Well, we are not and we are looking where we go next. A freedom of information request perhaps?

Anyway, in more positive news, BBC Radio Leeds took up our invitation to come and visit the disused railway line and record a piece for the ‘Secret Spaces’ strand of Andrew Edward’s weekend breakfast show. The report was broadcast this weekend and here it is:


Andrew Edwards of BBC Radio Leeds

This is what ยฃ26,000 of public money spent on a consultation gets you:


Categories: Cycling, Travel

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9 replies »

  1. Iโ€™m satisfied to see this losing momentum by the year. The railway is one of the wildest and most unique spots not just in the Ryburn Valley but in all of Calderdale.
    Many of us havenโ€™t made our voices heard in extreme opposition to this, but will be primed and ready should the need arise.

    • Au contraire mon ami… Momentum is building, especially at the moment. Boris Johnson envisages a โ€˜golden age for cyclingโ€™ and, alongside walking, it is the new norm in these socially distanced times. Embrace the future Danny because itโ€™s not the preserve of the few; it is the land of the many and the fewer cyclists and walkers that have to put up with the horrors of the noise, traffic and pollution of the A58 the better. You know you want to! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • I was puzzled at first, but I think I understand now?
      The line of this railway is truly a delight, lovely to walk and lose yrself in nature. But it wld also make a good cycle route off the main road, would be good for families on bikes to ride safely away from the horrendous traffic, be safe. Also it wld help encourage to ride bikes even commute, but safely.
      That there is ‘unease, unhappiness’ I think I can understand? I saw the Sustrans plans. They dismayed me. That cross section gave the appearance of driving a carriageway through the woods, wide and intrusive. It looked over the top to me perhaps not as a plan, but as it was presented.
      I wonder if it was that that people object to? I see, in my minds eye, the likes of the Tissington Trail, not too wide, cinder tracked – modest and unobtrusive.

      I can see too how easy and selfish it wld be to say, leave it at it is, but for the Common Good, young families and the future there should be an alternative to that dangerous main road.

      Yes, it will attract people, there will be problems, as there always are: they can be resolved if there are open and constructive minds and a willingness to make it work.

      Nothing stays the safe, but change can be managed sensitively and to the better for all of us.

      I do hope in the time I have left on this Earth to see even one section open to the public and people cycling and enjoying themselves.


      • Very well put David. I couldnโ€™t agree more. The Tissington Trail is a good example. As is the Nidderdale Greenway that I cycled along a couple of weeks ago. And the Waterford Greenway in Ireland is just beautiful… Letโ€™s hope something similar comes to our valley!

        • Thanks and yes, but we need to make waves, keep this idea alive and visible. It’s not likely there wld be any direct money from Government especially now, but, local initiatives could enable part of the line to open? Much is nigh ‘oven read’ as PM Pinocchio might say?
          There is, I believe a local push/consulataion on the main road running through Ripponden from the motorway, so it wld be timely to raise the Greenway again.

          Yrs aye,


  2. Ripponden. This is a must do project that will benefit everyone. An obvious solution for anyone to escape the fumes and noise and dangers of the main road, hopefully asap.


    • Obvious to us, alas not to all but we are making progress. We recently escorted a group of people from Calderdale Council along the route. They could clearly see the potential and expressed those sentiments. Small steps forward…

What do you think?