Council officers will re-examine plans for a cycle route between Keighley and Oxenhope (From Keighley News)
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Council officers will re-examine plans for a cycle route between Keighley and Oxenhope
2:50pm Saturday 31st August 2013 in News
Council officers will re-examine plans for a cycle route between Keighley and Oxenhope.
The ambitious scheme was first put forward 11 years ago, but never got off the ground.
Now the feasibility of implementing the project will be looked at again.
Councillor Val Slater – Bradford Council’s executive member for planning, transport and housing – said it was recognised that particular part of the district did lack cycle routes.
But she warned were the initiative to go ahead, it would not be prior to the arrival in the area of the Tour de France Grand Depart next July.
“Any route from Oxenhope to Keighley will be complex to put together as there will be a large number of landowners involved and it could prove to be quite expensive,” said Coun Slater. “There is no way such a complex project could be put together before the Tour.
“Some of the routes suggested in the original study have already been included in the rights of way implementation plan, although no progress has been made on the ground due to lack of identified finance.
“I have asked officers to have another look at the plan and see if it could be implemented in stages over a period of time. Bradford Council has been quite successful in bidding for funding from the Government and Sustrans for cycle ways, and if further opportunities arise, this route can be considered.”
Last week, Worth Valley’s three Tory district councillors – Glen Miller, Rebecca Poulsen and Russell Brown – questioned why the scheme had never been pursued.
They said it would bring huge health, environmental and economic benefits to the area.
Coun Slater responded: “It is ironic Coun Miller and his colleagues are pushing for this route now, and I would ask why it wasn’t a priority for them during the period 2002 to 2008, when not only were the economic conditions much more favourable but their political group was in charge of the council?”
The proposed cycle route is welcomed by ex-professional cyclist Bernie Burns, of Oxenhope.
“There is a way of getting down the valley off-road into Keighley, but if a formal cycle route could be created, that must be a good thing,” said Mr Burns, owner of Aire Valley Cycles in Keighley. “The problem with the Keighley area is it’s so hilly, but if you can follow close to the route of the railway line up the Worth Valley, it’s a relatively gradual climb.”
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