A new cycling and walking route along the Aire Valley is due to go public by the summer.

New signs marking the Airedale Greenway are due to be erected along the route during the spring.

The Greenway will connect the town centres of Keighley, Shipley and Bingley by the safest and most scenic routes. Funding has been found for the signs from the Airedale Partnership as part of the Airedale Masterplan.

A map will be widely distributed to encourage people to use the route rather than driving into the towns.

Further cash is being sought to improve roads and paths along the route over the next three years.

The Greenway is one of the main components of the Masterplan, which sets out regeneration measures for the three towns. Most of the route will be along the towpath of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, from Shipley to Riddlesden.

The route will use the main road through Stockbridge, then divert to Aireworth Road, Dalton Lane, Bradford Street and Lawkholme Lane. During that stretch the Greenway will cross under the Aire Valley trunk road and run alongside the River Worth.

There will be information boards in all three town centres, and a code of conduct for cyclists and walkers printed on boards along the canal towpath.

Design work on the Greenway has been carried out over the past two years, with funding coming from various bodies.

Partnership spokesman Robert Brough said some improvements had already been carried out.

But more was to come, such as widening the path on Dalton Lane, installing cycle lanes on parts of Bradford Road, and improving cycle access to the towpath.

Funding was being sought for some of these measures, with the Dalton Lane improvements alone expected to cost £80,000.

Mr Brough said Government permission had been given for special signs showing estimated cycling and walking times, rather than distances.

He said: “We want the time so people can see how long it will take them, to encourage them to walk or cycle, to get them out of their cars.

“We won’t achieve the cycling volume of places like York but it gives people more opportunity. People are looking for healthier lifestyles.”

In the long run the Greenway project will also involve making the entire main road between Keighley and Shipley safer for cyclists.