Upper Nidderdale
Upper Nidderdale

HDCA member Malcolm Margolis BEM and retired Regional Director of Sustrans David Hall have been working for two years on a Sustrans project to extend the Nidderdale Greenway from Ripley to Pateley Bridge and on to Scarhouse Reservoir at the top of the Dale.

This would create a Nidderdale Greenway 27 miles long, which would be a great asset to Harrogate District.

Malcolm and David have met fifty landowners and stakeholders along the proposed route, which follows the disused railway line or existing rights of way wherever possible. Their findings were incorporated into a 39-page report produced by Sustrans last year, showing draft proposals for a route.

Draft Nidderdale Greenway extension route
Draft Nidderdale Greenway extension route

The report was sent to Nidderdale Parish Councils in December, and has since been shared with stakeholders, though it is not yet public.

Progress has been affected by the pandemic, but the hope is that with support from local councils, as well as Nidderdale residents and organisations, a steering group will soon be formed to take the project forward.

Would you like to see the Greenway extended to Pateley Bridge and beyond? Let us know in the comments.

Nidderdale Greenway Extension
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8 thoughts on “Nidderdale Greenway Extension

  • 1 May 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Yes – that would be absolutely amazing. Even better if you could bypass Ripley along the original route. The old roman road to the bluebell woods can get a tad busy with pedestrians especially on the weekend.

    • 3 May 2021 at 6:58 am

      I totally agree. I’m local but have never dared cycle along the busy and narrow B6165, so a traffic free (& less hilly) route to Pateley would be fantastic. Bypassing Ripley is also a very good idea. Thanks to Malcolm and David for all your efforts.

  • 1 May 2021 at 8:50 pm

    An extension of the Greenway from Ripley to Angram would/will be a major economic, health and social benefit for residents and visitors to lower and upper Nidderdale. I can picture our families enjoying a beautiful, easy and healthy traffic free ride along the river side from Harrogate to Pateley and then the more challenging route to Scar House and Angram. As I cycle in Nidderdale many people have said how they would love to commute by bike to Harrogate and a purpose built cycle way would be brilliant. Let’s pull together and make the Greenway extension happen. Thank you Malcolm and David

  • 4 May 2021 at 10:54 am

    This would be an excellent development. We regularly use the Harrogate to Ripley section and the ability to take this whole route to Pateley and beyond would be fantastic. Also at 27 miles long this becomes a real draw for visitors to the area, including a wider range of cyclists who want to have a part of whole day ride. It would be a ‘destination’ ride. Having visited a similar length off road/quiet roads route in Cornwall last year (Camel Trail – Padstow) it creates economic benefits along the route, increasing visitors to key points and encouraging people to get out of cars to explore lesser known spots. Happy to support in whatever ways we can.

  • 8 May 2021 at 6:27 pm

    Wonderful idea and good progress- and I agree with comments about a cycle route generating business opportunities along the route – cafes, B&Bs etc. This needs to be stressed to landowners and Councils at all times.

    I would favour the priority being the stretch to link Ripley with Pateley Bridge as after that the roads become a lot quieter, and somewhat flatter, anyway.

    Well done anyway, Peter

  • 17 May 2021 at 9:30 am

    I support this idea if it is done in a sympathetic way to the landscape and community of an AONB on some well known paths. Some hopefully constructive feedback;
    1) A stretch of tarmac blacktop on most of this route will not be welcome in the slightest, concealed limestone crush under grass would be much more in keeping.
    2) The expectation that farmers profit from people using their land is all well in theory but is not realistic, they see their livelihood endangered by people dropping litter which chokes animals, leaving dogs off leads scaring pregnant animals and the young, have people leave gates open or straying onto their land looking to pick up bridleways and footpaths (of which I am guilty). On top of this they have to ensure they keep up the fencing and gates to facilitate other peoples enjoyment. Then are told to be grateful for the local teashop being busy. Encouraging use for cyclists means encouraging use for everyone (even the less considerate).
    3) Embrace the hilliness. E-bikes are here and they are getting cheaper, hills and rough ground is fun you just need the legs and lungs or an e-bike, so rather than lay a route that is pan-flat through beautiful countryside (on a long since overgrown railway) please do not rule out using existing C roads, bridleways and permissive paths that are hillier, rockier and more challenging.
    (Nidderdale resident, Commuter to York by bicycle/& Starbeck train for 3 years prior to lockdown, also recreationally have ridden lots of road & mtb bridleway in Nidderdale for ages and ages).

  • 17 May 2021 at 6:29 pm

    The existing Nidderdale Greenway is a huge success because it is accessible to everyone, on all types of bike.

    Putting non-smooth surfaces down is all about excluding road bikes – probably the majority of current NG users. We should include as many people as possible, rather than excluding people.

    Railway paths are successful in large part because they are easy cycling without steep gradients. Rough paths and steep hills will still be there for those who want to seek them out.

  • 1 August 2021 at 10:10 am

    Fantastic to hear that the work on this continues and the success of the current track from Starbeck to Ripley just shows how important accessible routes are for all users.

    I think a route out to Scar House would be a real showstopper for cyclists and runners, but would happily settle for a connection that gets me to Pateley!

    Keep up the great work. Please let me know if there’s anything I can help with.


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