Canal towpath near Silsden
Canal towpath near Silsden

North Yorkshire’s bid for money from the Active Travel Fund 2021 is rather odd and a little disappointing.

£900,000, or 58% of the total, is requested for a canal towpath leisure route near Silsden. There is also a request for £550,000 for Ripon, but it’s not clear if any cycling provision is involved in that.

North Yorkshire County Council has made a bid for £1.55 million in total, which breaks down as follows:

  • £900,000 to improve a canal towpath between Kildwick and Silsden, for leisure and health purposes
  • £550,000 for wider pavements, crossings, and traffic calming, in Ripon West
  • £50,000 for a feasibility study into a shared use path alongside the A170 between Helmsley and Kirbymoorside
  • £50,000 for a feasibility study into a 7km shared use path alongside the railway line between Knaresborough and Flaxby Green Park; this would be part of a cohesive route to York

Reservations and Criticisms

  1. As mentioned above, it is welcome that Ripon is included in the bid, but there is no mention of cycling provision in North Yorkshire’s article. The ATF is intended for both walking and cycling, not just walking.
  2. There are lots of opportunities to improve infrastructure in Harrogate. We made suggestions to North Yorkshire, but they didn’t take any account of them. It seems from statements by Councillor Mackenzie to the local press that a political decision was taken to exclude Harrogate.
  3. Councillor Mackenzie is quoted in North Yorkshire’s article as saying that ‘…our officers are using our adopted Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans to identify potential bid material.’ However, there is no Ripon LCWIP yet, and the Knaresborough to Flaxby Green Park route is not in Harrogate’s LCWIP. Harrogate’s LCWIP identifies four routes for improved cycling and walking facilities, but they are not included in the bid. In other words, a large part of the bid is not based on any LCWIP.

This is the county council’s report about their ATF bid.

North Yorkshire Active Travel Fund Bid

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