Richmondshire councillors agree £8,000 funding for cycle trail study

The Swale Trail has already been launched in Swaledale.

Plans for a family friendly cycle route in Wensleydale have moved a step closer with an £8,000 cash injection from the district council.

Members of Richmondshire’s Corporate Board gave a grant towards a feasibility study for the creation of a multi user cycle route as part of the reinstatement of the Hawes to Garsdale railway route.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) proposal aims to increase the family friendly routes available through the dales by 2023 – they have already established three routes at Malham Tarn, Greenfield Forest and through the Swale Trail.

This latest £200,000 route through Swaledale – which has seen around 5,000 cyclists a year of all ages and abilities using it – saw Richmondshire District Council provide £50,000 towards it.

“Family cycle routes not only enable local people to benefit from them, but they attract young people into the area and in turn enhance our visitor economy,” said Council Leader, Councillor Angie Dale.

“But this new route will have one major advantage – being near a former railway line it is on a relatively flat terrain so will make access easier for people of limited mobility, those in wheelchairs and those with young children.”

The railway line has been protected for development for the intention of reinstating the railway in future years.

The YDNPA study into the possibility of the bike route will cost around £16,000.