Rights of way consultation
RAMBLERS and riders, babies in buggies, commuters on mountain-bikes - they're all among the hundreds of people who, every day, use part of North Yorkshire's extensive network of rights of way.
And now the County Council is giving the public their say on how the network - the largest in England, with a total length equivalent to the distance between London and Hong Kong - can be improved.
The consultation exercise begins this week and people around North Yorkshire are invited to contribute their views to the county's Rights of Way Improvement Plan. The plan is aimed at improving the management, location and promotion of the network in a way which protects it and enhances it for the future.
"The rights of way network is one of the most socially inclusive transport networks," said Gordon Gresty, North Yorkshire's director of business and environmental services.
"It affects all aspects of our lives, including improving our health, economy, culture, education, tourism, environment, heritage and transport."
The plan is being prepared jointly by the county council, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the North York Moors National Park.
The plan will set out an assessment of the extent to which the network meets current and likely future needs, of the opportunities provided for exercise and other forms of recreation, of accessibility to the blind and mobility-restricted, and will contribute to the Government's transport priorities of reducing congestion, improving air quality, enhancing accessibility and improving safety.
Summaries of the Plan are available at libraries across North Yorkshire; while the complete Plan can be seen at district council offices and national park centres.
Closing date for comments is June 30.