Cyclists visiting the Yorkshire Dales National Park will be able to try out a new route from next weekend (Sep 11).
Saturday will see the launch of the new 170-mile Way of the Roses cycle route from Morecambe to Bridlington via Lancaster, the Forest of Bowland, the National Park, Nidderdale, Ripon, York and the Yorkshire Wolds.
The name is a play on the War of the Roses but, for this project, peace has broken out between Lancashire and Yorkshire as local authorities worked closely in partnership to plan this stunning cycle route.
It is being launched on September 11 to tie in with the 15th anniversary of the National Cycle Network, which was developed by the UK sustainable transport charity Sustrans.
Andy Ryland, Transport and Visitor Management Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA), said: “Cycling is growing in popularity and this new route will bring benefits to local businesses – including B&Bs, cafés, pubs and cycle shops – in the Yorkshire Dales and along the entire route.
“The YDNPA has contributed towards funding to the development of the route through its recreational activities budgets and its Sustainable Development Fund, which is managed by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.
“We have also helped plan the 24-mile section through the National Park from Settle to Keld Houses and, at an early stage, we were instrumental in bringing the partners together.
“The idea for the route came from Lancashire County Council – their cycling officer Alasdair Simpson approached us. We arranged a meeting at the Leeds office of Sustrans with North Yorkshire County Council’s cycling officer where we drafted an initial idea for the route and persuaded Sustrans to map it and other local authorities and partners to come on board.
“This has been a great collaboration between local authorities in Yorkshire and Lancashire, who have worked really well together.
“The YDNPA, Lancashire County Council, The Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and North Yorkshire County Council and other partners from both sides of the county have all contributed to bringing the Way of the Roses cycle route into being and the Yorkshire Dales Leader programme has paid for a consultant to look at local cultural feature and heritage site that people can visit on the way.
“We believe the route will bring more people in to the National Park in a sustainable way to understand and enjoy its special qualities – and help the local economy at the same time.“
Sustrans' Regional Director for Yorkshire, David Hall, said: "The Way of the Roses runs through some of northern England's most stunning countryside with beautiful coastal scenery either side of the route. Whether cyclists choose to tackle the whole 170 mile length of the path as part of a challenge ride adventure, or enjoy a leisurely ride across sections of the route, Way of the Roses is suitable for use by people of varying ability and interest."
Yorkshire Dales Leader contributed £4,000 towards the appointment of an artist to develop an original public art concept for the route and celebrate the distinctive characters, cultural and heritage of the Yorkshire and Lancashire counties.
The project will lead to the installation of public art along the Way of the Roses cycle route helping attract interest in and raise the profile of the new cycle route.
The Way of the Roses is one of seven UK 'coast to coast' routes on the National Cycle Network. For more information on the route and to buy a map see www.sustrans.org.uk