Cyclists in the Yorkshire Dales. Photo: DS Pugh CC-BY-SA-2.0

Cyclists in the Yorkshire Dales. Photo: DS Pugh CC-BY-SA-2.0

Peace will be the order of the day between two formerly warring counties with the launch of a new cycle route.

The Way of the Roses links Lancashire and Yorkshire and has come about through close co-operation between authorities west and east of the Pennines.

The new 274km (170-mile) route runs from Morecambe to Bridlington and passes through the Forest of Bowland, the National Park, Nidderdale, Ripon, York and the Yorkshire Wolds. It will be officially launched on Saturday, 11 September, the 15th anniversary of the National Cycle Network.

Andy Ryland, transport and visitor management officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “Cycling is growing in popularity and this new route will bring benefits to local businesses – including B&Bs, cafes, 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 [39km] 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’s 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.”

Public art will also be installed along the route as part of a £4,000 project.

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