Off-road bike paths in Wetherby backed by council

The Watson family, Rob and Ann Watson who sold the land for 1
The Watson family, Rob and Ann Watson who sold the land for 1

Community support and a generous donation of land has helped secure proposals for new off-road bike paths in time for the Tour de Yorkshire.

Wetherby Bike Trails are celebrating after plans for a children’s cycle path and pump track at Harland Way and Millennium Field secured council support.

Organisations from across the area have rallied in support of the project by donating funds to the project, with one couple even gifting the land for only £1.

David Lund of Wetherby Bike Trails said:”It will be a fun and safe path with some small 30 cm high bumps in it and some corners.

“As a concept we’ve always called it Little Toe and that name will probably stick.

“We’ve had brilliant support so far from Wetherby Lions, of almost £1500 for the Little Toe, Wetherby Town Council granted £500, trail-builders SingletrAction £250, the Watson family gifting their land, some donations of our own and we’re bidding for grants too. This can all only happen with fundraising.”

The Watson family, Rob and Ann Watson, originally lived in the area during the eighties and used the land for keeping rare sheep. However after they moved away anti-social behaviour and littering became a problem on the land.

Originally the WBT planned to organise a clean up of the site, instead they are now working towards preparing a cycle loop for young children in time for the coverage of the Tour de Yorkshire.

Mayor of Wetherby, Coun Norma Harrington said: “This is a really interesting initiative and is such a positive move for the town.

“I understand that some people may be wary of the potential for anti-social behaviour on the site but if people are using it regularly this is unlikely to happen.

“It links in well with a number of council committee plans on health by giving people in the town somewhere to get involved.”

Looking to the future the organisation are planning for the hard work ahead by reaching out to other groups in the area.

Mr Lund said: “As soon as we build the Little Toe we can concentrate on the next phase which is the Big Toe pump track, plus the loop alongside with features for mountain bikes, but that’s going to need a lot more money.

“We want this to be a success and we intend to work with riders, walkers, dog-walkers and everyone interested in our projects.”

Mr Watson said: “We think the proposals are a great idea, a great use for the land and we think it’s a really worthy community project.”

Looking to the future the organisation are planning for the hard work ahead by reaching out to other groups in the area.

Mr Lund said: “As soon as we build the Little Toe we can concentrate on the next phase which is the Big Toe pump track, plus the loop alongside with features for mountain bikes, but that’s going to need a lot more money.

“We want this to be a success and we intend to work with riders, walkers, dog-walkers and everyone interested in our projects.”