Letter: Councillors should be encouraging cycling

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It seems incredible that the council have taken the shared use signs off the main route to Harlow Carr. Naturally, lots of people cycle through the Pinewoods to Crag Lane, as there is no other sensible route.

Harlow Carr shouldn’t be that difficult to get to on a bike, but strangely the Council seem to want it to be.

A decent cycle route to one of Harrogate’s main tourist attractions is a pretty basic requirement, you would think.

To take the signs down because it might encourage more people to use the path is absurd.

The council should be encouraging more people to use these routes, as the traffic on the main roads is terrible, in case they hadn’t noticed.

Coun Harrison says: “The paths in question, are designated as footpaths, and cycling and horse riding are not permitted on footpaths.”

He makes it sound like that can never be changed, and seems to forget that there are lots of designated footpaths you can cycle on: the path through the cricket ground; Beryl Burton; St Georges Road to Pannal Ash, amongst others.

If the technical status of these paths through the Pinewoods needs changing, then the Council should change them.

The Pinewoods Conservation Group have done a lot of good work over the years. They know the situation far better than the Council, so it seems odd the they should be criticised for doing something useful, when it is the Council themselves that have been so lacklustre in providing any alternative route.

The council’s own cycle plan states: “where possible, cyclists will be given shorter routes than are available to motorists, and they are intended to be suitable for use by an unsupervised 12 year old child.”

The route through the Pinewoods fits these criteria perfectly. Faced with an increase in cycling or horse riding, most councils would think this was a good thing, and make the route compliant for the extra use and encourage more of it. Richard Myers

St Catherine’s Road,

Harrogate