Letter: Greenway

Cyclists and walkers on the Nidderdale Greenway
Cyclists and walkers on the Nidderdale Greenway
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Inexplicable act of vandalism

Last week, an inexplicable act of vandalism took place on the Nidderdale Greenway, the new and hugely popular walking and cycling path from Bilton Lane to Ripley.

There is an adjustable ‘A-frame’ barrier on the path at the southern entrance to the Nidd Viaduct.

This in normally left in an open, vertical position, but can be angled to block access to unauthorised vehicles such as motorbikes and quad bikes if necessary, which is a little less convenient for other users but most can still get through.Someone adjusted the barrier to the narrower position which involved removing and replacing several heavy duty bolts.

The screw threads were then hammered out of shape so that they could only be removed by cutting through them with heavy duty equipment. This was almost certainly done overnight to avoid detection.What makes this vandalism particularly hard to understand is that, while the overwhelming majority of users are virtually unaffected, the only ones who are seriously inconvenienced are disabled people on wheelchairs and motorised scooters.

They cannot get through. So, for example, the disabled lady who lives in Ripley and who has found the path a godsend, enabling her to travel independently to Harrogate on her scooter to do her shopping and so forth, found that when she reached the viaduct with Bilton Lane just a short distance away, she could go no further and had no choice but to return the way she came.

If any readers have information about the perpetrators, or any idea what they might have been attempting to achieve, please contact Sustrans Leeds office on 0113 2450006 or email maintenance@sustrans.org.uk.

Malcolm Margolis