An elderly woman has been seriously injured after a crash with a passing cyclist on the newly-opened Bilton to Ripley cycleway.
The 78-year-old suffered a broken hip and had to be airlifted to hospital in Harrogate after the crash at 4.15pm yesterday (Monday).
Her condition is said to be stable after surgery at Harrogate District Hospital.
She had been walking towards Bilton with her daughter when the mountain biker, travelling in the same direction, crashed as he tried to pass by.
The man fell off his bike but remounted and continued his journey.
TC Rob Roberts, from North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, said: “We are investigating the full circumstances of the collision on the Ripley to Bilton cycle path which left an elderly woman in hospital with a serious hip injury.
“I am appealing for witnesses to the incident to come forward as soon as possible, or anyone who recalls seeing the elderly woman and her daughter or the man on the mountain bike prior to the collision.”
A man aged in his 50s was traced by officers in the Ripon area on Monday evening in connection with the incident. Police said he is helping officers with their ongoing enquiry.
The £400,000 Bilton to Ripley cycle way, funded by a Big Lottery grant, was opened this weekend after 15 years of planning and debate.
So many people chose to try out the route that it was said to be busier that Skipton Road at rush hour.
“Loving the new Bilton to Ripley cycle way,” said one reader on Twitter. “But already fed up with some inconsiderate and rude users who want to walk or ride three and four abreast.”
The 3.7km path, for use by walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, runs from Bilton Lane in Harrogate to Killinghall Bridge in Ripley.
It was first mooted more than 15 years ago but has been held up by a decade of legal wranglings.
The latest stumbling block, over a proposed route diversion, was resolved just last month after a public inquiry.
l Have you tried out the new route? What do you think? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01423 707509.