The Week in the Life column with Keith Tordoff

Part of the proposed Nidderdale Greenway route near Glasshouses.
Part of the proposed Nidderdale Greenway route near Glasshouses.

Wouldn’t it be good if we still had the railway that ran through Nidderdale. The journey from Harrogate to Pateley Bridge and up to Scar House Reservoir would have been fantastic for locals and visitors. It would be up there as one of the most scenic and beautiful routes in the whole country. Of course many stretches of the old railway line can still be seen.

Lost forever – or is it?

Some of the original sections of the old railway line have been incorporated into the hugely popular Nidderdale Greenway which now goes from Harrogate to Ripley and further up Nidderdale to Clint.

The greenway is a ‘paths for everyone’ for use by walkers, horse riders, the disabled who can use their mobility scooters and for cyclists. It is hoped that the route will continue to Pateley Bridge with aspirations for it to go to Scar House reservoir.

Where possible the path for everyone would follow the course of the old railway line but it is accepted that it will not be possible to do this on every part of the route. Hopefully it will not be too long before the pathway is complete from Harrogate to Pateley Bridge. Pateley, which is already the start and finish point for the Nidderdale Way, will become a hub on the route of the Nidderdale Greenway.

Pateley is on the ‘Way of the Roses’ cycle route and for many is a refreshment stop or half way point for an overnight stay.

The path for all will really open up and make the area accessible without people having to use the main roads.

I haven’t mentioned people will be able to head off to Harrogate as I don’t like encouraging people to leave the ‘Dale’ – only joking! Once the full route is open, people will be able to go to work in Harrogate via this route with no car needed.

I have written about the Nidderdale Greenway as on Monday I met up with Malcolm Margolis BEM – yes a huge congratulations to Malcolm on being awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

Malcolm was awarded the honour for his services to cycling and is the Founder of Harrogate Wheel Easy cycle club which has 270 members.

Malcolm is behind the creation of the first section of the Nidderdale Greenway from Harrogate to Clint, supported by his wife and a team of passionate individuals involved in the project.

When I met Malcolm he was with his wife and Rupert Douglas, who is the Network Development Manager for Sustrans in Yorkshire.

Sustrans are a UK charity who are making it easier for people to walk, cycle and have access to pathways throughout the country.

The Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, which I chair, is supporting the Greenway initiative but as with most things in life, this project needs a bit of ‘brass’ to keep it progressing up Nidderdale towards that end goal of Scar House Reservoir.

Around £1,800 is needed and it is hoped someone reading this may be able to contribute towards the final part that is required before full funding for the route can be applied for. Please get in touch if you think you can help towards this worthwhile and exciting project.

We may not get trains running through Nidderdale but the old route could be used again by walkers, runners, horse riders, people on mobility scooters or cyclists – that includes electric bikes – and is a real and distinct possibility in the not too distant future.