Feasibility Study

Read the full Feasibility Study: Feasibility Study (6MB pdf download)

Introduction: This study describes a 3.5 mile route connecting Rishworth and Ripponden in the Ryburn Valley to Sowerby Bridge. Inspired by the 2014 Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire and its passage through Ripponden the local community of the Ryburn valley formed ‘Le Tour Ripponden’. The aim of the group was to consider a legacy project from the Tour.

Consultation with local valley communities identified a demand for a leisure cycling, horse riding and walking route between Sowerby Bridge and Ripponden and Rishworth.  Although there is an existing permissive bridleway along part of the disused rail track there is no coherent route along the valley length. Out of almost 400 people who took part in an online survey 95% supported the development of a Greenway.

The Ryburn Valley Greenway Group was established to carry forward this idea and by January 2015 the group had worked with Calderdale Council to acquire funding for a feasibility study.

Calderdale Council commissioned Sustrans to deliver a feasibility study which would:

  • identify a route which could be developed to provide a safe and sustainable ‘family friendly’ pathway for multiple users – walkers, cyclists, horse riders – and is suitable for multiple trip types – leisure, commuter, education, utility journeys – and that connects Rishworth and Ripponden with Sowerby Bridge and NCN 66
  • identify potential feeder routes that provide connections into this route from adjacent communities along the valley, e.g. Kebroyd, Triangle and Barkisland, and with Sowerby Bridge Railway Station
  • identify other potential opportunities to improve and encourage sustainable travel along the valley corridor

The project has been made possible by funds from the Community Foundation for Calderdale, Calderdale Council via the Local Transport Plan, Ripponden Parish Council and the group’s community fundraising efforts and the support of Stones Church Ripponden and The Sowerby Bridge Rushbearers.

It is intended that as well as an attractive leisure facility the greenway will provide a utility route for people travelling to education, retail and employment opportunities along the valley and a link to Sowerby Bridge rail station.

There are a number of schools in close proximity to the route at Rishworth, Ripponden, Triangle and Sowerby Bridge and the route could become a main link for school journeys in the Ryburn Valley. At its northern end the route links with both National Cycle Network Route 66 and the more challenging Route 68.

Like other greenways we would expect it will be popular with a wide range of users from
commuters to families and riders that are new to cycling or horse riding to cyclists en route to some of the mountain bike challenges that can be accessed from the Ryburn Valley

Read the full Feasibility Study Feasibility Study (6MB pdf download)

Note: Rights of Way – The proposed route in the feasibility study is currently a mixture of footpath and bridleway, some of which is on private land. Please be respectful of this fact and if in doubt check local signage, Ordnance Survey maps or the definitive rights of way via Calderdale Council.

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