The highways of Ryburn valley are the A58 Sowerby Bridge, Ripponden to Littleborough and Rochdale and the A672 from Ripponden via Rishworth to the M62 and Oldham. These roads have narrow carriageways and footways. Although they carry advisory cycle lanes in parts they are intimidating to all but experienced cyclists. Have a look at the video below that highlights some of the issues with a journey along the main road.
Traffic levels are high with HGV’s accessing the motorway. Sowerby Bridge town centre is a major pinch point on the West Yorkshire highway network and has severe traffic congestion with significant peak hour queues along the A58 eastbound from Ripponden. The town centre itself is a declared an “Air Quality Management Area”.
The area is popular with experienced cyclists. There are off-road paths but poor ground conditions, steep gradients and lack of continuity mean that there that there is no suitable, continuous route for commuting and utility trips, for leisure cycling by inexperienced cyclists and horse riders, or for walking by families with smaller children using prams or for the use of less able people.