Wharfedale Greenway Phase 2 - Otley to Pool-in-Wharfedale

Client: Parish Councils
Cycling and walking are two of the most readily accessible means of maintaining one’s health and at the same time reducing one’s carbon footprint. Not only that, they can be done at any level, from the committed racing cyclist or long distance walker to the daily walk or cycle to the newsagent; both are important and contribute to the wellbeing of
a community.

From Pool in Wharfedale to Otley, there are four possible routes. On the north side of the river, Leathley Lane links to the riverside track leading directly to the school, and is perhaps surprisingly only a little longer (5.2km) than following the Pool Road to Caley Lodge and then the riverside from Knotford (4.9km). However new construction would be needed from Pool Bridge to the crossroads (and crossing Pool Bridge is tricky), although this would also give access to Castley lane and a network of minor roads for leisure cycling. The use of the eastern end of Pool Road is less desirable due to the possible conflict with access to the large factories and fast moving traffic. The railway route is slightly shorter again and gives better connections to most of the population of Pool in Wharfedale who would otherwise have to use the main road through the village to reach the Pool Road. That road has a good footway for some of its length which could form the basis of a traffic free route but there are severe width restrictions on some parts of the road.

The combined option of using the railway, then down to Pool Road to Gallows Hill is

the longest route and would not provide a continuous experience due to the proximity of the road for a significant section.

The railway path option is the more attractive as a real asset for the communities, as well as acting as a safe and direct everyday route from Pool in Wharfedale to Otley. It happens to be the shortest route available, provides the most convenient access opportunities from Pool in Wharfedale to both the school and the centre of Otley and would potentially be the most cost effective to construct due to the existence of the railway formation.