The Hammerton Greenway is a proposal for a safe cycle route linking Green Hammerton and Thorpe Underwood. It will run for just over a mile from Water Slack Lane at the end of the Green across the fields to Moss Hill Lane in Thorpe Underwood. It’ll have a sturdy stone surface that will last well whatever the weather, suitable for cyclists and walkers, buggies and wheelchairs. We hope to get permissive access for horse riders as well and there will be a wide grass verge suitable for horses along the route.
The report on the proposed track features young people in the village talking about how much they’re looking forward to it. Above all, young people and families want to cycle out of the village, but are prevented by the busy Boroughbridge Road. As Gia Margolis, of Harrogate Wheel Easy and Harrogate Cycle Action, says in the report: ‘Children and adults who have the opportunity to cycle along traffic free routes gain confidence and skills that cannot be gained on our busy roads.’
The Hammerton Greenway links back to Kirk Hammerton, and onwards into national cycle route 65 and the Way of the Roses at Aldwark Bridge along quiet back roads. Kirk Hammerton and Little Ouseburn Parish Councils helped fund the proposal, and all the local communities will benefit from the cycleway, but the connection to Hammerton Station via Kirk Hammerton Lane makes it user-friendly for people bringing their bikes by train from York and Harrogate. Interesting sites that will be easily accessible by bike from the Hammerton Greenway include Beningbrough Hall and Aldborough Roman Museum.
The report was compiled by John Grimshaw CBE, the founder of the national cycle network Sustrans, with David Gray, who developed the Cumbria to Tyneside coast to coast cycle route. Local aggregate supplier Warren Phylliskirk worked with them on details of materials and surfaces and provided costings. Diagrams show how the track will be constructed and estimates show that it could be built for under £60,000.
Some of the existing farm track is good enough for use with little extra work, but in some places drainage is needed and the level will need to be raised. The surface of the cycle track will be reinforced where it’s crossed by tractors. The route mainly follows the existing public footpath, but diverts from it at two points, to go around the farmyard at Low Farm and to avoid the wettest section of land west of Little Wood.
The next step is to use the proposal to help us raise the money. Brian Martin, of Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, has generously offered support already, and the developers of the new housing in the village have been approached. Chris Lewis, our local Borough Councillor, is in contact with the commercial enterprises in the region that support community initiatives, and is also working with Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorks County Council to identify funding opportunities.
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Thanks to Green Hammerton, Kirk Hammerton and Little Ouseburn Parish Councils and Harrogate Borough Council for funding the report.