Cyclist calls for action

NAWN. Cyclist Paul Rowden from Spofforth on the cycle path which has been churned up by a tractor. 111108AR1pic3.
NAWN. Cyclist Paul Rowden from Spofforth on the cycle path which has been churned up by a tractor. 111108AR1pic3.

A KEEN cyclist is calling for action to stop tractors using a well used cycle path.

Paul Rowden, of Wetherby, says he cycles the former railway trackbed between the town and Spofforth every day as a way of keeping fit following a heart attack.

“The issue is that the path is being used by a farmer as a short cut between the farm and the route that it takes across the fields to Spofforth.

“As a result deep ruts and mud is being scattered onto the path and there is now also damage to the path surface.

“This has been going on for about six weeks and the pathway is now getting into such a condition that it is causing issues with walkers and cyclists.”

“This is a very isolated part of the track and if something did happen and a person was on their own, it may be some time until they are found and emergency services would have severe issues in reaching the location.”

He added: “I would appreciate some urgent action being taken as if this behaviour continues the path will be totally destroyed.

“This behaviour is impacting on the communities of Spofforth and Wetherby who use the pathway on a daily basis.”

David Hall, Sustrans Regional Director in Yorkshire, said: “Traffic-free routes linking local communities are very popular with walkers and cyclists and help to reduce the traffic on our roads.

“It is important therefore that these routes are well respected and well maintained.

“Sustrans volunteer rangers do a lot of good work in managing vegetation and undertaking small repairs but the vehicle damage on the Harland Way (part of the National Cycle Network) is too serious for them to tackle.

“We understand that the damage is being investigated by Harrogate Council officers.”

Rural Strategy Officer for Harrogate council Dan McAndrew confirmed the damage caused by a tractor being driven on the route.

“There has been some damage to the crushed limestone surface caused by a tractor.

“We have spoken to the estate and have identified one of the tenants as being responsible and the problem has now stopped.”