On Saturday, alongside Cllr David Dagger from Wakefield Council I cut the ribbon to officially open a new cycle path and bridleway. The Bridleway runs from Wood Lane near Newmillerdam all the way to the Trans Pennine Trail at Old Royston.
A large number of cyclists from all over the district came along, as did an array of hikers and horse riders. The cycle path welcomes every form of transport, but is free from motorised vehicles.
Cycling is a great sport to watch and can suit everyone, regardless of your level, whether it is for leisure or as a means of getting from one place to another.
I have been passionate about cycling for many years; I used to race regularly when I had more time and won a number of medals. Even though my time is now limited I still cycle several times a week.
The creation of the new bridleway, which is the final stage of the Chevet Branch Line Bridleway, is of particular success for the Wakefield District Cycle Forum as it acts as a ‘missing link’ connecting with the Trans Pennine Trail at Old Royston and from there connects to many places including Barnsley, Nostell and Normanton and Altofts.
I am convinced if more people got on their bikes, we would be a healthier country with less heart disease and obesity.
Cycling is well known to benefit overall health, reduce stress and help people lose weight. It is also a great way to save on transport costs and is great news for the environment.
I feel that due to the many cycle paths springing up in our area, beginner cyclists are more likely to get on their bikes and cycle confidently on a smooth surface, in a traffic free zone. These cycle paths are an asset to our community, it is a place to begin to educate everyone on the benefits of cycling, including our young people and teach them to cycle in a safe area.
After the opening ceremony, I had the pleasure of cycling the whole way back to my home, having to spend less than 10 minutes on open roads.
Thanks to everyone involved in the project and I look forward to more off road routes being opened in years to come.