Cyclists have come together to celebrate the installation of a decorative milepost on the Nidderdale Greenway. The eye-catching landmark is the latest refurbishment work undertaken to improve the route for both cyclists and walkers.
To celebrate the National Cycle Network (NCN) at the turn of the last century, Sustrans, the national sustainable transport charity, installed 1,000 mileposts across the UK. The cycling network in Harrogate was very limited at the time of their installation, and as a consequence a milepost was not installed.
Significant improvements have since been made to the cycle network in Harrogate, including developing the Nidderdale Greenway and Yorkshire Showground Greenway and the recent resurfacing of the Bilton-Starbeck cycleway between Bilton Lane and The Avenue, and Bilton Lane on the route of the Beryl Burton cycleway.
On learning that Sustrans had a Millennium Milepost available to use, which had previously been installed on another location on the National Cycle Network, Harrogate Sustrans Rangers refurbish the milepost so that Harrogate Borough Council could install it on the Nidderdale Greenway route to mark the improvements and growing popularity of the cycleway.
Work undertaken included the casting of a new head to show Ripley and Harrogate as destinations on NCN route 67 and the repainting of the milepost. Funding for the milepost came from contributions from local residential developments held by Harrogate Borough Council to be used for improvements in the local area. The milepost has been installed at the fork in the Nidderdale Greenway which leads to Starbeck or Harrogate.
The milepost, which is titled “Tracks” was designed by Belfast artist David Dudgeon. The main design on the post shows the tracks made in the landscape by cyclists. This is complemented by a piece of text exploring sensations and observations one makes whilst travelling through various environments.
Andrew Norman, Harrogate Borough Council’s Transport Projects Officer said: This new milepost is a welcome addition to the Nidderdale Greenway. Its installation involved working together with local volunteers including the Harrogate Sustrans Rangers and members of the Wheel Easy Cycling Club and I would like to thank everyone who helped with its refurbishment.
The Nidderdale Greenway is an extremely popular route and gives traffic free access to Harrogate, Ripley and Nidderdale. Now that the surface has been improved on the Starbeck, Bilton Lane and Beryl Burton links, we have a high-quality route that allows local residents to easily get out into the countryside on foot or by bike. These links also give commuters between Harrogate, Starbeck and Knaresborough the opportunity to avoid the busy A59 and undertake trips by traffic-free alternatives.
Following the recent success of the Tour de Yorkshire in April, which saw both the women’s race and stage two of the men’s race coming through our district, more people will be inspired to get out on their bikes for work or leisure and the Nidderdale Greenway would be an ideal location to give it a go.
Kevin Douglas of Harrogate District Cycle Action said: We are delighted with the installation of the Millennium Milepost which was an excellent partnership project between volunteer groups and the council. It also marks the end of a phase of resurfacing and improvement work to these well used cycle paths in this part of the Harrogate area.
Gia Margolis of the Wheel Easy Cycling Club and Sustrans Rangers said: The Harrogate Wheel Easy Cycling Club are delighted to now have one of the iconic Millennium Mileposts on the wonderfully successful Nidderdale Greenway.
Sustrans Rangers, the local volunteer group who help maintain the local cycle network, are very pleased to have worked with Harrogate Borough Council to restore and install this eye catching landmark on the Harrogate section of the National Cycle Network.
We are really grateful to all our volunteers, cyclists, campaigners, Harrogate Borough Council and Sustrans who all helped to bring this sign, a wonderful piece of artwork, back to life. It is a great addition to the cycle network.