Leeds canal towpath could be crowned the UK’s best short cycle network route

A runner jogs along the Aire Valley Towpath in Leeds. Picture by Tony Johnson.
A runner jogs along the Aire Valley Towpath in Leeds. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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The canal-side cycling and walking route between Leeds and Bingley could be named the UK’s favourite National Cycle Network route.

Sustainable transport charity Sustrans has shortlisted the Aire Valley Towpath along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal as one of the country’s 10 most popular cycleways under 30miles.

Riders are being encouraged to vote for their favourite route nationally until August, with other nominees including paths in Edinburgh, the Peak District, Somerset and the Wye Valley, before the UK’s favourite short cycle route is unveiled in September.

The award marks the 20th anniversary of the charity’s National Cycle Network (NCN) which includes more than 1,000miles of cycleways in Yorkshire.

Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans chief executive, said: “We want to give people the chance to vote for the route they love the most, whether they use it every day for their commute or have just used it on holiday.”

Sustrans describes the Aire Valley Towpath as a “perfect route” that “takes in beautiful countryside, rich industrial history, stunning scenery, galleries, shops, museums and even Saltaire – a world heritage site”.

The transport charity is also inviting cyclists and walkers to vote for their favourite long distance cycling or walking route from a shortlist of 10, which includes the 170-mile Way of the Roses from Morecambe, through Lancashire and Yorkshire, to Bridlington.

The NCN has been developed and maintained by Sustrans since 1995 and currently provides more than 14,000miles of safe, attractive and convenient walking and cycling routes that encourage people to leave their cars at home.

For further information or to vote visit www.sustrans.org.uk/vote.

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