Towpath between Leeds and Keighley wins regional gong

Five Rise Locks at Bingley.
Five Rise Locks at Bingley.
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A popular towpath which winds between Leeds and Keighley has been named the best short cycle route in Yorkshire.

The Aire Valley Towpath goes from the centre of Leeds to Shipley, Bingley and Keighley via nature reserves, aquaducts, Five Rise Locks and Saltaire World Heritage Site.

It was the first section of the National Cycle Network (NCN) to open in Leeds and Bradford and has been used to such an extent that it is now being refurbished.

The award was presented by Tour de France legend Brian Robinson to Stephen Higham of the Canal and River Trust at a conference in Leeds held by charity Sustrans.

Paul Osborne, regional director for Sustrans Yorkshire, said: “The towpath is the epitomy of what a National Cycle Network route should be as it’s popular with families, commuters and tourists like.”

Sir Gary Verity of Welcome to Yorkshire called for investment in world class infrastructure to make Yorkshire the cycling capital of Europe.

He said: “We want to build on the enthusiasm of the Grand Depart to make Yorkshire the cycling capital of Europe.”

The Aire Valley Towpath will now go into a national public vote for Sustrans which will be announced on August 31.

To vote visit

To win the Yorkshire award the path beat the Harrogate to Ripley Castle route, Dewsbury Connect2 from Ossett to Dewsbury, and the Penistone to Dunford Bridge section of the Trans Pennine Trail.