Greenway's final phase officially opened

THE final phase of the Spen Valley Greenway was officially opened this week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Oakenshaw.

The Greenway, which is one of the region's most popular walking, cycling and horse-riding paths, was attended by the leaders of Kirklees and Bradford Councils, Coun Robert Light and Coun Kris Hopkins and John Grimshaw OBE, founder of sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

The Kirklees section between Dewsbury and Oakenshaw was developed into a Greenway by Sustrans in 2001 and now the route will cross the Bradford District boundary giving people access through to Low Moor and Victoria Park.

The ribbon-cutting was followed by a walk to look at the new section which can be accessed from Cleckheaton Road via Victoria Park, or from Dealburn Road, Wyke Lane in Oakenshaw or Kingsmark Way at the Bradford Euroway Trading Estate.

Coun Light said: "The council welcomes the completion of this long-awaited link. It now offers the opportunity for people to have a largely traffic-free journey between the large conurbations of Leeds and Bradford."

The new stretch, which is 925m long, has been built by Sustrans's construction team over the last three months with funds from Bradford Council.

Coun Hopkins said: "It's great to see the Spen Valley Greenway being opened all the way to Huddersfield for so many people to enjoy."

The new section completes the railway route which runs for a total of seven miles and carries over 200,000 non-motorised journeys per year.

David Hall, regional director for Sustrans, said: "This is the culmination of months of intensive negotiations and effort on the part of tireless officers at Bradford Council.

"The Greenway was blocked at the northern end for several years but now it is open and fully accessible to residents in Bierley and Low Moor.

"Equally people travelling north from Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike have a new destination at Victoria Park."