A major public consultation being held in June will mark an important stage in an initiative by local councils to realise a walking and cycling route linking Burley, Menston, Otley and Pool.

The route will be known as the Wharfedale Greenway and in a joint initiative, the parish councils of Burley, Menston and Pool, together with Otley Town Council, have come together to develop the next stage of the project, following a feasibility study carried out by sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

The project has also been supported by Bradford and Leeds City Councils and three cycling organisations from Otley.

The consultation will take the form of an exhibition at venues in Otley, Pool, Menston and Burley between June 9 and 21.

The proposed route, based on Sustrans’ recommendation, largely follows the former railway line between Burley and Pool on a newly constructed path, a distance of just over five miles.

It will provide the opportunity for off-road walking and cycling, offering views of Wharfedale and its flora and fauna.

The scheme will connect people to railway stations, schools and shops by providing a safe alternative to busy local roads.

John Eveleigh, leader of Otley Town Council and chairman of Wharfedale Greenway steering group said: “All of our communities share a desire to improve facilities for cyclists and walkers, and this project has really caught the imagination. What could be better, in this, the year that the Tour de France comes to the beautiful Wharfe Valley.”

Paul Osborne, Regional Director Yorkshire & Humber for Sustrans, said: “Sustrans are pleased to be working with the local councils and community developing this long-term aspiration. Walking and cycling for everyday journeys is great for our health, the environment and its fun too.”

Dates, times and venues of the consultation are as follows: Monday, June 9, Pool Village Hall, 10am to 8pm; Tuesday, June 10, Burley, Queens Hall, Main Street, 10am to 8pm; Wednesday, June 11, Burley, Queens Hall, Main Street, 10am to 8pm; Thursday, June 12, Menston Methodist Church Hall, Main Street, 10am to 8pm; Friday, June 13, Menston Methodist Church Hall, Main Street, 10am to 8pm; Saturday, June 14, Otley Core Resource Centre, 11 Orchard Gate, (next to bus station) 10am to 5pm and Monday, June 16, Otley Core Resource Centre, 10am to 6.30pm.

The exhibition can be viewed at Otley Core Resource Centre on Tuesday, June 17 and Wednesday, June 18 from 10am to 4pm and also on Thursday, June 19 and Friday, June 20 from 10am to 8pm and on Saturday, June 21 from 10am to 4pm, but these sessions will be unmanned.