WITH the Grand Depart for the Tour de France just weeks away, four local parish councils are promoting a greenway that will create a legacy for generations to come.

In a joint initiative, Otley, Menston, Burley-in-Wharfedale and Pool-in-Wharfedale councils are responding to the growing interest in cycling in our area, and the need to provide a safe environment for people to walk and cycle for everyday journeys or weekend trips.

The proposed route would give the opportunity for people to travel by foot or cycle to schools, shops, and work along on a traffic free path, mainly in open countryside.

The councils want to find out what support there really is for this walking and cycling route on the former railway line between Burley and Pool.

A vital part of the process, they say, will be a public consultation that is taking place, starting in Pool on Monday (June 9).

A touring exhibition will be held in other venues in Otley, Burley and Menston, and conclude on Saturday June 21.

The public will be able to give their comments at any of the venues.

Councillor Stuart Bottomley, of Burley Parish Council, said: "With such a major world class event passing through Pool, Otley and Burley, we want to carry out a project that will remind them of the day when this race came to our town and village.

"This walking and cycle route will build on the efforts of local organisations in promoting these forms of movement and give a positive legacy to future generations.

"We want this route to be known as the Wharfedale Greenway that will help to show the very best of what Wharfedale has to offer along five miles of route."

The bid has the support of charity, Sustrans, which works to promote travel on foot, by bike and on public transport.

Sustrans regional director, Paul Osbourne said: ‘The Grand Depart is a great event for our region and we want to see that the enthusiasm generated is translated in to more people cycling as part of their everyday journeys."

The dates and venues of the consultation sessions 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; June 14 , Otley Core Resource Centre 11 Orchard Gate, 10am to 5pm; June 16,17, 18, 19 and 20, Otley Core Resource Centre, 10.00 – 4.00 pm; June 21, Otley Core Resource Centre, 10am to 4pm.