Ideas and comments on walking near Tadcaster and beyond. If you wish to contribute with news, ideas for walks or just a simple comment, please email.
In conjunction with the Tour de Yorkshire event on 29th April, we circulated a new "Know Tadcaster" competition. The objective: to place Ordnance Survey map symbols on a map of Tadcaster. If you want to download the "Know Tadcaster" competition sheet, CLICK HERE.
If you have tried the the competition and want to see our answers, which are not necessarily 100% correct, CLICK HERE.
The 2nd Stage of the Tour de Yorkshire starts from Tadcaster Bridge on Saturday 29th April.
A full day's programme starts with a parade of the Yorkshire Regiment, followed by the the start of the ladies race. Later events include a Duck Race on the River Wharfe, charity cycle ride, vintage bike museum, street entertainers and a Family Festival including food, refreshments and live events for children throughout the town centre. The "Tadcaster Fanzone", which houses a big screen showing the races in their entirety, will be located in St Joseph's Street. >
The route starts on Tadcaster Bridge, then winds through Bridge Street, Kirkgate, Chapel St and High Street all of which will be closed between 5am and 8pm. The route then goes out along Leeds Road, Stutton Road, Woodlands Avenue, Garnet Lane, Station Road before finally turning towards Boston Spa along Wetherby Road. These roads will have all-day parking restrictions and rolling road closures lasting about an hour as the race passes: 08-40 to 09-40 and 1330 to 14-30.
There will significant travel disruption in the town affecting parking and public transport. Special car-parking will be provided around the edge of the town. Details about this and park-and-ride buses from the Selby Council website .
North Yorkshire County Council is undertaking a consultation on the prioritisation of the work of the Rights of Way department. This consulation has only just been brought to our attention. The outcome could have a significant impact on the maintenance of the Public Footpath and Bridleway network in future years. Unfortunately the consultation has now closed. Documents are still available at this link.
North Yorkshire County Council has a statutory responsibility to maintain the public footpath and bridleway network. These routes are public highways in the same manner as a road, but with a limitation of who and what can travel along them. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with prioritising tasks as it enables resources to be focused on the most important routes and the most pressing problems. For example, the damaged bridge on the footpath from Stutton to Towton has been a key problem.
The consultation proposes that routes should be classified as belonging to one of 4 groups as shown on this map. The image below is an extract showing the situation around Tadcaster. The categorisation places routes near population centres in the higher category and routes in the countryside and away from roads in the lower category. The effect is to give a lower priority to quiet, interesting ways to pass through and enjoy the countryside. By splitting linear routes into segments, the categorisation results in parts of the same linear, continuous route having different categories. So a route that would be walked from one end to the other may have a section that is not properly maintained and thus may be blocked. Two local examples are the Old London Road to Towton and the Old Street to Streethouses. This makes no sense, the same category should be applied to a continuous route throughout.
A categorisation is also applied to the various faults that can appear in the footpath network: ranging from broken bridges, the most important, to avoidable, tumbled-down stiles, the least important. Both categorisations are combined to give an overall score for any individual fault. However, without any indication of the resources that will be applied to solving the various faults, it is not clear which faults will be addressed and which will not. There are fears that many faults will be left unresolved and that as a result some footpaths and bridleways will fall into disrepair and become unused.
NYCC is proposing to pass responsibility for the agreement of these categorisations to local parish and town councils, such as Tadcaster. Whilst it is important to have local input, it should be recognised that many walkers, particularly those walking along routes in rural areas, will come from outside the locality and possibly other parts of the country. It is hard to see how the views of such walkers can be taken into account.
Please read and respond to this consultation if you can.
Following a full celebration of the opening on Sunday 19th February, Tadcaster Bridge is open to traffic and pedestrians. Whilst the re-building works are completed, the car park next to the bus station is reduced in size and often full.
On Saturday 18th February 2017 the last bus will run from Tadcaster to Otley. The service is being cut back to Wetherby (new timetable). No doubt this cut-back is a result of the duplication with the new, hourly X70 Harrogate service that has been extended through to Tadcaster. (X70 timetable.) Unfortunately there has been no attempt to make a good connection at Wetherby between the X70 service and the 923 service: in the morning, a wait of 50 minutes is necessary.
The lost service is a real shame. The Otley bus opened up many delightful walks starting from various stops on the route. For example, Collingham back to Tadcaster, around Harewood, Harewood to Leeds through the Meanwood valley, across the Chevin through to Harewood, the Washburn valley, Otley to Harrogate and on from Otley over Ilkley Moor.
Farewell 923, we enjoyed you whilst you lasted. The perpetually changing bus companies, at times the ancient buses, the breakdowns, the mad drivers, the bumps and bangs, the unnecessarily circuitous route to Harewood: features making the journey all the more interesting because, at the end of the day, there was always a good walk.
In recent years a bus has run every Summer Sunday and Bank Holiday from Tadcaster to Harrogate and on into Nidderdale. This service provides access to a whole set of interesting walking routes. The bus gives the advantage that you can walk from one place to the other rather than following a circular walk to and from your car. Also, the bus, being higher, provides a much better view of the coundivyside than can ever be provided from a car.
This service is part of the Dalesbus network. As well as the direct bus from Tadcaster connections can be made into other services at Leeds Bus Station (using Coastliner), at Harrogate and Pateley Bridge. Keep up-to-date with the 2017 timetable to see what is possible.
A permissive path or bridleway is provided by the land-owner for public use. A permissive path cannot become a public footpath and the landowner can withdraw access if they wish. Although permissive paths can be recorded on an Ordnance Survery map, many of these paths go unrecorded and are only known through local knowledge or signpots showing their route.
In this particular case the paths have been funded by a grant from Natural England. Their website lists the paths avaialble.
A really good example of the use of permissive paths are the new permissive bridleways which have been created in Bramham Park. Apart from creating an enjoyable 6 mile walk around the Park, the bridleways open up a number of interesting routes towards Tadcaster from the west.
A Map of the Bramham Park routes.
A Guide to the circular route in Bramham Park.
A shorter permissive path in the fields to the east of Bramham, over Bramham Moor. Although this doesn't fit very well into the footpath network, it is a short, pleasant circular walk. More details.
Please note that for a period of weeks before and after the Leeds Festival (August Bank Holiday weekend) the permissive AND public paths inside the Park are very likely to be closed. There will be signs on the route which indicate the dates of the closure.
This path, running from the old railway viaduct in Stutton alongside the railway line towards Towton, is currently closed. Due to the flooding in 2015 the footbridge over Cock Beck became damaged and impassable except for the very brave. Also, even when the bridge is open, the approach from either side passes across some very boggy ground, so good waterproof footwear is required in the rainy season. North Yorkshire County Council expect the bridge to re-open during March 2017.