Some issues in the creation of the Solar System Greenway

Paul Hepworth is on the right in this historic photo – of course in those days you could build a 6-mile traffic-free path for £100.

Paul was closely involved in the early negotiations about the creation of the traffic-free route from York to Riccall. The decision to route the path across the Knavesmire meant that the last half-mile from the A64 underpass to Tadcaster Road is not part of the National Cycle Network and does not belong to Sustrans. York Greenways, as part of the Railway to Greenway Project, is working to improve this section which was a part of the East Coast Main Line and an important access point from the new Askham Bar Park and Ride. It is also used by walkers and  cyclists going to and from Tesco’s and York College and residents of Dringhouses.

The automatic level crossings were notorious for failing, as they lacked standby batteries for the power supply which could sometimes go off. There was also a nasty collision at one, between a train and road vehicle which is recorded in the Railway Archive website.

Ron (Healey – of CTC) will no doubt recall that the Selby District Council gave Planning Consent by a majority of one vote, for the “Rails to Trails” conversion.

Also the ding dong over Naburn old station underbridge and its flood drainage (or lack of it after British Rail stopped maintaining the pumps when train services ceased!)

Emergency navigation lights had to be provided on Naburn Bridge, after everyone in BR forgot that the railway signalling power supply also lit them, until permanently disconnected.

New electric lights then caused bother with the nearby British Transport Yacht Club, who discovered that they were now footing the bill.

Bit of a hoo hah in Dringhouses over the initial plans for routing the link into York via a posh housing estate to also serve York College. The final alignment of the link towards York Racecourse & City was suggested by a York Councillor named Jack Birch. Another hoo hah then arose over links through a local wood from the posh housing estate to the Sustrans path.

We hope to have further input  from  Paul in due course.

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Solar system greenway
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