A SURVEY started in October by The Friends of Wharfedale Greenway (FoWG) has reached the milestone of 1,000 responses.

The Wharfedale Greenway is a proposed traffic-free route from Pool-in-Wharfedale to Bolton Bridge via Otley, Burley, Ilkley and Addingham and the aim of the survey is to capture public opinion its development.

FoWG say responses to date have been overwhelmingly positive, with 85 per cent strongly support, 10 per cent support, with a small number who are not sure or do not support.

They say supporters see a range of benefits of the greenway, including a fantastic opportunity for car-free recreation, a great way to connect the valley and provide alternative options for local trips.

Reservations expressed in the survey focus on potential connections to communities, conflict between different types of users, surfacing and maintenance, and challenges with developing the route.

Any issues raised will be fed back to the Greenway Steering Group which is formed from Town and Parish Councils along the route, who, together with representation from Leeds and Bradford Councils, are leading on the greenway development.

Colm McCann, chair of FoWG said: “The response to this questionnaire has been fantastic and exceeded expectations. It has provided a way to capture public support for the greenway and an opportunity for people to voice their concerns. It has also provided us with a communication channel to expand our support base, reach out to new audiences and has created lots of offers of support to our Friends group.

"On behalf of FoWG and the Greenway Steering Committee I would like to thank members of the public for their input and FoWG volunteers for their hard work promoting the survey”.

FoWG proposes to keep the survey open until at least mid-December to allow even more people living in towns and villages along the route to have their say.

The data gathered will be used to inform the FoWG campaign, and to provide useful evidence and information to the Greenway Steering Committee to support preparation of business cases and funding bids for developing various phases of the Greenway.

Colm added: "We are keen to hear from several groups, including potential users of the greenway for utility or commuting journeys, particularly if the greenway would enable you to adopt active travel modes (walking, cycling or running as part of a commute). This is especially true for Otley residents who commute to neighbouring train stations to understand their journey patterns.

"The survey is open to all individuals so more than one household member can respond, and we are keen to hear from young people as the future users of the greenway. Anyone who has reservations about the proposed greenway can document their thoughts in the comments section of the survey."

The survey can be found at https://forms.office.com/r/CXhWtLDnp1 and will be on the survey page of the FoWG website https://friendsofwharfedalegreenway.org.uk