Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Stray could be opened to cyclists

Harrogate Stray
Cyclists could soon be able to cross parts of the town's Stray parkland.

Councillors in a North Yorkshire town could put their spoke in a centuries old bylaw and allow cyclists to use parts of a cherished parkland.

Harrogate's Stray has been protected for 150 years by a law preventing the use of cycles across parts of the land which sits near the centre of the town.

But councillors are to vote on whether to allow cyclists to use certain paths.

The Stray Defence Association said it was worried a vote overturning the ban would set a precedent.

Councillor Don McKenzie, who is responsible for planning and transport at the council, said: "We wish to open up a limited number of footpaths for dual use by pedestrians and cyclists.

"This is in order that they can link up with existing cycle routes north and south of Harrogate to enable cyclists to pass from one side to the other in safety."

But Judy D'Arcy Thompson from the Stray Defence Association said: "One of our main concerns is that if the bylaws are changed, what precedent is this going to set for the future?

"The Stray keeps being whittled away, little bits here and little bits there. If the current bylaws are changed there are no guarantees that more Stray land will not be taken for other purposes."

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