Two big opportunities for developing cycling in Ryedale are the proposed pedestrian/cycle bridge at Malton railway station, and the proposed Malton to Pickering Cycle Route. They are important because they help to meet many already identified needs of both towns; for physical and mental health, for reducing traffic congestion and pollution, for tourism and other businesses, for routes to work, for leisure, for travel safety and for quality of life.
You can help by contacting your two Ryedale Ward Councillors and your County Councillor to say that you support these ideas.
For the contact details of your District Councillors, go to democracy.ryedale.gov.uk, and then click find your councillor by ward at the top of the page.
For your County Councillor, go to the North Yorkshire County Council website.
There is currently no provision for cyclists in Malton, Norton or Pickering apart from cycle racks at Malton railway station and in Pickering and Malton Market Places; no cycle routes or access points. Any improvement for non-motor users will be of benefit.
Of course there are other potential routes in the towns and in the Parishes, and Ryedale Cycle Forum are working with Town and Parish Councils on a number already, and we are always open to further ideas.
Ryedale Cycle Forum brings together residents, the Town Councils, neighbouring Parishes, cycling organisations, Ryedale District Council, NYCC Highways, The National Park Authority, Forest Enterprise, visitors to Ryedale, business interests, and groups concerned for health and the environment.
The proposed pedestrian cycle/bridge at the railway station
With a doubling of train services due from 2018, a new bridge could have direct links to the existing and possible new platform. This would benefit pedestrians and cyclists who arrive or depart Malton/Norton by train, and they wouldn’t need to use the level crossing. Malton Station is the link to the national rail network for residents of Malton, Norton and all surrounding towns and villages.
The roads in Malton and Norton very busy. The proposed expansion to the rail services is set to at least triple the capacity for train users, and TPE have predicted higher use with forecast housebuilding. The level crossing is a dangerous bottleneck with no safe option for non-car users. Sustrans routes and all other non-motor movement between the towns is via the level crossing.
A bridge would give access by foot and by bicycle from Ryedale and East Yorkshire to rail and bus services. It would give a safer and more pleasant route than via the level crossing, by foot and by bicycle, to employment, shops and services for Malton/Norton residents. It would require a lift or a ramp for disability access, suitable for bicycles, and would need to be independent of ticket barriers.
Network Rail and train operators will probably require a 2nd platform because of increased frequency of services. It is hoped that they and the Government funded York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership will pay for the bridge to mitigate for the increased delays at the level crossing resulting from more trains, and to enhance the whole travel network of both towns. Ryedale District Council are looking to enhance rail/bus interchange facilities and to add parking. The bridge fits well with these ideas too. A safe access on both sides of the bridge should link to onward routes for cyclists and pedestrians.
The bridge will encourage physical exercise, reduce vehicle emissions, avoid poisonous fumes, reduce carbon footprint, and reduce traffic volume in Malton and Norton so that other vehicles can keep moving better. It will make access to the railways station easier, so will encourage people to use the train instead of the car for longer journeys, so the benefits will not just be felt in Ryedale, but in other parts of North Yorkshire and beyond.
The proposed Malton to Pickering Cycle Route
The Station bridge crossing described above provides a safer route for crossing the railway and river for long distance cycle tourism between Hull, East Yorkshire, York, the North York Moors and the coast. The Malton to Pickering Cycle Route will be a main route for cycling tourists. It will be part of the National Cycle Network. En-route are Eden Camp, the new Eden industrial estate, Flamingo Land, Pickering Leisure Village, Pickering Pool and Gym, and two large garden centres. Residents employed at these places will have the option of cycling to work, which employers can support. There are also further routes via Dalby Forest to Scarborough and the coast, and through quiet lanes in Ryedale, which present inviting cycling holiday options to cyclists from other countries and from other parts of the UK.
Other potential routes
Signed cycle routes in the town centres need to be carefully planned and will use existing highways to some extent. Ryedale Cycle Forum are keen that any new housing and road developments include designated cycle-ways as a matter of course, and we are lobbying transport planners about this. Sustrans are also engaging with this issue on a regional level. To make cycling an attractive mode of transport, it needs to be quick, so shared use paths with pedestrians are only suitable on very quiet routes. The Cycle Forum has also been lobbying Highways England, with the result that a short section of cycle route will be added alongside the A64 near Huttons Ambo. This will much improve the safety of the cycle route from York.
Cycle and pedestrian journeys are still only a small percentage of total journeys recorded in traffic surveys. We can make a big difference to this, and to all the related pollution and health damage, by creating a network of cycle ways that people feel safe on.
For further details please contact the Ryedale Cycle Forum via Helen Gundry, 01751 432447 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.