Thursday, 7 August 2014
Take the high road
I turned left down the lane from The Fisherman's pub, to follow a circular walk along the bank of the River Aire back to Saltaire. It's a path we used to take quite often when we lived in Bingley, years ago, but it seemed rather overgrown in parts so I guess it's not a popular walk nowadays. At one time it was a peaceful valley, but then they decided to build the Bingley bypass on stilts right across it. There was opposition at the time and I well remember a band of eco-warriors setting up 'Rye Loaf Camp' in this area, with tree-houses and tents. The campers were not, on the whole, local people and after several months and a good deal of local opposition, the camp disintegrated. Many residents, especially in Bingley, welcomed the 'relief road' to reduce congestion through the town itself and, by and large, I think it has been a successful development. Measures were taken to protect some valuable marshland and anyway nature is usually quick to re-colonise after a disturbance. You can see (and hear) the road but it seems to me a better option than the congestion that preceded it, although that continues further down the road towards Shipley, where a bypass is not really a viable option.