People with disabilities including disabled cyclists
and wheel-chair users have restricted independent access to the
countryside. Smooth surfaced paths on former railway lines provide
a safe and easily traversed environment.
Horseriding is a popular pastime in rural West Yorkshire.
The ancient bridleway and by-way network is well used but on-road
sections pose serious dangers for horses because of increasing
traffic volume and speed. Converting disused railways to shared
use paths in rural areas also provides a unique opportunity for
horseriders to gain improved access to the local bridleway network.
In West Bradford district there are opportunities to connect with
the Pennine Bridleway and other routes which may be developed
through the 'Lost Ways Project'.
Critically, the railway legacy remains a resource
with huge potential for tourism and leisure. In an area where
landowners look to secondary business opportunities to supplement
low farming incomes the trail offers an opportunity to diversify
into cycle hire, bed and breakfast, riding schools, livery stables
and tea rooms.
Other benefits include the protection of local wildlife
habitat, railway heritage conservation and school field trips.