The borough of Kirklees, situated in the English Pennines between Leeds and Manchester, has won first prize for its 'greenway network' in the 2007 European Greenway Awards. The network is a combination of motor-free travel routes for cyclists and pedestrians.
"The greenway network is an important part of the council's 'green' agenda, and it is very pleasing that our work in Kirklees has been acknowledged as being the best in Europe," said Martyn Bolt, Kirklees' member for transportation and green services in a statement. "Kirklees won this award in the face of strong competition from countries across Europe, beating France and Italy into second and third place respectively in the mobility category.
"There are currently four greenway routes in Kirklees which are also recognised as National Cycle Network routes, these being Birkby-Bradley Greenway, Spen Valley Greenway, Spen Ringway, and Calder Valley Greenway. Subject to land availability and funding, others are in the frame - Fenay Greenway, Meltham Greenway and the Colne Valley Greenway, which may use sections of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath. Other disused railway corridors are protected in the district's land use plan for future development as pedestrian and cycle routes."