A BRIDLEWAY bridge over the River Swale to provide a safe link for walkers, cyclists and horse riders will be opened by Richmond MP William Hague.

The crossing, which uses a refurbished ex-railway bridge, will be opened on Saturday (13) and is part of a national project by charity Sustrans, backed by the Big Lottery Fund.

The bridge was formally used to carry more than one million soldiers to and from Catterick Garrison, and is linked to safe, off-road routes on opposite banks of the river.

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The project aims to provide new walking and cycling links from where people live to work, school, and shops in communities across the UK.

Additional help has come from the North Yorkshire Aggregates Fund administered by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

David Hall Sustrans’ Yorkshire Region Director said: “Walking and cycling are great for our health, the environment and it’s fun too.

“We hope Mr Hague will be inspired to go the extra mile in championing more safe routes like this across his constituency.”

Four additional bridleways have also opened to allow horse riders, walkers and cyclists to travel through Catterick Garrison without mixing with traffic.

First to open are two bridleways providing a safe off-road link from Haig Road to Hipswell Road West, then continuing through to Gough Road.

Bridleways linking Catterick Road to Horne Road will be finalised over the next few weeks and local horse riders hope to identify other possible routes that can be created in the future.

The routes have been opened thanks to North Yorkshire County Council’s public rights of way team, the British Horse Society and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.