NCR5 - North Wales

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
trecelyn
Posts: 28
Joined: 10 Aug 2010, 1:31pm

NCR5 - North Wales

Postby trecelyn » 4 Apr 2012, 2:08pm

My son and I cycled from Holyhead to Chester on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Apart from wanting to shake the person responsible for route signing in Bangor warmly by the throat, and an unfortunate incident with Halfords' panniers, everything went OK. The ride is in aid of an animal sanctuary where my son does some voluntary work. The B&B we stayed in in Holyhead on the Sunday night, on hearing that our ride was for an animal charity, gave us 20% of our bill back as a donation. So, if you need a B&B in Holyhead that has secure over night cycle storage and a warm welcome, head for the Dublin Ferry Guest House, Newry Street, Holyhead.

(I am not related in any way to the B&B :D )

Best

T

Richard Fairhurst
Posts: 1620
Joined: 2 Mar 2008, 4:57pm
Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 4 Apr 2012, 10:18pm

Do e-mail Sustrans in Bristol about your experience in Bangor - they're very good at passing on comments from people who've ridden it, and as a ranger I know I appreciate it.

Richard (100 miles or so further south on NCN 5!)
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

chesterpete
Posts: 134
Joined: 9 Mar 2010, 3:43pm

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby chesterpete » 5 Apr 2012, 8:09am

I did the same ride last October over 2 days and can concur re the sineage in Bangor - A lovely ride to do over a couple of days though.

chazza57
Posts: 4
Joined: 20 Mar 2012, 7:48pm

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby chazza57 » 8 Apr 2012, 3:55pm

I attempted to go through Bangor on NCN 5 a couple of weeks ago, and found it very confusing: I ended up leaving the way I had come in. Only worked it out the next day when I came back in the opposite direction, but it definitely leaves something to be desired.

james01
Posts: 2057
Joined: 6 Aug 2007, 4:48am

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby james01 » 8 Apr 2012, 6:15pm

I've learned to use long distance NCNs selectively. They can be fine on long rural stretches but totally frustrating when passing through towns. For urban sections I tend to join the main motor traffic route, it's quicker, far better signed and arguably safer (no dismounting and scurrying across busy roundabout slip roads etc). I'm not blaming Sustrans, I'm sure that the routes through towns are the best compromise they've been able to negotiate with the local authorities.

trecelyn
Posts: 28
Joined: 10 Aug 2010, 1:31pm

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby trecelyn » 12 Apr 2012, 8:59am

I'm glad it wasn't just down to my rusty map reading skills! :roll:

james01 wrote:I've learned to use long distance NCNs selectively. They can be fine on long rural stretches but totally frustrating when passing through towns. For urban sections I tend to join the main motor traffic route, it's quicker, far better signed and arguably safer (no dismounting and scurrying across busy roundabout slip roads etc).


That's what we ended up doing, although we weren't selective - we just ignored the first sign that had sent us the wrong way and followed the main road to the town centre until we saw a NCR5 sign.


As was said earlier in this thread, it is a lovely ride, even though for us it was in unfavourable weather.

Best

T

John Holiday
Posts: 523
Joined: 2 Nov 2007, 2:01pm

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby John Holiday » 17 Apr 2012, 12:13pm

Sorry to hear of problems around Bangor. Am a Ranger at the Chester end of NCN5 ,but have passed your comments on to local Ranger,who hopefully will address.

trecelyn
Posts: 28
Joined: 10 Aug 2010, 1:31pm

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby trecelyn » 17 Apr 2012, 3:04pm

Thanks for that John. Hopefully it will help others. I'm due to do the Lon Las Cymru (North to South) at the beginning of June so will have a look at he signs then!

I did mail sustrans last week on the the advice of others on this thread, so they should be aware of the problem.

Best

T

talcenty
Posts: 4
Joined: 6 Feb 2012, 8:11pm

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby talcenty » 17 Apr 2012, 5:13pm

Thanks for flagging up the problem.

I have recently taken over as Ranger co-ordinator for the NW Wales. I will look at the this with the Rangers covering Bangor.

It would be useful if you guys could identify approximately where the signage started to go wrong for you.
I presume you were heading from Conwy towards Bangor.


Thanks

Ade

You might want to try this link http://www.sustrans.org.uk/map?searchKey=Llandygai&searchType=search&Search=Find
which will start you at Llandygai/Tal-y-Bont. This is just as you approach the outskirts of Bangor. It isn't the easiest of sections and may need looking at again. If it was further on then follow the map and let me know the area or road causing confusion.

trecelyn
Posts: 28
Joined: 10 Aug 2010, 1:31pm

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby trecelyn » 17 Apr 2012, 5:20pm

talcenty wrote:It would be useful if you guys could identify approximately where the signage started to go wrong for you.
I presume you were heading from Conwy towards Bangor.


Hi Ade

Contents of mail sent to Sutrans last week:
"Hi

Last week I rode the NCR 5 from Holyhead to Chester.

On crossing the Menai Straits and entering Bangor, following the A5, the sign for NCR5 indicated a right turn (up Belmont Road, I think), which I followed. About forty minutes later, I arrived back at the same spot, having done a complete circle. I found that, had I ignored this sign and gone straight on, I would have found another NCR5 sign pointing in the right direction!

Very confusing. Perhaps someone could amend the signage here as I have subsequently had comments from others who have fallen foul of this problem?"

Best

T

trecelyn
Posts: 28
Joined: 10 Aug 2010, 1:31pm

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby trecelyn » 17 Apr 2012, 5:40pm

Hi

The signage confusion could have been on the junction of the A5 and Menai Avenue. Apologies for the confusion but my GPS also got confused at that time.

Cheers

T

talcenty
Posts: 4
Joined: 6 Feb 2012, 8:11pm

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby talcenty » 17 Apr 2012, 8:12pm

Hi T

Coming off the Menai Bridge am I right in saying you travelled up Holyhead Road ie the direct route to Upper Bangor/Bangor.
In which case approaching Menai Ave you saw the NCN 5 sign to the right.

If so we (LA/Sustrans) have a couple of potential issue we need to address/look at:
    1. at the Antelope Roundabout (immediately after crossing the Menai Bridge) are we making the NCN 5 Route clear enough given all the other signs
    2. Accepting that either from choice or from missing signs visiting cyclists will come the direct route to Bangor along Holyhead Road passing first Menai Avenue then Siliwen Road, how feasible is to include the direction ie Conwy or Holyhead or West East. Or is there anything else we can do to help.

I will be passing this route tomorrow so I will check it out. Let me know if the circumstances were different so I can take that on board.

Rgds

Ade

PS The metal signs are the responsibility of the LA, these sometimes show destinations. Sustrans put up the stickers normally just to confirm that you are on the right route. The stickers simply wrap around posts so there is only sufficient space for the NCN and the direction. I can think of a number of cases where a rider may want to join an NCN as it crosses a main Road and where the sign just givesthe route number and an arrow. Given we try to direct cyclists through quiieter routes, it is not always self-evident which direction a sign will be taking you. It is something I will be raising within Sustrans and the LA.

Richard Fairhurst
Posts: 1620
Joined: 2 Mar 2008, 4:57pm
Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 17 Apr 2012, 10:55pm

Ade - you can request (from Jane in Bristol) stickers with pretty much anything you want printed on them. These can be really useful for adding a destination 'patch' to a standard directional sign.

I think there are details in the Ranger Handbook and on VolunteerNet, but if not, e-mail Jane and I'm sure she'll advise. I've got a couple on my patch and find they can make the directions much clearer.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

trecelyn
Posts: 28
Joined: 10 Aug 2010, 1:31pm

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby trecelyn » 18 Apr 2012, 9:42am

talcenty wrote:Hi T

Coming off the Menai Bridge am I right in saying you travelled up Holyhead Road ie the direct route to Upper Bangor/Bangor.
In which case approaching Menai Ave you saw the NCN 5 sign to the right.


Yes, we were heading in this direction

talcenty wrote:If so we (LA/Sustrans) have a couple of potential issue we need to address/look at:
    1. at the Antelope Roundabout (immediately after crossing the Menai Bridge) are we making the NCN 5 Route clear enough given all the other signs


There were no signs immediately after the bridge for NCR5.

talcenty wrote:
    2. Accepting that either from choice or from missing signs visiting cyclists will come the direct route to Bangor along Holyhead Road passing first Menai Avenue then Siliwen Road, how feasible is to include the direction ie Conwy or Holyhead or West East. Or is there anything else we can do to help.


In the context of NCR5, the signs pointing up Menai Drive seemed to be overkill as they not only send cyclists the wrong way when coming from the bridge, they aslo send cyclists on a seemingly unnecessary detour when trying to get to the bridge.

Cheers

T

talcenty
Posts: 4
Joined: 6 Feb 2012, 8:11pm

Re: NCR5 - North Wales

Postby talcenty » 18 Apr 2012, 3:17pm

Hi T

I looked at the Antelope roundabout this morning and there are issues which we do need to address on the signage. There is one (LA) NCN 5 sign but it is easily missed and is potentially misleading. The confusion is compounded by a well signposted but locally designated pedestrian/cycle path directly off this same roundabout. This goes along Holyhead Road for a very short 30-40 metres and is relatively new. It currently has nothing to do with the NCN. I will ensure that thie signage does get improved at this junction.

Longer term the local Bike Group and ourselves are in discussions with the LA over creating a cycle path all along Holyhead Road (from the Antelope roundabout to Siliwen Rd). There are engineering issues and it would impact on some of the private property. So not straightforward and potentially quite costly. If we are successful, this would be a significant improvement, and avoid a longish detour with a climb for those wanting to follow the NCN.

As far as the junction with Menai Avenue, I agree there is at least one redundant sign as it stands. So that also needs improving. I will follow up Richard's comments as I think it would also benefit from directional advice confirming it is straight-on for Conwy.

Apologies on behalf of Sustran (and the LA). I hope next time you will be able to enjoy your cycle in the area without out any mishaps.
Thanks for all your comments T and everyone.

Kind regards


Ade