Sustrans and tandems

JS

Sustrans and tandems

Postby JS » 9 Sep 2005, 8:43pm

I'm sure this has been discussed many times before but...

Ten years ago, I cycled the Sustrans north Wales path, the converted railway from Caernarvon to (nearly) Porthmadog, and had a hardish job getting a solo with full panniers through the anti-motorbike chicane gates at each road crossing.

This summer, we were there with two children and two tandems. And there is no way of wheeling either a full size tandem or even a slightly shorter childback through those gates. You either take all the luggage off, stand it on end and wheel it through vertically on its rear wheel, or you lift the whole thing bodily over the gate. Both are a significant detraction from the enjoyment of using that path!

I appreciate the need to stop motorbikes. But surely it's not beyond the wit of Sustrans to find a way that doesn't limit tandemists (and presumably recumbent riders and tricyclists) to only the those strong enough to lift their bikes over obstacles. If I were into the conspiracy theory of history, I would suggest this as evidence that Sustrans are more concerned with building as many miles of track as possible regardless of how useful to cyclists they are; I don't think I actually do believe that, but the alternative is the cock-up theory, and a cock-up which hasn't been rectified after 10 years does make you wonder...

John

mike6

Re:Sustrans and tandems

Postby mike6 » 9 Sep 2005, 9:16pm

It's not only tandems John. I had to remove my panniers and lift my bike up and over a rock placed between two upturned pipes on a NCN route near Bristol.
The odd motor bike would have caused less of a problem!

mike6

Re:Sustrans and tandems

Postby mike6 » 9 Sep 2005, 9:16pm

It's not only tandems John. I had to remove my panniers and lift my bike up and over a rock placed between two upturned pipes on a NCN route near Bristol this summer.
The odd motor bike would have caused less of a problem!

mel

Re:Sustrans and tandems

Postby mel » 9 Sep 2005, 11:45pm

I've come across these anti-motorbike obstructions on canals use as sustrans paths too, some have disabled user key fittings but that doesn't help cyclists with luggage. Some of the path surfaces leave much to be desired too, for example, you get a good tarmac surface as used on the Route 5 path on the North Wales coast but a soft ash surface as used on parts of Route 45. Riding through the soft ash is like trying to ride through a sand dune. I would be reluctant to plan a long trip using Sustrans paths if I were riding my Galaxy, I wouldn't know what to expect. Do the Sustrans planners assume most people ride ATB's?

somersetbiker

Re:Sustrans and tandems

Postby somersetbiker » 18 Sep 2005, 7:40pm

Look on the Sustrans website here: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/webfiles/Inf ... s/ff22.pdf

to see the Sustrans policy on access barriers.

Sustrans usually get the blame these problems, but it's the local authority that usually is responsible for maintenance of cycle routes.

gar

Re:Sustrans and tandems

Postby gar » 19 Sep 2005, 6:57am

Sustrans brief is for disabled cyclists too,
and I am surprised that I have to lift my disabled
three wheeler over impediments at all.

Lifting a load over a heavy gate standing on only one useable leg is hard enough. Climbing over it with only one useable leg is quite a feat(!) of leg
and balancing dexterity.

Doing it half a dozen times in one day would require muscularity which I do not possess

J Cantrell

Re:Sustrans and tandems

Postby J Cantrell » 19 Sep 2005, 6:11pm

Sustrans route 8 South of Caernarfon is difficult in this respect ... However as a Sustrans ranger I recently had a meeting with other rangers and with the Gwynedd Countryside rangers, and this very issue came up. The Gwynedd rangers are keen to make the track usable for all cyclists and are researching different styles of gateway. Any gateway must discourage motorcycles and prevent children from riding out unchecked onto a road - so if any tandem riders out there can point me to a new design I will ensure it gets passed to the right department. Don't expect instant action though - I don't think the Gwynedd C.C. budget for this sort of work is very big - but at least we could make a start.

gar

Re:Sustrans and tandems

Postby gar » 19 Sep 2005, 6:28pm

I am sure 50cc owners would use an available
cycle track and trackriders too, also 50cc.
I wonder how often ?
And how many recumbent/ disabled prams it would also prevent from using if you did discourage?

Probably the same numbers on both sides.

Marc

Re:Sustrans and tandems

Postby Marc » 19 Sep 2005, 10:44pm

As a member of the CTC Right to ride member, a Sustrans volunteer ranger and local bug member, I too have come across some of these.

The above comments are true, the local authority are the people to directly liaise with. Additionally if you contact Sustrans and they have a local volunteer ranger group they may be able to help resolve the issue, like mine did in asking me to remove a railway sleeper placed on edge at the beginning of the Chiseldon to Marborough section of R45, a bow saw and sledge hammer later it was done.

Good luck

Marc