Railway cycle tracks

jgurney
Posts: 1100
Joined: 10 May 2009, 8:34am

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby jgurney » 13 Apr 2018, 6:14pm

Labrat wrote:Tempted to think that before worrying about the routes alongside used tracks we ought to concentrate on protecting and securing rights of access to the hundreds ... of Miles of disused railway tracks that are still out there waiting to be brought back into use for cycling, walking and horseriding. .... in many of these cases, the routes have been dismissed as being of little or no transport or utility value .... rather than brought into use for leisure and recreational use


Spending priorities are often the issue there. Many rural areas already have plenty of footpaths and bridleways suited to walking and equestrian leisure use, so the main beneficiaries are often cyclists, but cycle campaign groups often argue that resources for new cycle facilities should go first to those places where transport & utility cycling will benefit.

I suspect there are some old rural railway lines which could serve very effective local cycle transport functions, but they won't get developed in the absence of evidence of suppressed demand.

leisure and recreational use ... IMO, that means that they don’t require the same level of surfacing, so would often offer excellent value for money


Low-speed leisure cycle paths are indeed cheaper to build. However they have become unpopular with campaigners who have seen the existence of some then being used as an excuse for not building proper cycle facilities. 'You don't need an expensive direct tarmac path alongside the main road - there is a very pretty cinder track meandering through the woods. Lots of families ride there on summer Sundays. It got a Tourist Board certificate. Anyone in a hurry to get to work would drive, anyway.'

jgurney
Posts: 1100
Joined: 10 May 2009, 8:34am

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby jgurney » 13 Apr 2018, 6:22pm

mjr wrote:
jgurney wrote: At night, would everyone feel safe walking or cycling there?


Maybe not absolutely everyone but the Swaffham Belt Path (named after the rectangular wood it runs through, but more often known as the Sand Line Path after the neighbouring railway) is still busy well after dark. ... you don't usually need to worry about being alone because someone will ride or walk past before long, or people sometimes sit on the fallen trees along the path.


That is encouraging. I was building upon experience of outer London footpaths and long alleyways, which I use often (and with no alarming incidents) but which elderly and female friends tell me they would be fearful of using at night.

atlas_shrugged
Posts: 479
Joined: 8 Nov 2016, 7:50pm

Re: Railway cycle tracks

Postby atlas_shrugged » 18 Apr 2018, 8:01pm

I tried out the Sandy - Bedford cycletrack on the weekend. This is 12 miles of mostly tarmac track and all off-road. It is a nice route for families to use. I saw a cute little deer along the way, very close by and he did not scarper. The route takes you into the heart of Bedford right by the river.

The route is not recommended for road bikes because there is some (high quality) dirt track involved and some cycle squeezing gates along the way.

Just another 6 more routes like this one and Oxford to Cambridge could be cycled all off-road. But I dream on.