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.'