Saturday, 28 March 2015

Our celebration of the National Cycle Network

The National Cycle Network is 20 years old this year! On the Longest Day (21 June) 2000, as a new ranger, I had the pleasure of leading a group from Derby to Lichfield on the new Route 54. This was just one part of a celebration of the opening of the first 5000 miles of the Network, and similar rides were taking place all the country. How it has grown in 15 years! Now there are nearly three times that distance, and one-half of the UK's population lives within one mile of the Network. Yesterday, we played our part in celebrating this 20th anniversary of the National Cycle Network by riding 22 miles over four different routes: 68, 548, 54 and 547. Starting at Tissington car park, we rode up the Tissington Trail to Biggin 'crossroads', took Route 548 to where it joins the High Peak Trail (NCR54) at Minninglow, continued on the HPT to Hopton Bottom, and then Route 547 to Carsington, where we had refreshments; a mixture of trail, road and bridleway. I left at that point, but the rest of the group continued back to Tissington. The weather stayed fine, we had some stunning views, saw a bit of snow from a few days ago, found time to do a small amount of signing and were in great company! We also welcomed established ranger, Robin, as a new member of the group. Thanks to everyone for coming along and to Jim for suggesting this interesting and varied route. I'm anticipating more rides this year to celebrate the NCN's 20 years! Pic shows (from L2R) Jim, Catherine, David, Robin and Paul W behind the granite Kugel Stone at Carsington Water visitors' center.     

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

NCN 68 Closures

The normal route of the 68 between Ashbourne and Derby is closed in two places:
 1. At Longford – Sepycoe Lane is closed to all traffic; the Derbyshire County Council website states this closure can be until 7th May. Northbound instead of turning left into the Lane continue on through the village on Main Street (past the school) then turn left onto Long Lane to re-join the usual route after 0.25 miles. Southbound do not turn right where the Sustrans sign indicates but continue along Long Lane for another 0.25 miles then turn right onto Main Street, continue on through the village to re-join the usual route where Sepycoe Lane comes in from the right.
 2. A long length of the Mickleover Greenway approaching Derby after the NCN 54 has joined near Etwall. This is from Heage Lane bridge all the way to Mickleover station. Work has been delayed; dates are now expected to be Monday 20th April to Friday 15th May. Derby City Council have promised to sign a diversion. This will be on-road via Heage Lane, Radbourne Lane and Station Road and will add 1 mile to the route.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Update on Pedal Peak 2 project

It would be easy to forget that our support is needed for every step of the way when it comes to the planning applications for various sections of the White Peak Trail. The whole stretch from Matlock to Rowsley is divided into 4 phases. Phase 1 is from Matlock to Old Road, Darley Dale. The planning application for this is to be heard next Monday, 9 March. The planning application for Phase 2, Old Rd to Church Rd, has not been submitted yet. Phase 3 is Church Rd to Harrisons Way, the application is in, and some of you have already made comments in favour of the project. Phase 4, Harrisons Way to Rowsley, has only just been submitted and there are very few comments in favour. Please do not imagine this is a done deal! There is still opposition to this whole project, as can be seen from some of the negative comments online. If you have not commented on Phases 3 and 4, please find time to do so now. The planning applications can be found through these links:

Thank you.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Stafford to Newport Greenway

I went along yesterday to the social ride organized by Dave Powell of the Stafford Rangers, to celebrate the final linking of Stafford to Newport. Including some that we picked up along the way, the final turn-out was good at ten or a dozen or so, with rangers from 6 or 7 different Midlands groups. Dave led us along the greenway, an old railway track bed, running from Stafford to Newport, now part of NCN Route 55 and also Staffordshire County Council's "Way for the Millennium". It is generally in reasonable condition at the Stafford end although, not surprisingly for this time of year, there are a few places which are a bit muddy, particularly in the cuttings. Towards the other end, however, the excellent resurfacing of about two miles has been carried out by Staffordshire CC at the cost of £300,000, after much campaigning by the local rangers; and Shropshire CC has also done its bit to continue the greenway into Newport. Paul Boston, another Stafford ranger, joined us at Gnosall and pointed out a number of features along the route. Pictures show: original group at Stafford; Paul with trailer leads the group under a railway bridge; new resurfaced stretch; Paul giving some explanations. Thanks, Dave, for a very enjoyable day!
I returned to Stafford, and then Dave set me on the right trail for Stoke-on-Trent (Route 5). I got lost a couple of times - but then, that's just me! A good route: some railway path, some minor road, some shared pavement, a lot of canal towpath. The canal route from Stone to Stoke, which has also been resurfaced not that long ago, makes for a very attractive ride.