NCN cuts

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Mariner
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NCN cuts

Post by Mariner » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:29 am

'elf an safety gone mad or prudent move before some idiot sues them?
https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020 ... ty-grounds

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ScotRoutes
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Re: NCN cuts

Post by ScotRoutes » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:40 am

From the other channel...

It became apparent a few years ago that Sustrans was reverting to being more urban-oriented. This makes a lot of sense. Campaigning for safe routes to school etc has a much higher impact than focussing on long distance routes for cycle tourists. Input to the A9 dualling project was confused and divergent because you had one side only wanting local, village-to-village links and the other after a continuous, A9-side cycleway (and, let’s face it, funding for both was never going to happen)

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BigdummySteve
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Re: NCN cuts

Post by BigdummySteve » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:30 am

I shudder when I recall riding in a storm on the A9, one of the scariest experiences of my life, and I’ve spent a large chunk of my life jumping out of aircraft :shock:

The NCN may need a review, obviously traffic flows have increased over the years, yet I feel this is an admission of defeat. To pull any route which mixes with cars is putting the onus on cyclists to actively avoid being killed or injured rather than improving roads and driver education.
Anyone who’s ridden any long distance routes such as lands end to John O’groats and used the NCN can’t failed to notice the very variable quality of the routes, some are just needlessly torturous just to cutout tiny sections of road and a lot of cycle paths are either dangerous or very frustrating to cycle on. One if my pet hates is that the path always has to give way to joining side roads while a cyclists sticking to the main road has right of way.

Recently I noticed this on the BBC
Cycling safety: Passing distance signs a 'UK first' https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-53338043

Hailed as a UK first it’s reminding drivers of a traffic law! While it’s a start I’d proactive enforcement and a presumption of guilt in collisions. Unfortunately massive under investment in our cycle infrastructure may never be rectified. If we’d required all new roads to have decent cycle lanes 20 years ago we might be in our way to a decent network. As it is our current network is unused in many places due to lack of upkeep.
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jameso
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Re: NCN cuts

Post by jameso » Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:47 am

ScotRoutes wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:40 am
From the other channel...

It became apparent a few years ago that Sustrans was reverting to being more urban-oriented. This makes a lot of sense. Campaigning for safe routes to school etc has a much higher impact than focussing on long distance routes for cycle tourists. Input to the A9 dualling project was confused and divergent because you had one side only wanting local, village-to-village links and the other after a continuous, A9-side cycleway (and, let’s face it, funding for both was never going to happen)
Any cuts like this are sad to see, I often use NCN routes for longer road ride route tips, but those reasons make sense. I've been a Sustrans DD supporter for 15 years or more and it's for what they do to aid local, urban travel more than anything else. The longer rural routes might be nice for me but it's preaching to the converted - or at least it was, I was suprised to see so many families on the NCN57 through Sherborne valley. Whether that's because it's an NCN and the routes are reaching the new or staycation cyclists or it's just a popular tourist part of the Cotswolds I'm not sure. That they'll remove the NCN signs (as I understand it?) is a shame though. In some areas here we have 'Quiet Lane' signs and they're all lovely bits of road, maybe similar could go up in place of NCN signs.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: NCN cuts

Post by ScotRoutes » Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:50 am

The best option would be to grade/sign the NCN routes. There is already some if this where there are tarmac/mtb options.

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by Lazarus » Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:50 pm

Agreed signage or just grade the routes like the do at a MTB trial centre - they dont just use routes for the inexperienced

I did like the name they have given to a massive reducton in what they do
Sustrans chief executive officer, Xavier Brice, said the review forms part of a strategy called Paths for Everyone,
If you read on it really means anybody - ie anybody could ride them safely.
cycle paths are either dangerous or very frustrating
Aye i was delighted to change jobs and get a 18 mile commute with 12 miles off road- Its is a NCS route [ 55 iirc] but its a shared use path and the dog walkers - or more accurately the risk of a dog appearing without warning from the woods at the side of the track about a cars width wide - is so severe i dare not go above 10 mph . IT probably wont kill me - yhough the one crash i did have was pretty bad- but ,on balance,ist way more annoying than the road sections of the ride.
There also two old cumodgeons [ not a ouple two individuals] who insist that shared use and cyclist give way means I should dismount and walk slowly past them - I suspect they want me to doff my helmet and thank them for letting me past- always stressful and a torrent of abuse.

Cheddar Man
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Re: NCN cuts

Post by Cheddar Man » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:30 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:50 am
The best option would be to grade/sign the NCN routes. There is already some if this where there are tarmac/mtb options.
The problem with that approach is that some of the routes are really long, and would need constant regrading as it went along. The two near me use a loose gravel path, a canal tow-path and some really quite steep quiet hills. It would be green, green, red, black, red, red, green, black all in about 25 miles!

It's really tricky, and it will be a real shame if some of the routes really do disappear.

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by htrider » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:39 pm

Possibly a bit of politics to encourage people to create a fuss about lost routes and therefore push for improvements on the sub-standard bits?

The urban focus of Sustrans (and cycle campaigners generally) does irk me a bit as does the 'functional journeys only' stuff. Many people will learn to ride a bike on evenings and weekends and may only use them for leisure purposes but its still bums on seats. There doesn't seem to be anyone pushing for long distance leisure routes in the UK.....

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by Scud » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:54 pm

If they get rid of all tarmac routes where the roads are 40mph plus, then that would impact greatly on the routes near me in Norfolk, there is some great NCN routes here, very quiet and very little traffic, but they are rural roads, so have limit of 60mph, but you can ride for 50 miles and not see more than 5-6 cars, so it would be a shame. (plus i really like the old-school NCN signage>.)

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:57 pm

There doesn't seem to be anyone pushing for long distance leisure routes in the UK.....
Cycling Uk have the Great North Trail and the forthcoming King Alfreds Way (I think that's right).
#corporate shill for hire

ton
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Re: NCN cuts

Post by ton » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:04 pm

i think people who tend to ride long distance stuff, generally have a half good idea of where they are going and maybe dont need to follow signed routes. i may be wrong.

i have ridden quite a lot of the ncn stuff, and sometimes a alternative route is much better and more cycling friendly.
the Lon Las Cymru being one example.

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by ScotRoutes » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:15 pm

i think people who tend to ride long distance stuff, generally have a half good idea of where they are going and maybe dont need to follow signed routes. i may be wrong.
Folk hiring bikes for the Hebridean Way, Great Glen Way, NC500, NCN78 etc always want to know if they are signposted. Foreign visitors especially find it much better if there are route signs. This is especially true where there are main roads. Try to find your way north out of Inverness towards John O'Groats and the only signs you'd see would be those on the A9.

Scud
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Re: NCN cuts

Post by Scud » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:56 pm

As Scotroutes says above, i think people enjoy the signposting, i have Route 1 and 13 both going within a couple of miles of my house and ride sections as part of regular routes, and normally may see 1 or 2 other cyclists on a good warm day, with lockdown, they have become a way for new cyclists to explore there local area without having to get a map out, in the same way that local bridleways seemed to have quadrupled in their usage in the first 2 months of the virus. People feel safer having the signage.

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by ScotRoutes » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:01 pm

I'm still trying to digest the changes. I'm seeing lots of weird discrepancies with roads I feel safe on being dropped and others I'm a lot more wary of somehow still somehow being deemed OK. NCN78 (Caledonian Way) now apparently only goes as far south as Ardrishaig. NCN1 only as far north as Tain.

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by pistonbroke » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:27 pm

Be careful what you wish for with regard to signing routes. The 2 routes that I have experience of using here in Northern Spain are The Way of St James (or Camino de Santiago) and the lesser known Camino del Cid. Both of these extend to over 1,000km and due to their popularity, have sprouted a web of side trails, link routes and options depending on your mode of transport. This brings much needed passing trade to backwater villages that may not see anyone from one year to the next. This means that in some areas, you find signposts on virtually every road and major trail and you need the official map or leaflet to work out which of the options you need to follow.
Gone are the days when if someone said they were riding or walking the "Camino" you'd assume they were starting in the French Pyrenees and going west to Santiago de Compostella. Now there's at least 10 different starting places just in Spain ranging from Cadiz to Santander and dozens of route options joining these to Santiago, all using the Scallop Shell signage. It's getting very confusing.

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by htrider » Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:08 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:57 pm
There doesn't seem to be anyone pushing for long distance leisure routes in the UK.....
Cycling Uk have the Great North Trail and the forthcoming King Alfreds Way (I think that's right).
They are publishing routes on existing trails but no-one is developing new stuff. I once designed an entire Scotland long distance cycle route network in my head which would only need a few million (as opposed to 21 bill to dual the A9) and would bring in a lot of tourism as well as being used by locals.....

On a better note, the route between Connel Bridge and Ballachulish is now complete and all off the main road.

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by RIP » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:19 am

Conversely (of course!), heard on R4 this morning that as part of Govt 'anti-obesity drive' (drive??? :lol: ) we're going to get 'thousands of miles of dedicated cycleways'. Thousands eh.
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Re: NCN cuts

Post by The Cumbrian » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:30 am

RIP wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:19 am
Conversely (of course!), heard on R4 this morning that as part of Govt 'anti-obesity drive' (drive??? :lol: ) we're going to get 'thousands of miles of dedicated cycleways'. Thousands eh.

I suspect that 80% of those 'thousands of miles of dedicated cycleways' will be in London.

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by htrider » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:32 am

RIP wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:19 am
Conversely (of course!), heard on R4 this morning that as part of Govt 'anti-obesity drive' (drive??? :lol: ) we're going to get 'thousands of miles of dedicated cycleways'. Thousands eh.
Hmm colour me cynical..... Maybe they are going to pull the plug on HS2 to fund it....

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by RIP » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:38 am

£50 repair vouchers and I'm sure I heard free 'NHS-Bikes' too! Perhaps they'll repurpose the old BorisBikes :wink: . New coat of paint etc.

Fascinating political landscape at the moment.
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Lazarus
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Re: NCN cuts

Post by Lazarus » Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:24 am

the lanes wil be in larger connourbations to reuce traffic and congestion

I willalso believe it when i see it but Boris does seem to tbe rather pro bike

I very much hope Boardman gets the " tsar" job to over see this but i suspect he is both too knowledgable and too independent for this government and they will give it to a supporter who is loyal but not an expert

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by PaulB2 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:43 pm

Lazarus wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:24 am
I very much hope Boardman gets the " tsar" job to over see this but i suspect he is both too knowledgable and too independent for this government and they will give it to a supporter who is loyal but not an expert
Reading between the lines of another announcement last week, I think that the new tsar is the same bloke that was tsar during Boris’ time as the mayor of London. His name escapes me at the moment

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Re: NCN cuts

Post by htrider » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:49 pm

PaulB2 wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:43 pm
Lazarus wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:24 am
I very much hope Boardman gets the " tsar" job to over see this but i suspect he is both too knowledgable and too independent for this government and they will give it to a supporter who is loyal but not an expert
Reading between the lines of another announcement last week, I think that the new tsar is the same bloke that was tsar during Boris’ time as the mayor of London. His name escapes me at the moment
He was the ex journo? He spoke at some gruesome cycling conference I was at a few years back and seemed pretty switched on, and sensible.

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PaulB2
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Re: NCN cuts

Post by PaulB2 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:54 am

Yes, Andrew Gilligan.

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RIP
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Re: NCN cuts

Post by RIP » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:37 pm

This is the new Government "Cycling and Walking Plan for England" for those who haven't see it. It's a long read, but essential for all cyclists.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... alking.pdf

Seriously impressive taken at face value.

What concerns me though is there will no longer be ANY funding for "non compliant" schemes - and the rules are pretty strict as you can see. Big exclusions are shared paths and any schemes not considered "direct". All cycle lanes must be segregated. Most existing towns have largely "Victorian" streets with no room for segregation, or many new towns have effectively been "Victorian" in design. So what are we supposed to do in those towns, ours for example.

Some pretty sound aspirations:

The presumption now is "if it's necessary to reallocate roadspace from parking or motoring it should be done". Wow.

Contraflow cycling will be encouraged on one-way streets. (Strikes me that our "Victorian" town could therefore make ALL our streets one-way and plonk segregated bike lanes on the freed up space then! I shall be suggesting this to our Council).

"School streets" will be closed to through traffic.

"New roads MUST have cycling provision to the new standards".

"Bike space will be increased on all existing trains and built into all new trains".

"All new housing and businesses must be built around cycling and walking for first-choice journeys".

Just got to force the planners to stick to the new rules then! Pity this wasn't implemented 20 years ago of course.
Last edited by RIP on Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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