Author Topic: Sustrans paths crap - official  (Read 2496 times)

Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #50 on: November 14, 2018, 08:50:18 pm »
I can't help but feel that the point of Sustrans has been to make it appear to the bulk of the population (i.e. people who rarely if ever ride bikes) that everything is really great for cyclists. I always seem to find the on-road sections have relatively pristine tarmac, whereas I am not aware of any off-road sections that have ever had any resurfacing. Perhaps we are only prepared to spend the money where it is likely to be of greatest benefit to motorists, either by having fewer potholes or getting the bloody cyclists out of the way of the important traffic. The bits of the network that people actually want to use (i.e. away from traffic) are generally utter crap, and most people are only prepared to use their cars on the rest of it. None of these things seem to have promoted active travel in any way but as long as nobody complains, and nobody will because they all have better things to be doing with their time, nothing will happen to improve the situation.
When I was in Gloucester a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the Sharpness canal towpath was being tarmacced. I doubt that's anything to do with Sustrans but it is part of NCN41. The trouble with surfacing off-road sections is that locals object on 'environmental' grounds.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #51 on: November 14, 2018, 10:28:13 pm »
Since I've been living here all the towpaths within the Birmingham City Council area have been resurfaced (stupidly, but that's another story).  As has a section of the Rea Valley route south of Cannon Hill Park.  So that's bits of NCN5, 535, 533 and possibly a bit of 81, depending on where they actually stopped at the Smethwick end (it's been ages since I've been out that way).

Nothing to do with Sustrans, but there you go.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

mattc

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Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2018, 11:19:35 pm »



Summary:
We've pretty much wasted all the money we've had so far on crap projects. As anyone can see, they need sorting out.

Can we have some more money please?
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Jaded

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Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #53 on: November 15, 2018, 01:06:53 am »
How much cycle track could be built for 1 mile of Managed Motorway.

?
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #54 on: November 15, 2018, 09:21:02 am »
I agree with mattc, it is possible to ride safely on roads and as mattc also points out there are things which can be done to make them safer for cyclists and peds.

Despite ian's optimistic tone I still don't think we will see a rapid adoption of measures that are prejudicial to the interests of motorists but help cyclists and peds.  Remember the Dutch only got their cycling infrastructure in the 60s because public opinion drove political will.

I probably shouldn't have to explain that I don't mean every road. But the moment you're dumped on a main, busy road, it's game over as a far as practical cycling is concerned. I can cycle to the end of my hill. Then it's a narrow heavily parked road into town. Like all such roads, it throws you into conflict with motorists who can't get by. Unless you like having a car revving behind or having to get out of the way of oncoming cars, it's not fun. Then you get to town, which is clogged with traffic going elsewhere, have to find the hidden bike-racks that aren't anywhere useful. Etc.

And it's not just about safe, it's about pleasant. It might be safe to get to from (a) to (b) by walking by the side of the motorway, but it won't be fun or pleasant.

The mistake is to think that cyclists can change any of this. They can't because generally they're non-existent and as an other group (one that really goes out of its way to dispel any sympathy), no one cares. If you want to know how effect cycling organizations are, read the Cycling UK vs. BC thread herein and despair.

It's almost like there aren't many, many people who ought to share the aims of cyclists. Pedestrians. People who have seen friends, loved ones, relatives killed and injured on the roads, people who actually want a liveable environment rather than a dormitory in a carpark. They're the ones who would have the numbers and attitude to make change that benefits us all. Sadly, I think a lot of cyclists don't want that, they like being an other, fighting it out on the roads, telling their war stories.

But anyway, because it is for cyclists and because of the reasons above, Sustrans is fated to be crap.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #55 on: November 15, 2018, 09:45:44 am »
I'm not entirely sure about that. Would anyone really be tarmaccing old railways if it was only for pedestrians and dog walkers? Look at footpaths out in the countryside, from one village to another via that hill and a muddy field – they're most definitely not, nowadays, transport links, and they're not going to get any sort of upgrade or any more money spent on them than maybe a signpost at each end.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

hulver

  • I am a mole and I live in a hole.
Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #56 on: November 15, 2018, 10:02:22 am »
I see "The Five Weirs Walk" in Sheffield as a great example of a sustrans route. (Yes, the "Walk" is a cycle route. I guess cycling was first priority when designing it)

It's part of "National Route 6".

Here's a blog post by somebody who tried to ride it.

http://sheffieldcyclechic.tumblr.com/post/804659810/fiveweirswalk

Part of the route is closed at night as the landowner shuts the gates, so there's an on road section instead.

Overall, this is the sort of standard I expect from sustrans, and the reason I avoid any NCN sign posts and just take the road instead.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #57 on: November 15, 2018, 11:03:05 am »
I'm not entirely sure about that. Would anyone really be tarmaccing old railways if it was only for pedestrians and dog walkers? Look at footpaths out in the countryside, from one village to another via that hill and a muddy field – they're most definitely not, nowadays, transport links, and they're not going to get any sort of upgrade or any more money spent on them than maybe a signpost at each end.

That'd be fine if Sustrans remit was the occasional leisure route, but I'd assume from the name it's actually getting people from (a) to (b). I don't think the fault is entirely theirs, hence the fated.

Footpaths are a different thing – they've always been there and people expect them to be there. Plus undoing rights of way would be a political and legal nightmare. And ultimately they'd don't cost much to maintain.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #58 on: November 15, 2018, 11:14:31 am »
The point was that Sustrans got those routes created (to the extent they have created them – many are nothing more than mapping and signage, really) for cyclists. I don't think going out to create something similar for pedestrians would have gathered sufficient momentum. None of which means that cyclists are going to change the world or get people out of their cars.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #59 on: November 15, 2018, 01:21:09 pm »
Forgive me for being a bit of a dunce, but what does "Sustainable" actualy mean? The NCN has been improving over the years and they obviously get money to make those improvements. In fact, I would guess that many of the improvements are actually paid for by local councils. There's a 3 mile stretch (of NCN1) in my home town that has been resurfaced loads of times in my lifetime (it had always been a cycle/foot path long before Sustrans had been invented) infact just a few months ago they resurfaced a section in the middle of town. I doubt Sustrans paid for it, but they get to stick their blue signs on it....
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #60 on: November 15, 2018, 01:29:27 pm »
In the Sustrans context, human-powered (as opposed to fossil-fuel-burning*)?

*At least to a first order; e-bikes probably count as well...

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #61 on: November 15, 2018, 01:31:55 pm »
Forgive me for being a bit of a dunce, but what does "Sustainable" actualy mean?

It's a word that you find in job titles that means that it won't be a permanent contract.   :D

To borrow from Fully Charged, and with a nod to Sustrans' origins in the wake of the 1970s oil crisis, "without burning stuff" would be a reasonable definition.

I note that the Sustrans website talks about walking and cycling, rather than sustainable transport.


ETA: While it's easy to make pointed comments about their attitude to, say, electric trains, I think I respect them more for not going through a We are Cycling UK style rebranding.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #62 on: November 15, 2018, 01:36:13 pm »
Sustrans grew out of the Beeching railway cuts, indirectly.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Oscar's dad

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Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #63 on: November 15, 2018, 01:36:48 pm »
... There's a 3 mile stretch (of NCN1) in my home town that has been resurfaced loads of times in my lifetime (it had always been a cycle/foot path long before Sustrans had been invented) infact just a few months ago they resurfaced a section in the middle of town. I doubt Sustrans paid for it, but they get to stick their blue signs on it....

There's a lovely refurbished bit of shared usage pathway round the back of Primark, which might be the section you're referring to.  We used it last night in the dark and its even got illuminated trees which change colour, very fancy.  But obviously feck all to do with Sustrans and I doubt psychedelic trees are more sustainable - still, we thought they looked great - well done to whoever installed them  :thumbsup:


Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #64 on: November 15, 2018, 01:40:34 pm »
... There's a 3 mile stretch (of NCN1) in my home town that has been resurfaced loads of times in my lifetime (it had always been a cycle/foot path long before Sustrans had been invented) infact just a few months ago they resurfaced a section in the middle of town. I doubt Sustrans paid for it, but they get to stick their blue signs on it....

There's a lovely refurbished bit of shared usage pathway round the back of Primark, which might be the section you're referring to.  We used it last night in the dark and its even got illuminated trees which change colour, very fancy.  But obviously feck all to do with Sustrans and I doubt psychedelic trees are more sustainable - still, we thought they looked great - well done to whoever installed them  :thumbsup:


That's exactly the bit I was talking about. But would prefer to call it "The cycle path through Central Park" than "Round the back of Primark". You're showing your class  :P
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #65 on: November 15, 2018, 02:04:35 pm »
 ;D

Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #66 on: November 15, 2018, 03:08:20 pm »
I see "The Five Weirs Walk" in Sheffield as a great example of a sustrans route. (Yes, the "Walk" is a cycle route. I guess cycling was first priority when designing it)

It's part of "National Route 6".

I'd rather slog down Brightside Lane than use that shite

hulver

  • I am a mole and I live in a hole.
Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #67 on: November 15, 2018, 03:19:02 pm »
I see "The Five Weirs Walk" in Sheffield as a great example of a sustrans route. (Yes, the "Walk" is a cycle route. I guess cycling was first priority when designing it)

It's part of "National Route 6".

I'd rather slog down Brightside Lane than use that shite

Indeed. I wonder how many times the provision of better cycling facilities hasn't even been considered because that route already exists.

arabella

  • no se porque yo no lo se
Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #68 on: November 20, 2018, 12:21:44 pm »
It really annoys me how far from transport infrastructure sustrans' network actually is. Around Canterbury they opened several routes with much fanfair, but half of them are flooded for 3 months of the year, and in all but summer they are basically comedy off roading experiences. If you try to plan a cycle route from Canterbury to Sandwich, it's exceptionally hard to get any route planner to choose NCN1 over any other route.
Having grown up round there it would never occur to me not to use the A257, which is what I assume you end up on.  Or detour via Staple if you have a mind.  It's probably a bit busier nowadays which is the whole problem with any roads - too many people wanting to drive too far and too often.  Perhaps we should re-launch "Is your journey really necessary?"
In the dark, all views are the same.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Sustrans paths crap - official
« Reply #69 on: November 22, 2018, 12:37:34 am »
Site where Sustrans invite you to document exactly what's crap about the NCN:

https://nationalcyclenetwork.commonplace.is/

Obviously it's unlikely that much of this will lead to remedial action, but it could result in a useful database of local knowledge for those planning routes.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...