The Beeley Wood route is a project in progress at the present time. The path will be finished off with road planings in the near future, together with top soiling of the verge, and that will wrap up phase 1.
Phase 1 is in effect a footpath improvement, - improving drainage, getting rid of the swampy patches and improving the surface for people who are frail or use wheelchairs. The route is not yet a cycle route or Bridleway so cannot be signed as such. We anticipate that the route can be upgraded to a Bridleway (and allow cycle usage and signage) as part of phase 2 around April time 2010. This will hopefully be done with a final surfacing of the main track, which is to be agreed, and a Bridleway agreement with landowners. Access treatments will also be looked at.
The final surfacing, as part of Phase 2, is subject to consultation with a range of stakeholders, including the Community Assembly, Ramblers Association, Sustrans and landowners. I will be looking to start the ball rolling on this later in November.
Agreements with landowners to upgrade to a Bridleway should be fairly straight forward, provided we have their agreement on surfacing and access management. However, there are four landowners along the course of the route, one of which we have yet to identify and make contact with (despite trying all obvious means). If we can't identify this particular landowner, we may have to look at doing an Order to legally achieve the Bridleway, which would take longer and be more costly. We are currently exploring options on this.
I will update you when we have either indentified the remaining landowner or decided on a course of action to convert the footpath to a Bridleway by legal Order. I will also involve Sustrans' reps in the consultation on the final surfacing later this month.
The crossing of the railway line north of Oughtibridge is the subject of ongoing discussion between Network Rail and the City Council, following Network Rail's opposition to this. Its not an easy one.
Celebrating the opening of the Beeley Woods shared use path and hopefully the complete route between the NCN at Oughtibridge and Sheffield City Centre.
2010 will mark the 21st Anniversary of the TPT - that is 21 years since the inaugural ride and walk that launched the idea of the Trail to the public. Obviously there are going to be celebrations, including a ‘batten’ relay across the whole of the Trail. This is likely to take place in June.
We have been asked to organise at least one walking, cycling or horse riding event in out area at some point during 2010 as part of the ‘TPT 21st Anniversary Celebrations’ and I'm sure we can manage that.
This year we did the 'Fresh Air Miles' sponsored ride at Rother Valley and although there wasn't a big take-up for the ride itselfthe stand at Rother Valley generated a lot of interest so I'm sure we could do that again, perhaps with some guided rides to take people along the TPT.
A sponsored ride to raise money for Sustrans should be on the cards as well.
We do of course want to have a cycling and walking network that is attractive, free of litter and other hassles and well-signed, so we'll need some workdays to achieve that and we should continue to harrass Streetforce and Sheffiield City Council if they fail in their statutory duties. This is particularly important when budgets are being cut and managers are looking to cut corners.
I have a plan for a Sheffield to Manchester route taking in the Porter Valley, the Hope Valley, Mam Tor, Rushup Edge and over to Chinley so hope to make some progress with that.
Any other ideas? By all means leave a Comment if so.