Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just need a work party . . .

Work Party signs for Leicester Rangers' Group use

Mounted on heavy backing, for standing against post etc. at either end of working area.  Available for the moment from Keith Drury, but we may need to set up some more central storage.

Leicester City Skyride 2012

Click HERE to read Les Sims' account of Sunday 26 August Skyride in Leicester City - featuring the Duke of Rutland and woebegone wife . . .  She obviously missed out on a cycle-powered smoothie   :-(

Sunday, August 19, 2012

NCNs 64 and 63 Makeover in E Leics

NCNs 63 & 64 in Harborough and High Leicestershire:
Refurbishment of signage

 This has been an unusual project, whereby Sustrans volunteers from the Leicester Sustrans Rangers Group carried out by agreement extensive refurbishment works to Leicestershire County Council signage.

Sign at Goadby in 2011 before project
Sign at Goadby in 2011
The signage covered by this work is that in the area east and south of Leicester, which guides riders along NCN 64 from Market Harborough to Melton Mowbray, and along NCN 63 from E Leicester to Stamford - 55km of route altogether.  Around 80 signposts, most bearing multiple signboards, were involved.  The primary need was to replace the signs along NCN 64 and its joint stretch with NCN 63, which had faded since their original installation to partial or complete illegibility.

Sign at Goadby AFTER the project
Goadby sign after the project
The Sustrans Area Manager in Leicester proposed in January 2011 the services of the Leicester Sustrans Rangers Group to Leicestershire County Council, the owners of the signage, for refurbishment of these signs.  This proposal was accepted, the Council agreeing to contribute to the cost of materials for the work.

Work done 
design drawing for new signs
Step 2:  design of the sign stickers needed
 Step 1 Route surveys: conducted in 2011 to define which signs required replacement faces, and other work required, e.g. to damaged sign mountings.
 Step 2 Definition and design of materials needed for new sign faces
Step 3 Ordering of materials from Sustrans HQ; arrangement of contribution towards funding of these materials by County Council.
Step 4 Risk Assessment for the fieldwork stage of replacing the sign faces
Step 5 Replacement of sign faces in the field plus fixing sign problems.

Sign bespattered with farm slurry, and badly faded, BEFORE
"No greater devotion hath any man."
Sign bespattered with farm slurry BEFORE . . . 

signed cleaned and new face stickers AFTER project
. . .  and AFTER attention by John Woodward.

John Woodward affixes the main sticker
John Woodward affixes the main sticker . . . 
The fieldwork in Step 5, preceded by an introductory briefing by the Project Leader, was itself carried out in distinct steps - at which participants got more practiced as the work progressed:
• decide which sticker(s) required from those procured [a general sign face of white cycle on blue background; a 'Trail' name, where relevant; NCN route patch(es)]
• trim any vegetation which interfered with access to sign and/or its visibility
• remove signboard from post if necessary, e.g. if access awkward
• wash and dry off the signboard(s)
• trim sticker(s) to size where necessary
• affix sticker(s). If more than one, emplace in the order which would produce the neatest/clearest result**
• remount signboard
• ensure all other signboards securely fixed

John Woodward affixes route patches
. . .  and adds the Route patches

 ** Note that handling such large plastic stickers - especially in the field - is an acquired skill. A flat working surface, allowing dry and wind-free working, is essential. This often implies removal of the signboard from the post, say into a car, to get a good result with no distortion or air bubbles under the surface.

Sign at Cranoe
At Cranoe
 The project was led by John Woodward of Leicester Group. Peter Wright, John Dyson and Keith Drury participated in the site surveys and sign replacement work. Area Managers Patrick Davis and James Lowe were involved in obtaining Council agreement and funding, and sign materials were provided by Sustrans Volunteer Support in Bristol. Of the ~80 sign locations covered in this job, 6 need substantial repair (e.g. post leaning badly) or reinstatement of missing signboards, which Rangers could not in fact undertake. Rangers installed temporary Sustrans signs as far as possible to cover the issues in the short term, but have requested Council action at the required locations to ensure the integrity of NCN 64 signage.

A full report on this project is available from or
It has been passed to Sustrans Volunteer Co-ordination and the County Council.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Next Leicester Rangers' Group Events

I know it's a year on since the last posting!

Just regard this contribution from me as a kickstart so we can get going again - I'll try and add more, and with the sincere hope that the use of this blog, both reading and contributions, by the rest of our Leicester Group will improve this time round. The blog SHOULD be an important vehicle for our internal Group communication and motivation, and for recording and reporting our not inconsiderable achievements for the neighbouring Groups and Corporate Sustrans. Blog didn't really take off last time, but maybe we can do better now.

I, at least, have also only just discovered the East Midlands Sustrans Rangers blog, thanks to Area Manager James Lowe pointing us to it. Comments on our posts from neighbouring Groups would be especially welcome!


 Next events in which we're involved are:

Sun 26th August: City Skyride in Leicester Sustrans operating Leicester Market Activity Area. PLEASE come and help. Contact Rory James at Event details HERE

Mon 27th August: Local Skyride Leicester - Glenfield - Leicester on theme of Leicester & Swannington Railway - a remarkable 19C link in Leicester's history and development. Leicester Rangers' Group members involved; participation invited - details and registration HERE

Mon 24th September: Leicester Sustrans Rangers' Group meeting: Western pub: 19:30

 Tues 25th September: Sustrans Connect2 Watermead Project: Steering Group meeting involving Sustrans Area Manager and Rangers' representative