Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Watermead C2: the final link - 1

The old span of the Wreake Bridge at Old Junction has been lifted out, pending replacement with the new span in a few days.  I've not heard an exact date for this, literally the final link in the Watermead Connect2 Scheme.  The new span has not arrived yet, and the crane has gone off site.

The approach ramps of wide carbon fibre reinforced porous decking at both ends of the new span are now largely in place.

Until the work is completed, the 'Cossington Link' connecting Syston Road, Cossington to  Meadow Lane, Syston will remain closed. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Street View along the NCN?



Our GC, Richard Himan, comments: "Personally I think ALL of the off road NCN should be on Google Street View. It's a really useful tool when planning long distance rides, it lets you look at sections to see if its suitable for the ride. We did the Old Fosse last year and we could look down the lanes from the roads to check on the surface. Not sure if the Trike will be able to negotiate all the barriers though?"

AIUI, the 'Europe' trike is only in the UK for limited periods, and presumably has a schedule.  Readers' views welcome, especially Sustrans professional staff views.


Re NCN routes on Google maps, I've found many errors in the mapping in the stretches I know, and referred these to Google.  In each case, a correction has been made, and I was notified/thanked for this by Google - 2 months later.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Wreake Bridge Replacement

On a beautiful autumn morning we decided to take a walk along the new path from Platt's Lane in Cossington, along the canal and picking up the new NCN48 Connect2 path into Syston (for a pint at the Dog & Gun). 

I wanted to see how the towpath was now that the tarmac had been laid, and to look at what stage the bridge replacement was at.

As you can see it is a very wide area now, this has been achieved by managing the hedge and reinforcing the bank, which has reclaimed and widened the path. Its a very smooth surface and is suitable for all users. My only concern is when its frosty it may well become very slippery, maybe a few grit bins could be installed?

I was particularly taken with the way they had finished the tarmac short of the Armco reinforcing, adding a soil strip, which as you can see at the top of the photo is starting to see signs of grass growing. Once established this will give a more natural edge to the path and soften the lines. 

Work on the replacement bridge over the river Wreake is well under way. A wide access ramp on the Cossington side is taking shape and there is currently a diversion along the adjacent field edge to allow construction.

On Meadow Lane there is a temporary roadway to the site to allow construction materials (and the new bridge) to be brought to the site.

The bridge is currently still accessible but will be closed for a short while when the new span is swung into place (no date for this is available as yet).

Once over the bridge the towpath continues as it was before. We picked up NCN48 at Meadow Lane and followed it all the way into Syston, crossing the Fosse Way and along the new path under the railway. The engineers have made an excellent job of the very limited space here, with a path that has a flood relief brook to one side and a railway arch to the other.

To gain much needed space the rail to the brook side is angled out to create more shoulder room.

This final section of Connect2 has brought the villages of Birstall, Thurmaston, Syston and Cossingtion together with traffic free (apart from a small section of Meadow Lane) green routes, which if Saturday was any indication are being well received and used by walkers, cyclist and mobility scooters alike.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stephen Massey

Welcome to Stephen Massey on joining the Leicester Sustrans Ranger Group.  Stephen comments that "... I'm pleased to be in the Leicester Rangers group and I've been a supporter and member of Sustrans for a while. I'm booked onto the volunteer day in Birmingham next Saturday so I'm looking forward to learning some useful information and skills."  So we'll all look forward to a debrief from the volunteer day at our next Group meeting in November - if not before in a blog posting (hint!).

Stephen's contact details are included in the latest edition of our Group contacts list, available from me.  AIUI, he's not actually any relation of our Heather Massey - it's just a small world!

Final Watermead Connect2 Steering Group Meeting

You'll have gathered that the C2 works in the Watermead Scheme are coming to a close.  The Scheme's Steering Group, in which I've participated since 2006, was therefore wound up at final meeting on 25th Sept.  Final actions remaining are:-

1   Completion of Cossington Link, including Wreake Bridge replacement.  Tarmacing of canal towpath Junction Lock - Wreake Bridge was due to start 24 Sept;  Wreake Bridge lifts are scheduled for first 2 weeks in November.  Crane pad and landing pad are under construction now at SK 609 121.

2   Commemorative occasion with Council & local reps to be held in conjunction with the Bridge lifts in November.

3   Project closure event/formal opening to be held end March or early April, possibly at Birstall.  Scope/events to be announced, but may be necessary to run Sustrans stand there - as for Northampton's C2 scheme opening last August.

4   Millennium Milepost in Watermead North: siting to be decided by Council, when decision reached on whether the milepost bodies which we hold can be re-armed and painted in time for end of Project.