Monday, May 6, 2013

NCN 6 Diversion at Birstall

Repair work at Birstall 'Promenade'     K Drury
The Canal & River Trust are rebuilding the GU Canal towpath at Birstall between the E ends of White Horse Lane and Whiles Lane.  NCN 6 runs along this stretch, which is now fenced off, with a footpath diversion in operation.

Repairs will take until July.

Temporary diversion sign in Front Street      K Drury
NCN 6:  In the meantime, NCN 6 is diverted:-

SOUTHBOUND:  from Wanlip Lane, Birstall, left at the Co-op as signed into Front Street, then:

  • first RIGHT at the NO ENTRY signs to continue along Front Street.  YOU MUST WALK THE 100m TO WHITE HORSE LANE.  There have been several near accidents already this weekend, with cyclists blithely ignoring the 1-way street signs.
  • first LEFT into White Horse Lane, leading down to White Horse Bridge, where you rejoin the towpath and NCN 6.

NORTHBOUND:  from Birstall Lock, along the towpath towards White Horse Bridge, then:

  • LEFT into White Horse Lane, and ride up to the top, then
  • RIGHT along Front Street to the T-junction, then
  • LEFT along Front Street to the Co-op, and right along Wanlip Lane, as signed.
NCN 48:  Access from NCN 48 southbound to NCN 6 and the continuation of Green Route 1 southbound from Watermead Park North is:
  • RIGHT from main sign by river/canal bank at foot of Whiles Lane up the cyclepath to Whiles Lane carriageway
  • continue up Whiles Lane to 2nd on left at the NO ENTRY signs into Front Street.  YOU MUST WALK THE 100m TO WHITE HORSE LANE.  
  • first LEFT into White Horse Lane, leading down to White Horse Bridge, where you rejoin Green Route 1 and NCN 6.
Northbound from Birstall Lock is
  • LEFT into White Horse Lane, and ride up to the top, then
  • RIGHT along Front Street to the T-junction, then
  • RIGHT at T-junction of Front Street and Whiles Lane, 
  • down Whiles Lane to join riverside cycle path heading N towards Watermead Park North entrance.
I've ordered signs to cover the diversions, and put up one temporary sign to divert southbound NCN 6 riders into Front Street.

Friday, May 3, 2013

NCN 6 Work Party - Watermead South clear-up

A sign at Birstall Lock - old, incorrect
but still needed
K Drury
Well, the City Parks Officer for Watermead Park South is a neighbour of mine, and rightly proud of his patch, and very happy to have signage clutter removed!  And those ancient, flood-damaged NCN stickies (and nail-ons) have been annoying me for years.  And most of them were redundant anyway, excellent, but rather sparse new fixed signage having been installed by the Councils recently, often right next to our aged temporary Sustrans signs.  And none of our temporaries showed multi-user paths, just the cycle pictogram, whereas the mile-long stretch of NCN 6 concerned is all shared pedestrian + cyclist, and 1/4 mile of it even pedestrian + equestrian + cycle.

So those old signs at 12 sites along that stretch had to go.  In 3 places where they had NOT been made redundant by the new fixed signage, and still had a vital function in
Its replacement - fully up to date
K Drury
guiding NCN 6 users, they had to be renewed by more appropriate nail-ons.  
(This demonstrates incidentally the difference in philosophy for signage between the fixed-signage providers (the local Councils in this case) and Sustrans.  No way could you follow NCN 6 along that stretch just by using the new fixed signage -  too many possibilities of going astray.  So our Sustrans 'temporary signage' is going to be PERMANENT!)

So we had a Work Party on 2nd May, in the evening.  Risk Assessment completed, and vetted by Ian Keetley in Nottingham VolCon:  replacement signs procured from Jane Chapman (to whom thanks, especially for the rather attractive, specially made (48) patches), kit for removing stickies/nail-ons assembled, PPE sorted, volunteers from our Leicester Group recruited for the job, perfect weather pre-booked, and pub identified for the last rites!  That'll do as a checklist . . . 

Redundant temporary signs at Birstall Lock ramp - new
signpost at top left

K Drury
Richard, Steve and I met at 18:30 by the Showmen's Guild yard at Bath Street, Belgrave.  After initial briefing, it was steady progress along the NCN 6 stretch along Belgrave Riverside, under Watermead Way, and into Watermead Park South.  The bin bag gradually filled with old plastic prised, chiselled or scraped off the wooden posts, and the 7 new pre-prepared signs replaced the necessary few.  The path was busy - it always is - and yellow vests, I find,  always attract broken bikes to be fixed - of other users, NOT ours!  But we had the right Allen key . . .   A group of lady riders on their first
Nicely cleared off, leaving the new sign
K Drury
outing after starting cycling passed us en route to Abbey Park, and again on their way back, under the guidance of County Council tutors - one of the many excellent initiatives proceeding in Watermead Country Park.  

The last nails to fix the last sign onto Belgrave Lock bridge were welcome, as it was near sunset, and the White Horse across the mill stream beckoned.  A good evening's work, all in all.  Notified the 2 Councils concerned that work completed today, so can close another 'to-do file'.  
Redundant signage clutter . . . 
K Drury
. . .  cleared
K Drury 
Old, but necessary sign near Bath Street  . . . 
K Drury
. . .  updated and renewed
K Drury