I will let you decide which photo you like the best, both photos taken on my 23rd August 2015 ride to Loughrigg Terrace.
After twelve days of resting after my operation on the 1st September, I was fit enough to have ride out to Cafe d’Lune in Condor Green to have a coffee and cake on Sunday.
The get well cards.
A butterfly in the back garden
ATOG is now four years old! Our supporters have been patient – indeed they may have thought we had stopped. We have not. The small committee has continued to beaver away in the last couple of years, and during this time we have had both good news and bad news. Fortunately there is more good than bad, and the number of organisations listening to our plans is increasing.
People have been suggesting a foot crossing over the Kent since the viaduct was first built. Councillor Ian Stewart has been active on the issue since about 2001. Now is a good time to recap where ATOG is.
A survey was undertaken of households in Arnside back in 2011 and that showed significant support for a pedestrian/cycle path on the Arnside railway viaduct.
In 2012 we persuaded cycling charity Sustrans to write a report on the feasible routes for this new link between Arnside and Grange. There were seven possibilities and each had advantages and disadvantages. This report is available on the ATOG Facebook page. The consensus seems to be that the new path should be hung on the Milnthorpe side of the bridge, but this is far from decided. There is a problem finding a route alongside the west side of the railway around Meathop Fell, but a slightly longer route around through Meathop would be an acceptable alternative. There are some issues on access from Arnside – the best option would seem to be from the car park at Arnside and through the first arch on the Arnside side. There would be an issue with very high tides but we think there is no reason why the new path should not be closed whenever the water-tight gates to the carpark are closed.
We are still none the wiser about the cost of a new cantilevered path on the side of the viaduct, but this would be high. It has been suggested to us that the engineering problems are too great to overcome for a full-width cycle path. The minimum required by law is three metres wide. However we think it would be reasonable to ask cyclists to walk not ride over the viaduct and so a path of about 2 metres would be sufficient. The minimum width is 1.5 metres. This would reduce costs and make the engineering issues simpler.
We are having good meetings with other bodies who are generally supportive. This includes Natural England who are developing the new England Coastal Path and they are well on the way to reaching Walney Island from Gretna. Over the next year or two they will be turning their attention to Walney to Arnside section of the England Coastal path. The Arnside Viaduct could be an important part of that and they might be able to help with funding.
Cumbria County Council appear to be supportive – although anxious about costs! We are hoping that our local Councillor Ian Stewart will have an early opportunity to commend the scheme to the Cabinet of CCC.
The Arnside & Silverdale AONB Partnership and the Morecambe Bay Partnership are very helpful, their advice and experience in tapping funding sources are invaluable. An estuary crossing has been on both partnerships future plans for some time. Cycling charity Sustrans has also been helpful and we hope they will continue to be involved, also with offers of funding.
We are also pleased that local businesses on the Furness Peninsular are keen to support this project. We have always thought that a true coastal path would benefit the local economy and access to the viaduct would be a tourist attraction in its own right. The Highways authority would welcome the opportunity of reducing the risk of danger to cyclists on the A590 and other routes in the area.
The next step will be for the various interested bodies to come together to raise perhaps £40,000 to £60,000 to pay for a detailed report on engineering options and benefits for the local communities. We hope that at least 60% of this sum can be found from non-public bodies. Morecambe Bay Partnership and Local Councils plan to carry out further work to enable tender documentation to be produced and issued before the end of 2015.
Of course the Arnside Viaduct is only one part of the England Coastal Path and there are similar issues with the Leven estuary and those further North. Arnside does seem the right place to start because there is currently no crossing over the Kent estuary. But if we can get the project started in Arnside, there is a better chance of the coastal path succeeding further round the Furness peninsular.
We will keep people informed of progress. We also hope that more people will support the project. Any suggestions for funding sources or offers to join the ATOG Committee would be most welcome. Please encourage your friends who can see the benefit of a new route between Arnside and Grange.
If you have any questions or suggestions please contact Stuart on ATOG201[at]talktalk.net
ATOG is dedicated to the establishment of a cycleway and footpath on the side of the railway viaduct across the Kent estuary between Arnside and Grange, on the north shore of Morecambe Bay. We are working hard to provide a coastal route of only three or four miles between these two coastal resorts whereas the only present route is in excess of sixteen miles.
The above photo show what fitted into two rear panniers and saddlebag.
Cyclamen ‘Purple Flame’ planted in tub by front door.
A close up of one of violas planted by driveway in the front garden.
Last Saturday after work took small detour on the way home to visit the local Homebase to buy some Autumn colour for the garden. I manage to fit three boxes of mixed violas, a box of cyclamen ‘Purple Flame’, a 15 litre bag of potting compost, a bag of 10 Narcissi ‘Baby Moon’, a bag of 15 Narcissi canaliculatis and bag of 12 Narcissi ‘Jetfire’ into rear panniers and saddlebag.
After about 25 minute cycle ride from Morecambe to Halton, I unloaded my plants and use the potting compost to top up plant tub my the front door and planted the cyclamen in it (It worth spending a little a bit extra on cyclamen to buy larger plants as there better change of plant surviving over Winter months to flower again next year). The Cyclamen will keep flowering until about end of December (It just case of dead heading the flowers once finish flowering) and will another display of colour from this plant tub at end of February from some Narcissi ‘February Gold’ planted in it last year. I decide to plant the three boxes of violas and three bags of Narcissi in the front garden by the driveway. The violas should keep flowering through the Autumn and Winter months into Spring (again it case of just spending minutes each week dead heading the flowers) and the Narcissi which I planted under the violas should offer some Spring colour from the end of March into May.
The above photo of the view looking back out of Horton-in-Ribbledale sum up that I got make most out of cycling this August. As my cycling goes on hold at beginning of September as going into hospital for operation to have Thyroid Lump remove from my neck, I must admit I am not looking forward to it!
The sad fact is that about 90% of the cycling population in the UK as never heard about RSF the off-road cycle club (Rough-Stuff Fellowship), this is be reflected in the club annual report for 2014 with 6% fall in membership, that fall of 37 members not renewing their membership for what ever reason.
The main problem for the RSF is that know one blogging or posting about them on social media about only person who I have come a cross who does this regularly is Al’s Outdoor World about his rides with the South Lakes Group. Yes they do have facebook group, flickr Group and Strava Group which are helpful in getting the message out about RSF but the main problem is the RSF website there very little on it for club that celebrating its 60th Anniversary, yes the website as improve over the past year but there a lot time and money needs to be spent on it to get folk to visit it regularly and join the RSF.
A classic example of where RSF website is going wrong is the ride report for the 8th March 2015 ride for South Lakes Group which you read on the RSF website at this link or on Als Outdoor World at this link, yes its the same report and photos but presented a lot better on Als Outdoor World.
The thing is cyclists like looking at photos of rides and this should be reflected on the RSF website and use find out from new members who came out on South Lakes Group rides that enjoy looking at ride photos on the South Lakes Group website before decide to come out on ride.
It was rather disappointing that I was only member on last Sunday’s South Lakes Group ride which was my last ride that I was leading on behalf of the group for some time, its as been rather hard decision to make, as my name as been link to South Lakes Group for over twenty years but over last six months the group is heading in different direction in which I want to do my cycling on Sunday which is fair enough. So I think its only fair to let this happen and step back.
Unfortunately for me I am not that interest in going on mountain biking rides and starting a ride from back of van as lost its appeal may be its some to do with me turning fifty this year or maybe the state of van which is in its twelfth year on the road but I decide to do more of my cycling from my front door on Sunday. So with this mind and mainly to getting me out of bed on a Sunday especially on days when you can hear rain hammering down the bedroom window and only thing you want to do roll over and go back to sleep. I going to do my future Sunday cycling under the colours of Where’s the Brewstop? Cycle touring Group which will be mainly me, my bike and my camera on most rides, I maybe wrong, you welcome to join me on any of these rides which will mostly start from Halton Station in the Summer months at 9am and in the Winter months at around 9.15am, you can fine details of fore coming rides in the Diary of cycle club events at this link. To start with the group is go to be informal group of friends who meet up and go out cycling on a Sunday and if I am prove wrong and a lot of folk join me on these rides, in future may look at becoming a formal cycle club but I don’t think this will be under the RSF colours as there general lack interest by the current national leadership of the RSF for having another RSF group in the area which is fair enough, I may not agreed with this but I in position where do not need a national club to advertise where I am going on Sunday, as I think there enough visitors to Where’s the Brewstop website to generate some company for me on the Sunday club ride.
I wish the South Lakes Group every success in their future rides weather this as mountain biking club for the over forties or something else!
With regards to the South Lakes Group website, I shall be slowly closing it down and moving the content over to main the Where’s the Brewstop website over next 12 months and you may find far more content about South Lakes Group events on the RSF website in the future but that’s up to members of the South Lakes Group to decide.
In the future the Where’s the Brewstop? The off-road cycle touring website will be about off- road cycle touring routes, cyclist’s cafes, off-road cycle touring, local group events and good photos.