Archive for May, 2018

Road to nowhere?

Last summer, work started on a cycle path between Camberley and Farnborough, which I believe forms part of “Blackwater Valley, Better Connectivity” scheme: BWV_20Better_20Connectvitiy_20Phase_201_20-_20Factbook_20v1

The previous winter, we had witnessed the completion of the “Orange Route” down the A331, with immense traffic disruption, creating an immaculate cycle path from an insanely busy roundabout to a supermarket and a dual carriageway. Great if you want to go shopping from Sandhurst, but not for much else. The “Blue Route” which this work looked like it was starting on makes great sense. There’s no other non-car friendly way between Camberley and Farnborough. Either the A331, with no pavement at all; the A325, with a tiny track on what’s not pavement and Hawley Meadow, which would be a beautiful walk, as long as it hasn’t rained.

Hawley Meadow, which the “Blue Route” traverses has a small track across it. I have cycled it a few times in summer. On a race bike it’s extremely bumpy and I can make about 10mph. Any time outside May – September it’s often covered in brackish “ponds” which I at least can’t get across on a mountain bike or on foot.

So, the sate of the “Blue Route” as it has been for the last 12 months:

The route starts well, Frimley only 2 miles through beautiful countryside, avoiding the horribly busy roads.

Lovely tarmacked surface, nice and wide. I’ll ignore the excavator tracks running across it, as surely it’s a tiny blip.

100m later, turning abit more strada bianchi. Still easily passable s long as you don’t have silly tyres.

100m later it’s turning more technical to go over a bridge.

Then, it’s gone. 1km of singletrack until the Frimley business park.

This is a real shame, because it’s only usable 4 months out of the year and I could really do without battling with cars on the 325 in the pouring rain. Also, the ride across Hawley Meadow, at least on anything other than a suspended MTB is so rough, that you can’t really appreciate the scenery. Once you get to the M3, the path at least has some gravel scattered on top of it, which smoothes it out and stops the water filled ruts. I kind of wish they’d spent their money on making something usable, rather than a pristine path that doesn’t go anywhere.

I have contacted the council several times about if and when any further work might take place, but I’ve never received a response.

 

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