CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

East Lothian Paths Consulation

(87 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by Schemieradge
  • Latest reply from Schemieradge

No tags yet.


  1. Schemieradge
    Member

    Not sure if this has been posted before but here it is again in case anyone ventures out East often enough to have an option.

    East Lothian Council are holding a consultation on upgrading the Pencaitland Railway Path and the Haddingtion-Longniddry Path.

    If you think either of those paths getting paved would encourage you to use them more often then you should definitely get in touch with them.

    https://eastlothianconsultations.co.uk/infrastructure/east-lothian-path-upgrades-feasibility-study-railw/consult_view

    I've just finished having a rant about waterlogging and the narrow gates making my trailer impossible to use.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  2. Focus
    Member

    It certainly wasn't the most pleasant experience on Saturday. As it exists, it can't make its mind up if it's a path for road bikes (when you join it at the south end), mountain bikes (in the muddy middle), or hybrids (as you reach the cinder further north)...

    Posted 6 years ago #
  3. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    I've replied. Said much the same as you Focus - flooding and icing. There's a petition asking for the paths to be left alone because they are suitable for horses. I'd be happy if the surface remained blaes but they fixed the drainage.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  4. Cyclops
    Member

    The problem is when it's cold it's the short tarmac sections that ice over. If the whole thing was tarmaced I can't see it getting a lot of gritting as it's decidedly more rural than the NEPN. I like mud though so I'm probably biased against covering the countryside in tarmac.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  5. chdot
    Admin

    "The problem is when it's cold it's the short tarmac sections that ice over."

    There is a lot of experience and advice about paths -

    http://www.pathsforall.org.uk/pfa/creating-paths/type-1-and-dust-path.html

    And of course Sustrans.

    The key is always good drainage. And perhaps more importantly - decent maintenance.

    Of course roads, paths and buildings are generally "capital". Looking after them is "revenue".

    Getting money to build stuff always seems easier than getting money to look after it!

    This is madness, but how Government(s)' finance seems to work.

    Probably worth adding to any consultation responses 'whatever you decide to do, make sure you have the expertise and revenue budget to look after it'.

    In Edinburgh Spokes used to have a Paths Group which actually created paths (using whin dust provided by the Council). Quite a few of these have since been tarmaced.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  6. Focus
    Member

    @ Cyclops

    "I like mud though so I'm probably biased against covering the countryside in tarmac. "

    I don't mind mud when it's my reason for going there, and I'm generally against tarmmaccing the world as I've said before, elsewhere on this site. However, I see this particular path as a route between locations, rather than a destination, and I'd far rather it was properly usable by all forms of bike. So I'd take cinder path (to appease the horse lovers) over mud even if my preference would be tarmac.

    Whatever it's surface (and this goes for any path for bike use), I just wish the surface would be consistent and clearly marked on ll sign posts pointing to it, to allow cyclists to decide if it's suitable for the bike they are riding. That's a bugbear of mine - that you don't know until you are on the path what it's surface is.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  7. Snowy
    Member

    I used the Longniddry - Haddington path last summer, a few days after using the NCN routes from Edinburgh up to Aviemore. I'd completely agree that the key is the drainage. The Longniddry path was extremely muddy, almost ankle deep in places. I contrast this with the purpose-built bits of rural path comprising the NCN route north of Pitlochry, where the surface is not tarmac but a firm composite of compacted grit(?) with very good camber/drainage. This does not seem to need much maintenance, although cycle/horse traffic is on the low side.

    I did see signs of quite a few horses having been through on the Longniddry path so on the principle of maximum use by everyone, I would not support tarmac but would like to see a properly drained cinder/grit path.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  8. Schemieradge
    Member

    Surprised there's so many horse riders flooding them with responses - I could count on 1 hand the number of horses I've passed on the Pencaitland Railway Walk over the 2 years I've been using it.. but maybe commuting hours is not horse prime-time true enough.

    I suspect a happy medium would be difficult. There was some sort of horsey event on a section of the path (the bit close to Elphinstone) a year or so back. I had to stop using the path after it because it was so cut up.
    So my preference would be tarmac.. I think the Esk-side path (tarmaced) is a total joy to cycle, and clearly very well used. but would keep an open mind that a well drained cinder path might be an improvement, but the water erosion is so bad on parts I an sceptical.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  9. amir
    Member

    The path between Dalkeith Campus and Whitecraig gets horse riders and on the western section there is a special surface for them alongside the tarmac. There's more dog-walkers than cyclists and horse-riders when I've been on it.

    The path between Peebles and Innerleithen is part tarmac and part hard-packed gritty stuff. The latter would make me think twice about going on it - we'll see how well it survives. The path would be difficult to travel on at more than say 10mph much of the time since it's pretty busy and quite narrow.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  10. cb
    Member

    "Surprised there's so many horse riders flooding them with responses"

    We've seen that before - see this
    discussion about a new path to Leadburn. It's possible that riding clubs are good at getting their members to comment on consulations and planning applications.

    (Incidentally, what happened to that Leadburn path? 3 years ago, chdot said, "I assume Leadburn will be reached next year".)

    Posted 6 years ago #
  11. fimm
    Member

    I assume there isn't enough space for a tarmac side and a horse-friendly side?

    I don't go that way very often and am "happy" on the roads round there as a leisure rider. If it isn't tarmac, I won't cycle on it, is my usual rule.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  12. chdot
    Admin

    "I assume Leadburn will be reached next year"

    I presume that this was a reference to the fact that this was a planning condition for the approval of a new development.

    I don't know if one or both parts have been done.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  13. kaputnik
    Moderator

    I've always thought of that as a "pootle in the country" sort of a path. A well constructed and maintained cinder/whindust path can be very effective for these lighter-use routes (although not sure how resilient they are to the high ground-pressure of horses hooves*). As others have pointed out it may also be better for a lower-maintenance path as its less likely to flood and ice if properly constructed with drainage and camber.

    Regardless of the surface, I'd be very supportive of doing something to improve it. The recent repairs have involved either dumping loose whindust or loose Type 1 aggregate into the areas of wear, neither of which are suitable for riding on. One is like cycling in treacle and the other slashes tyres and is very rough.

    * probably not very. But don't horsey people have fields to ride around in?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  14. I would say that just because we don't see many horse riders using it doesn't mean that they don't (it's a bit like that argument of drivers of "why did they put a cycle lane there, no-one ever cycles on that road"). As is pointed out above, likely horse time doesn't coincide with commuting time.

    Anyway, in order to maintain access for everyone, because it is a resource for everyone) I'd be against tarmac, and pro a slightly harder packed surface, with much, much better drainage (and maintenance).

    I'd echo the thoughts as well on variable surfaces. It's a nightmare starting out on a path on a good surface (whether it's tarmac or not), only to find a mile or two further on you're slogging through mud or sand. I just wish Sustrans would give honest assessments online of the route surfaces to let people know what types of bike might not find it suitable.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  15. chdot
    Admin

    "But don't horsey people have fields to ride around in?"

    Horse riders have pretty much the same rights as bike riders due to access legislation.

    I don't really understand the 'no Tarmac' (for horses) argument.

    They have shoes and manage roads OK - though they probably suffer more from inconsiderate drivers than cyclists - which was just ONE of the things wrong with that advertising campaign last year...

    I'm sure horses prefer soft ground at anything more than walking pace, but I presume (most) riders don't want to gallop along shared use paths.

    If they did, that might not be "responsible". Presumably a well constructed (and maintained) non-tarmac path would be OK for moderate horse use.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  16. "I don't really understand the 'no Tarmac' (for horses) argument."

    Even walking, same for humans, tarmac is harder on the joints.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  17. "But don't horsey people have fields to ride around in?"

    But don't cycling people have roads to ride around on?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  18. chdot
    Admin

    "I just wish Sustrans would give honest assessments online of the route surfaces to let people know what types of bike might not find it suitable"

    I think that is a VERY reasonable request. Certainly even just putting "'tarmac" where it does exist would be useful for some people.

    One problem with 'unsealed' surfaces is that they can rapidly change with the weather and leaf fall - which seems to happen every year...

    Also just because a path is a "Sustrans route" doesn't mean they are responsible for the surface or its maintenance.

    The path to Balerno is the responsibility of CEC. The bit from the canal is tarmac because Sustrans paid for it. They would have paid for the rest too (probably in stages), but the council/locals wanted to 'maintain rural character'. (It used to be a railway!)

    CEC has spent a lot (particularly just below the tunnel) trying to maintain a surface. But they never get the drainage 'right'.

    This isn't really surprising given the geology. Railways have always taken a lot of trouble over drainage, but even these get washed away some times. AND they have the advantage of ballast - large, heavy, stones that drain well - but are no fun to cycle on.

    Whin dust paths MUST have GOOD drainage - not always possible. When they get washed away speedy repair is 'essential' but probably not in anyone's budget.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  19. kaputnik
    Moderator

    They should paint a white line down the path. Horses on the right, cyclists on the left. Or something. Do horses pay road tax?*

    *I was of course being facetious. However I googled "horse tax" and was amusemed to find that the Pony Club (or whoever) ran a successful campaign in 2010 to prevent introduction of a "Horse Tax" (http://www.rethinkthehorsetax.org/). The "Horse Tax" was actually a per-capita tax on livestock animals, to fund an agency charged with the prevention of outbreaks of disease amongst animals. So no, horses (or horse persons) don't pay Horse Tax. And they haven't paid road tax since 1937.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  20. EddieD
    Member

    And do something about the heaps of, erm, fertilizer they leave behind - hitting one of them when cycling down the WoL path at night, nearly had me repeating the offence.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  21. chdot
    Admin

    "same for humans, tarmac is harder on the joints"

    Well yes but.

    Tarmac v grass, sure. Tarmac v compacted and varied surface, not so sure.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  22. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    "I just wish Sustrans would give honest assessments online of the route surfaces to let people know what types of bike might not find it suitable"

    +1. To find out what the surface of NCR76 was like between Dunbar and Cove I had to ride it.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  23. "Tarmac v grass, sure. Tarmac v compacted and varied surface, not so sure."

    Doing a bit of reading online, and even the difference between concrete and asphalt is noticeable in terms of pressure on lower limbs; so I'd imagine the difference between tarmac and whindust would definitely exist. Need to do more research...

    Posted 6 years ago #
  24. crowriver
    Member

    To find out what the surface of NCR76 was like between Dunbar and Cove I had to ride it.

    All part of the adventure, surely?

    I have ridden the Longniddry path but it was a couple of years ago, during a spell of dru weather. I'd agree drainage is an issue. Also dried out ruts in hardened mud made certain sections a bit bone shaking. Main issue for me is whin dust gets all over the drive train, nasty stuff, starts grinding all the components down. Other than that I don't see any real need to tarmac the path. I prefer to use the roads around there anyway so unlikely to use the path much in future.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  25. Dave
    Member

    We wouldn't bother to use an unsurfaced path, so you know what my vote is...

    I find this quite interesting as we are using our car more (a lot more, like several times the mileage) now we've relocated.

    Our house is just a stone's throw from the Water of Leith path but the carefully curated "rural character" has created conditions that mean my better half refuses to cycle on it, and I can't be bothered to.

    As a result our car is being used a lot to sit and belch out diesel along the A70 and through Colinton.

    I was stalwartly using Donkey Lane to access the canal / Hermiston Gait until the most recent storm, which has tipped it over the edge for me, so I now get to sit and fumigate the roads on that trip too.

    We do our shopping at Longstone, separated from our house by the WoL path and at most a hundred yards of road, but we *drive* there. I haven't ridden once.

    This is all fine if what we really want is "rural character" and better conditions for horse riding. In fairness, I fully accept the argument that horse riders prefer mud to tarmac and that trading off however many potential cyclists against a small number of horses is a bit brutal on an even more marginalised section of society.

    But... I'm not sure the council really intend for us to buy a second car and both sit in traffic on the A70 instead of surfacing WoL. I think they just haven't thought of it in those terms.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  26. neddie
    Member

    I'm not sure I'm keen on councils spending all their cycling budget on upgrading existing paths, especially when those paths are in 'reasonable' condition.

    I'd much prefer the money to be spent on joining up the paths! (Which is of course the difficult bit).

    Do the difficult bits first, and the rest will follow...

    Posted 6 years ago #
  27. neddie
    Member

    @Dave. Don't buy a second car. Buy a second bike - one with MTB type tyres :)

    Posted 6 years ago #
  28. crowriver
    Member

    We do our shopping at Longstone, separated from our house by the WoL path and at most a hundred yards of road, but we *drive* there. I haven't ridden once.

    Couldn't you just walk?

    Your experience just reinforces my viewpoint on relocating to suburban/semi-rural areas creating car dependency. I may have ranted about this on a previous thread, can't be ersed to find it.

    I suppose in your case the various negatives around hub gears have not helped. Because you have a car, you are using that instead of cycling because the lack of suitable cycling infrastructure is putting you off. Then again, you could try the MTB stratagem, particularly during the winter...

    Posted 6 years ago #
  29. Dave
    Member

    It's not that the bikes aren't suitable - we have seven, two of which are proper "look mum, I can ride down cliffs" mountain bikes.

    It's more the overall experience, everything being coated in mud, the mud itself being coated in mud, the chain being barely visible through the mud, your cables gum up, etc. etc. (mud is not the worst thing on the path either, but how can you tell in advance?)

    And then, covered in all this mud despite your SKS full mudguards, you get to the supermarket and you have to walk around and do your shop, then get it back up the hill, without breaking anything or covering it in mud.

    All in all, I'm not that upset about driving there per se. It's ten minutes each way as we don't shop in rush hour.

    I just find it interesting that there is dedicated, fully segregated cycling infrastructure between my house and the second most common place we go, we're both very active cyclists, and we drive.

    I'm sure people think of it as valuable infrastructure and I'm sure it's included in all the counts of dedicated cycleway km etc., but I wouldn't object to a bit of tarmac :)

    Posted 6 years ago #
  30. fimm
    Member

    @Dave, stupid and provcative question of the day alert, but why don't you cycle on the road?

    Posted 6 years ago #

RSS feed for this topic

Reply »

You must log in to post.


Video embedded using Easy Video Embed plugin