Monday, 9 March 2015
Two of our Northern Rangers write:-
We did our inspection ride starting in town yesterday (we'd taken part in the Climate Change Sing at the station). We can confirm several opinions about the quality of the work along Penistone Road and add a few of our own:
- the new red tarmac looks as if someone went along to a DIY store and bought strips of the stuff (like you do with turf) and, when laying it, had overlapped it slightly rather than abutting the edges plus not levelling the ground (turf analogy again) first. It is truly awful.
- new bike symbols have been painted everywhere but in some places it looks as if this has been done prematurely - either that or the cycle track is destined to be left in a dreadful state: there were places on the black tarmac where "red" had been written as well as bike symbols drawn and others where just bike symbols had appeared. Whatever the semiotics of the writing and drawing the whole cycle route needs proper, smooth, well-marked, red surfacing (and to be continuous?)
- outside Martin Lee Car Sales there were 3 cars for sale placed directly on the cycle track (two of them directly over these new symbols) - if this already inadequate cycle route is to be used at all then it needs to be kept clear of such obstructions by rigorous enforcement against such infringements
- lots of the entrances/exits for the businesses to the east side of the route have had double dotted "give way" lines painted across them. I would trust drivers to observe these as much as I trust the businesses not to obstruct the route (see previous point) and I'm as sure as I can be that no enforcement will be carried out and that any follow-up to any report of a problem will be minimal at best
- coming back into town, as we approached Livesey Street we saw the "Look Right" warning painted on the ground but we feel that safety issues at this junction could do with being looked at again. As well as traffic turning left from Penistone Road cyclists need to be aware of traffic coming north out of the City along Penistone Road and wanting to turn right into Livesey Street - not an obvious direction for traffic to be coming from if you have been warned to "Look Right"
We reported 4 separate instances of fly tipping along Claywheels Lane inside Beeley Woods.
The signage around the new roads near the supermarket has improved but it is still the case that the entrance to Beeley Wood Road is barriered off. Can we make a strong and urgent plea that the permanent works here include a cycle lane please? This is the obvious route for cyclists coming from town to Beeley Woods would take (we are still up for a site visit with whoever - who is it please? - has responsibility for this aspect of this scheme) and the currently signed alternative takes a cyclist across to the other side of Penistone Road and then back again at the next lights, via a couple of islands, onto the supermarket side of Clay Wheels Lane and then back across Clay Wheels Lane via another crossing.
On the positive side, it was a lovely, sunny, warm day. We saw a pair of kingfishers on the river at the back of the Riverside pub - very noisy so likely to be mating soon. We saw birds trying out the nesting boxes on the river side of the path. We also saw our first celandine in bloom, a Peacock and a Tortiseshell (or it might have been a Red Admiral - it flew away from us into the sun) butterfly just at the north end of Beeley Woods. We had a long chat with a couple who had just moved up from Hertfordshire who agreed that Yorkshire people were very friendly and that Beeley Woods was really beautiful: we were able to satisfy their curiosity as to the origin of the strips of fuzzy, felty plastic in red, blue and green - loads of dead dogs' balls. We also received lots of praise and encouragement from runners, walkers, cyclists and dog walkers for our litter picking.