Temporary diversion for Luneside multi-use path

"It will be as user friendly as it can be within constraints" - this was Gary Bowker's summing up of the multi-use path temporary diversion along Caton Road while a flood wall is built from the Holiday Inn into Lancaster. Gary is the City Council Project Engineer managing the flood defence project and the temporary cycle route and he, and Richard Walsh (Project Manager from the contractor VBA jv Ltd), met Kevin Frea (City Councillor and Cabinet member) and myself today, 25th June to talk about the route. Kevin asked if the works could be staged to maintain as much of the existing path for as long as possible. But we heard that doing this would extend the project work and increase the cost. The diversion is not cheap (around £300K) and its cost nearly undermined the whole project which is attracting £3.85M of EU money and £4.5M through the Environment Agency. Already the project as approved by the City Council planning committee in November 2018 has been delayed and the current estimate of when the temporary diversion will be completed and opened is mid-November 2019. 

Cyclists and walkers will not welcome the route along the pavements of Caton Road but it is what we are going to have and the Council are determined to make the best of what is far from an ideal temporary substitute for the much loved riverside path. It won't be good for leisure riding or for children and dogs being able to run free. But it will be cyclable and walkable and will not be on a main road. It will however cross the A589 Caton Road at two points on Toucan crossings (pedestrian + cyclists) to make the best use of some wide pavements. Lampposts (approx. 22 of them!) will be moved back, two bus shelters will be removed, signs will be raised and moved and new markings will indicate that cyclists have right of way at all but one junction. That one junction is the heavily used entrance and exit to McDonalds. Kevin suggested that traffic lights here would be appropriate - and Gary agreed to have a think about that one. In the one section where there is currently no pavement on the west side a new pavement for multi-use will be built and one particularly wide junction will be reformed to reduce the exposure to cyclists who are crossing it. It is possible that the temporary route will be made permanent when the Luneside path is reopened - and it would improve some cycling and walking links in the north of the City. The temporary route will be safe if not as fast and relaxed as the permanent path but it will be a useable route in and out of Lancaster to the north.

Gary plans to submit a final set of drawings to the City Council Planning Department in July/August - we hope these will be available on the Planning Department's web site. Minor variations within the technical and financial constraints will be possible up to the beginning of construction of the temporary route in September 2019. Watch this space! 

Tim Dant

Green City Councillor for Scotforth West Ward

Bill Seller's Funeral - Monday 13th May, 12.30, Beetham Crematorium

Just a reminder to everyone that next Monday 13th May at 12.30pm it is Bill Seller’s funeral. After all that he did for our club, organising afternoon teas for several years, it would be great if we had a good turn out to show our respects. The funeral is at Beetham Crematorium, followed by a gathering at The Crooklands Hotel (LA7 7NW), to which we are all invited.

It would make it special for the family if we attended with our bikes and made an archway with our front wheels at the entrance to the Crematorium. If you don’t want to cycle all the way up there, and back again there is an option which Mike and I will be doing, because of limited time (and a young puppy). We are going to drive up to Crooklands with the bikes in the car, then leave the car in the car park, and ride to the Crematorium from there. I have checked with the staff at the hotel and they are happy for us to do this.

I guess we should be at the Crematorium by 12.15 to get ourselves organised!

Hope to see lots of riders there. If you have any queries please contact Anne Hutchinson.

Sad news about the loss of two long standing club members

Earlier this week we lost two very valued members of our Club  .Anne Hutchinson has kindly penned some thoughts on why both were so important to us. I hope that a goodly number of us can attend the funerals. I will advise you about Wendy's funeral arrangements as soon as I hear.

Len Howard, Club Secretary

After being in RLI for over five weeks Wendy Lyth passed away on Monday 15th April, from an undiagnosed illness. She will be sadly missed by her wide circle of friends. She had so many interests and was much loved by all. She was such a kind and generous person, always interested in what everyone was doing. Even when in hospital she wanted to know about the cycling social events she had missed.

Although not a keen cyclist herself she embraced the cycling group with open arms, especially after the death of her husband David seven years ago. She bought herself a Brompton and took part in many of our activities. She enjoyed social events and organised one of the ‘Thursday riders’ group highlights of the year - afternoon tea in her beautiful garden. Almost always the weather contributed to making this a fantastic event, enjoyed by all. She will be sadly missed. Funeral arrangements will be circulated when known. As at Dave’s funeral it would seem appropriate for some of us to attend with our cycles.

 

Early on Tuesday morning 16th April we were very sad to hear that Bill Sellers had died peacefully in Cartmel Grange Nursing Home where he had been living for the past few years. Many of our club riders had known Bill for many years -  Dave Huglll probably the longest as he was taught by Bill at Morecambe Grammar School! Mike Hutchinson had known Bill for over twenty five years after meeting him by chance at Devil’s Bridge Kirkby Lonsdale. Knowing both of them,  this was probably a long conversation, but as a result of this Bill became a regular, if spasmodic, rider with both the Thursday riders and on Sundays. He had an amazing knack of finding the ride along its route, riding with us all for several miles before peeling off to visit a friend, and then like a homing pigeon reappearing again later in the day.

In June 2005 Bill rode the old course of the Audax Bowland Populaire. Unlike those who rushed round in the shortest possible time Bill saw the event as a day out meeting up with friends on the way. At the finish in Bull Beck Car Park Mike received several phone calls plotting Bill’s journey until, long after most had finished, Bill arrived. 

In July 2009 many of the Thursday riders and lots of BIll’s other friends gathered at his house for what was to become an annual event - an afternoon tea party, the first one being to celebrate BIll’s 80th birthday. Everyone missed these meet ups when Bill had to move to Grange. 

Bill’s funeral will take place on Mon 13th May at 12.30pm at Beetham Crematorium, and afterwards at a local pub or hotel.

Wendy Lyth's funeral will be on Thursday May 2nd at 2.30 pm, at Christ Church in Carnforth, followed by commital at Beetham Crematorium and tea at Longlands hotel. All members are welcome , and it would be good if some of us could attend in cycling gear.

Anne Hutchinson

Lune Flood Wall - latest

Atkins, the consultants for the construction of the Lune Flood Wall have issued the following timetable.

23 May Construction of Cycleway diversion starts

02 July Temporary diversion operational (on Caton Road)

03 July Construction of wall starts, Cycleway closed.

June 2020 Cycleway reopens. If all on time.

We have told the Council that if they persist with their Caton Road alternative we will recommend our members use Millennium Bridge, Lune Road, Skerton Ramparts, Halton Road to cross the river to Halton Station.

Brian Gearing

Mike Hutchinson's Birthday Do

On Sunday 17th March club president Mike Hutchinson celebrated his 80th birthday by holding an afternoon tea party for around fifty of the present CTC Lancaster and South Lakes membership. There was a club run before the event, with coffee at The Apple Store, Scorton, after which the riders made their way by various routes to Barton Road Community Centre, where many other members were waiting to greet Mike. 

However there were more surprises as he had no idea that sons Tom, Neil, Ian and Tom’s partner Ciara were waiting to see him! This was quite a shock, and very welcome surprise! Club digital images were running as attendees partook of the splendid afternoon tea. A good time was had by all.

Thanks must go to Anne and Pauline for organising the event and members too numerous to mention who helped on the day putting out the tables and chairs, acting as bar persons, washing up, tidying the room etc. We can thoroughly recommend the community centre as a venue for any future club activities.

Lune cycle path - flood defence works

Matt Hodges, Lancaster and Lakes, Cycling UK member and our local, nationally recognised, ‘Right to Ride Representative has been in contact with Lancaster’s MP Cat Smith about the City Council’s plan to close the cycle path in order to build a flood defence wall alongside the River Lune from Skerton Bridge to the M6 Motorway.  He pointed out that the wall could be constructed with access from the car parks and other hard standings of the various business premisses without closing the cycle path.

Matt emphasized, to the MP, the value of the route for commuting, leisure cycling and its use by family groups. He argued against the diversion onto the busy Caton Road and its unsuitability for use by ‘vulnerable users’ including children and family groups, the disabled etc. He pointed out, even experienced cyclists, would find the suggested Caton Road alternative daunting. Matt also questioned the funding of the scheme.

The main points of Cat Smith’s reply to Matt are :-

“While I understand your concerns about the project, I am pleased that the City Council has worked with a variety of partners and are taking firm action to prevent flooding like we saw in 2015”

 “In terms of the funding, the Council have confirmed that they have secured £3.85 million from the European Union, assuming the contracts are signed within 2 days of the UK leaving the European Union. Local businesses have also pledged funding for the project.”

The news that the funding could be forthcoming makes the plan, passed at the Planning Committee meeting on 12th November 2018, more likely to happen. Cat says “the City Council has worked with a variety of partners”  They certainly haven’t worked with the path users.  We still await the promised meeting between the planners and cycling groups to consider their proposal for a safe and reasonable alternative to the cycle path whilst the work takes place.

Lune Flood Defence Wall – Planning Meeting, 12th November 2018

I attended the Planning Meeting on Monday 12th November in support of Tim, who spoke on our behalf; Matt who spoke as a National Right to Ride representative, together with spoken contributions from Dick Follows (Dynamo) and John Butler (Lune RCC). The value of the route for commuting, leisure cycling and the use by family groups etc, was stressed. They argued against the diversion onto the busy Caton Road. A common theme of their contributions was that the main (only ?) beneficiaries were the industrial units on Caton Road and therefore a wall might be built on their land. This could mean access by the contractors was not via the cycle path. However the lead planner must have missed this input as it was totally ignored.

Questions by a couple of sympathetic councillors seemed to be pushed into  the long grass but a suggestion that dog poo bins were needed, presumably to save the long grass, was welcomed. A contribution from another councillor led to an admission that cyclists had not been consulted about the diversion. The legal advisor left his seat to chat to the planner and this led to the only positive outcome of the meeting.

Condition 4 had stated that ‘Scheme for alternative cycle route to be provided during the construction period’ This was changed to ‘BEFORE the construction period’ Although I am waiting for conformation I’m sure it was agreed that interested parties (cyclists) should be consulted/involved in this aspect. The County Highways Dept. had been very forceful in their criticism of the use of Caton Road as a safe alternative and their involvement is crucial.

So, pending funding (European money ?) the scheme may go ahead and we might, even now, have a say in securing a safe route. But don’t hold your breath.

Brian Greenwood.

Looking back - some reflections from Brian Greenwood

Looking Back

In the late 1970s a group of us, who were YHA members and cyclists, started Cumbria Cycling Club. We agreed that much of the, then present, writing about our sport had the appeal of a stale scone.  So our magazine ‘Cumbrian Cyclist’ had to be different. We were also in the Rough Stuff Fellowship and their journal was a focus of our interest. ‘Rough Stuff Routes – no 93’ was a parody of a fairly typical contribution.

Rough Stuff Routes no 93 – cont

Ethel eventually lit the third Primus stove and put on the stew. This was going to be the ‘drum up’ to end them all. Bert looked up from the back wheel he was rebuilding and smiled.  He pushed the last spoke through one of the extra holes he had thoughtfully drilled in the cogs on his block. “I knew it would work,” he said and trued the wheel in a trice. Harold and Alice arrived and said Harry was having trouble with his bottom bracket and he would soon be with us.

We all settled down just inside the tree-line on the sheltered side of the pass. The idyllic scene stretched into the distance. The scurrying clouds and shafts of golden sunlight vied for our attention. Ethel passed round the bowls of ‘hunter’s stew’ and mugs of steaming tea. Alice said she was feeling old.  Harold kept quiet. George asked about the gearing on Bert's bike. The crack continued as it only can amongst Rough Stuffers. Gears, spokes, frame angles and Alice’s age.

The wind blew up the valley and we decided to set off. We soon packed up and pressed on. Just before we reached the road one of Bert’s rear cogs broke – then another – then another. “Perhaps that’s with drilling those extra holes” he said thoughtfully. With a cheery wave we left him to walk the 33 miles home.

At the top of the next rise we could see the golden sun setting. We turned and looked back at our ‘drum up’ spot. At first we thought the red and yellow flashes amongst the trees were stray lights from the dying sun. The pall of smoke seemed out of place and then Ethel remembered that she had left one of her Primus stoves just inside the tree-line. * To be continued in the next issue.

Proposed closure of Lune Estuary cycle path for 11-15 months

There is a planning application before Lancaster City Council for the “Erection of flood defence walls, security fences, lighting columns, alterations to footpaths and demolition of former pumping station and storage tanks | Land Along The East Bank Of The River Lune Between The A683 Viaduct And Skerton Bridge” Planning ref 18/00751/FUL This would involve closing the cycle path for a year from the motorway to Skerton Bridge. The proposal is to divert the cycle/foot path onto Caton Road.

We have objected, see below. Dynamo, Matt Hodges and others have also objected. These can be seen on the internet. [Lancaster City Planning – View applications and decisions – search 18/00751/FUL – Related Documents – scroll down for Matt etc]

                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cycling UK, Lancaster and South Lakes Group                                                                                             Brian Greenwood Campaign Coordinator

Lancaster City Council - Planning Application 18/00751/FUL                                    Erection of flood defence walls along River Lune.

The importance of the riverside cycle path to locals and visitors has been well argued by Dynamo Cycle Campaign, M Hodges (Right to Ride), S Holden, J Hardiman etc. We re-emphasize their comments.

We also totally oppose the plan to divert the cycle path along the main motor route from the M6 into the city. Caton Road would only offer a dangerous alternative. It would also put the cycle route out of bounds for many family groups, recreation and utility users. It is almost inconceivable that the City Council could consider going ahead with the proposed diversion whilst the work is carried out. Lancaster City Council have a proud record of supporting cycling and the benefits it brings as a healthy, non-polluting means of accessing our rural areas and helping to reduce traffic on busy roads.

We hope that the City Council can suggest a safer diversionary route or maintain a safe passage as the work continues.

                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can object if you wish. Brian

Campaigning correspondence from Brian Greenwood

Following a request from Len, I contacted North Yorks CC asking for them to consider providing a cycle lane alongside the A65, connecting the road from Rathmell (GR 806 625) to the turn onto Paley Lane – Giggleswick Station (GR 802 629). I pointed out this could be done with only the loss of the grass verge on the North bound side of this very busy road. I continued that a similar, but more expensive cycle lane, from Clapham to Auswick had proved very popular and is much safer for cyclists.
Although I did not extend the case, we all know, having a 2waycycle lane does not involve crossing the A65 to make the opposite journey.

I copied my letter to Settle Town Council and Yorkshire SUSTRANS. I have had no reply from SUSTRANS nor directly from the County Council but this letter from Settle Town Council.

'Dear Brian                                                                                                                        Settle Town Council supported your proposal and sent it to the NYCC area5 depot at Skipton. We also sent the letter to the Parish Council at Giggleswick as it falls within their parish boundary. This is the response we received from NYCC Highways Officer

“Thank you for your email and the letters I agree with the value of your proposal. However, we have previously investigated a scheme for the creation of a cycleway facility alongside the A65 between Rathmell Road and Giggleswick Station (including the introduction of pedestrian refuge between Rathmell Road and Gildersleets)             
The cost estimate was £110,000 and the score in our system was only 11.4 This made the proposal too expensive at the time and I’m afraid this proposal still has too high a cost and too low a score, with little prospect of 3rd party funding. In addition we have not had a suitable budget for such improvements for several years (the vast majority of funding is spent on maintenance works, not improvements)  
Highways North Yorkshire” 

I will be relaying this response to the Town Council next Wednesday 1st August for any further comment.
Clerk to Settle Town Council'

So, perhaps, as we may have expected, council cutbacks will make many improvements we might like to see, somewhat unlikely. But, every credit to Settle Town Council for trying. I will contact SUSTRANS Yorkshire again to see if I can get a response from them. They were involved with the Clapham – Auswick cycle path.
Brian

Change to the ride details: Thursday 24th May

Thursday ride 24th May –two choices. 

 

 Thursday's ride starts at Millennium Bridge at 9:15, the Gentle ride going, via Middleton and Heysham, to Bay View cafe at Bolton le Sands for coffee.

This Gentle ride will then continue to Bentham, going via Wray and Wennington. It will return via Millhouses to Wray for tea.

 

For those who wish for a harder ride, Neil has kindly offered to lead the following additional , Harder ride:

Again starting at 9:15 from Millenium Bridge.:

 

Coffee   Bay View ( to link with gentle ride)    Lunch  Casterton Golf Club    Tea Bridge House Wray (optional).

Neil's route to Bay View will be through Halton, (Arrow Lane) to Nether Kellet, Over Kellet, Warton, Bolton Le Sands.

The route to Casterton will include Nether Kellet, Over Kellet, Capernwray, Docker, Newton, Whittington, K.L., Casterton.

Return via Roman Road, Overtown, Tunstall, Wrayton, Wennington, Wray.

 

Hope to see you there! Mike Codd - Rides co-ordinator (and Gentle ride leader).

 

 

Living in the past....

Here are a couple of photos of Dave Hugill modelling some Lancaster & South Lakes CTC cycling jerseys that were kindly donated by Dan Livermore, grandson to Eric Livermore who was a luminary of the club a few years bike. Eric was famous for riding a 'flying gate' and here Dave is posing with his own 'flying gate'.

Photos by Patience Cooper

Wednesday Taster Sessions - Card Making and lunch - 30th May 2018

Meet at The Boot and Shoe (if riding) at 10.45am or at Bridge 64 Cafe, Garstang at 11.45 am if using transport (check out the cafe's Facebook page).

Very reasonably priced, good quality lunches available (If we are there before midday we can still have the superb breakfast deals eg Sausage, bacon and egg bun £3.75!) followed by a one hour card making session organised by Anne (cost £3 to make three cards - examples below). The use of the cafe is on the understanding that we buy lunch there first.

Numbers will be limited to 10 due to the available space. All are welcome but it is essential to let Anne Hutchinson know if you are coming so that she can prepare for the class - numbers are limited to 10 so book with her now!

First sociable evening ride of 2018 - Friday 6th April at 5.30pm

I'm planning to run a series of evening social rides, ending at a pub.  These will take place on the first Friday of each month over the summer period when we will be able to ride in daylight for most of the time.  Len and I will be leaving Halton Station on Friday 6th April at 5.30pm for the first evening ride of 2018.  We will ride for approximately two hours, ending at the Hest Bank Inn, where we will have a bar meal. If you would like to join us, please come along to Halton Station.  If you would like to eat at the pub, can you let Patience know as soon as possible, so that I can book a table?

If there is sufficient interest we may be able to do these evening rides more than one a month, but will see what interest there is before committing ourselves. I look forward to hearing from you.

Patience Cooper

Wednesday taster sessions

Patience Cooper, your Social Secretary, is organising a series of taster sessions for off-the-bike activities. Coming up are:

Mountain biking, Grizedale Forest, 11th April, Meet at the visitor centre at 10.30am - bike hire and food available - or bring your own sandwiches.

Tennis (and bowls) with Sue Lucas, 25th April, From 2pm at the Lancaster Tennis Club, 17 Lune Road LA1 5QU (off St Georges Quay) 

Badminton (TBC)

If you've got an idea for a Wednesday 'taster' session of something different, do get in touch with Patience.

Last chance gone! ...for the Club holiday in Shilbottle, Northumberland - Week beginning June 9th

As of 29th March there are now, no more places left for this year's Club holiday, riding in Northumberland and based in farm cottages at Shilbottle. There's room for one woman sharing and a room for two people (a couple, or two men, or two women sharing). If you are interested in joining this holiday please contact Anne Hutchinson by email by 31st March.

Social Mountain Biking session - Wednesday April 11th

Hello All

I am proposing to introduce some social sessions for our members who want to try something different.  The plan is to find activities that are not necessarily cycling-based, but generally involve outdoor fitness-based fun.

I propose that for the first session we go to Grizedale Forest to try one (or more) of the mountain biking trails.  We can hire a range of bikes here and may be able to negotiate group discount rates.  Some of you already have your own mountain or trail bikes and experience of riding off-road and it would be great if you were prepared to advise the less experienced members.

The intended date for this session is Wednesday 11th April and I would suggest that we make a day of it and take packed lunches.  There is a café at Grizedale which we can patronise at some point.

Please let me know if you would like to come along, if you are bringing your own bike or would like to hire one, and if you are experienced would be prepared to help the beginners.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you

Patience

Cycling away break in Hawes

You are invited to join Len and I on a short break away in April, spending two nights in Hawes on the nights of 18 and 19 April.  The plan is to cycle to Hawes via Wharfedale on the Wednesday and back via Sedbergh on the Friday.  Hopefully on the middle day we can explore Swaledale area.

Len and I are booked into the Youth Hostel on a self-catering basis, but may decide to eat out on at least one night.  It is entirely up to others to choose the standard of accommodation that suits them best.  The advantage of a place like Hawes is there is plenty of choice.  Do let me know via this email address or by texting me on 07792 280542 if you wish to come.  The link to YHA Hawes is below.

https://www.yha.org.uk/hostel/hawes

Patience Cooper