With fingers crossed, Dynamo has written to the Canal & River Trust to ask them to consider using the Community Payback scheme to clear the towpath between Lancaster and Carnforth.
Dynamo spoke to the Countryside Service Manager at Lancashire County Council today about the path. As can be seen from the photo above (taken 2 April), they have been out and scraped off the top layer of mud to reveal the old surface. The problem with this is the path is now slightly lower than the surrounding vegetation, so when it rains – as it does! – there is more standing water than usual.
Morecambe Wildfowlers will be going along the path with their vehicles shortly to carry out some work on their land. Once that is done, the County intends to send a small digger along the route to work on the edges of the path so that rainwater can drain away more easily.
As an aside, the stretch of path from the Stodday water treatment works to the estuary path isn’t registered as having an owner. This means that the County Council is reluctant to touch it for fear of becoming liable for it forever after.
Lancashire County Council has found £7,740 for the 2017/18 financial year for vehicle barriers and flood work on the path between New Quay Road and Aldcliffe Hall Lane. See Appendix I on this page. Sadly it won’t address the state of the path further along.
We have received an email from Lancashire County Council announcing that they are consulting again on the draft Cycling and Walking Strategy 2016-2026 until Friday 21 April. Details are here and the draft strategy itself is here.
Quite how this differs from the previous consultation which ended in November 2016 is hard to say. It’s the same document – version 1.3 dated August 2016 – but no matter: it gives us all more chance to have a say. Please do share and encourage people to respond.
And remember – it’s about walking as well as cycling, so share with non-cyclists too.
We have noted that the County Council will allocate £0.5 million to cycle safety in the next financial year. The money was originally earmarked for parish bus funding (i.e. so that parishes could run their own bus services), but there seems to have been little take-up of it. We’ll try not to get our hopes up – after all, it has to serve the whole of the county, not just our corner. There are no further details yet, but mention is made of it in the bottom half of first page of this report.
Three years or so after house-building started, sustainable transport measures are finally being put in place at the old Moor Hospital/Nightingale Hall Farm sites as part of Section 106 funding. Bus service number 18 started a few weeks ago, and now the shared-use path is under construction. It runs alongside the cemetery, so is of most use to people who cycle from Lancaster centre through Williamson Park to the no-longer-so-new housing.
Following our A6 petition, Dynamo wrote a press release calling on the County Council to keep its commitment to improving safety on the A6 south for cyclists and pedestrians.
This week’s Lancaster Guardian carries a report, including comments from the County Council.