Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby Andy B » Thu 05 Jul 2018 9:17 pm

How about your local MP's as are governments not always trying to get people to leave the car at home and this is prime example of just that but being hindered by the standard of the cycleways. Here in NZ huge resources are put in place to maintain cycleways including the Great Taste Trail which is 120 kms of cycleways to take you around the regions vineyards and hostelries.
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby Jethro » Thu 12 Jul 2018 3:18 pm

Had a reply from a Frank Overare at C&RT asking for some pictures of the section I am "displeased with". I have sent the same picture I posted here of the flooded path and some I took today of the assault course from the A10 to the Gauge house. Perhaps if more people complained something might happen?
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby Andy B » Fri 13 Jul 2018 8:03 am

Jethro wrote:Had a reply from a Frank Overare at C&RT asking for some pictures of the section I am "displeased with". I have sent the same picture I posted here of the flooded path and some I took today of the assault course from the A10 to the Gauge house. Perhaps if more people complained something might happen?


Some details of where you are emailing Jethro might help. :D
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby Jethro » Fri 13 Jul 2018 4:21 pm

General email is customer.feedback@canalrivertrust.org.uk as per my post on 3rd July. Frank Overare is Frank.Overare@canalrivertrust.org.uk For the benefit of anyone who's not used the towpath to Hertford lately, here's a current picture.
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby jbond » Sat 14 Jul 2018 7:37 am

The Gauge House to Hertford Lock, and then round the edge of Hartham common is comparatively pleasant with a smooth surface. So why is this different from the stretch from Gauge House to Ware lock? The changes don't line up with any obvious boundaries except the New River. So is this a land owner difference? Or Town council 106 money, or something else?

Then there's the unpleasant and awkward link from the Gauge House to Mead Lane.

As mentioned above, I can't work out who to lobby to try and get this improved. HCC because it's strategic transport, EHDC planning as it relates to the District Plan, Local town/CP Council, C&RT and other landowners or groups like Lea Valley park.

Councillor Dr Andrew Stevenson is Town and County councillor for this area. Approach him?
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby Steve » Sat 14 Jul 2018 2:51 pm

jbond wrote:The Gauge House to Hertford Lock, and then round the edge of Hartham common is comparatively pleasant with a smooth surface. So why is this different from the stretch from Gauge House to Ware lock? The changes don't line up with any obvious boundaries except the New River. So is this a land owner difference? Or Town council 106 money, or something else?

Then there's the unpleasant and awkward link from the Gauge House to Mead Lane.

As mentioned above, I can't work out who to lobby to try and get this improved. HCC because it's strategic transport, EHDC planning as it relates to the District Plan, Local town/CP Council, C&RT and other landowners or groups like Lea Valley park.

Councillor Dr Andrew Stevenson is Town and County councillor for this area. Approach him?

It may be that this particular section was done by a different team using different materials, albeit at the same time as the rest of the towpath.
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby Simes » Mon 16 Jul 2018 7:19 am

Although the towpath from the Gauge House towards Hartham is a sealed tarmac surface, from memory the stretch from Ware lock to the Gauge House was only ever a gravel surface. I remember is being resurfaced (of sorts) about 15 years ago when I used to cycle to work in Mead Lane. The path was built up and levelled with what looked like a dry mix of cement dust and gravel. I don't think anything has been done to this stretch since then, and after only a couple of years this started breaking up.

I've always assumed that the path from the Gauge house to Mead Lane runs across farmland, so would be down to landowner or tenant.

As far as I know, HCC are responsible for signposting Rights of Way and ensuring that they are kept open, but they are not responsible for the actual maintenance of Rights of Way over private land. Landowners have to keep the Rights of Way open and accessible, but that doesn't mean they have to be formal surfaced paths. Many footpaths and bridleways are just tracks across muddy fields, but as long as you can walk or ride a horse along them that is OK.

I suspect that the National Cycle Network is only a 'signposting' exercise, with no statutory requirement (or funding) to maintain paths to a higher standard than footpaths/bridleways.
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby jbond » Mon 16 Jul 2018 1:26 pm

Back in 2010, the HCC Transport Plan for Hertford-Ware saw the towpath as a strategic resource to reduce congestion in the towns by encouraging modal shift from car to cycle. (m'kay!) However it was seen as long term and beyond the plan's 5 year timescale. The towpath is Route CPM16, part of a package of long term measures LTP13/LTP14 (I think). As it's long term, there's no funding decision. Looking at shorter term measures funding for cycle stuff seems to be HCC, Sustrans and S106.

So you get this kind of thing. It's now 2018. This should have all been in place by now.
CPM4
Hertford East Station - A119 - Hertford Regional College - Ware Station - Crane Mead (underneath Viaduct Road)
MEDIUM Term
Cost £475,000
Objective LTP13
Funding S106

If the EHDC District plan through to 2033 is going to make any kind of sense, then these kinds of sustainable transport links are essential. But I don't see how all this gets joined up. Ware N&E should also fund a link rd, an extra lane at Rush Green and a cycle path from Wodson to Ware High st. But where's the funding for all the other cycle routes that actually make some sense?

2010 HCC Urban Transport Plan for Hertford and Ware
https://www.eastherts.gov.uk/media/3108 ... t_Plan.pdf
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby jbond » Tue 17 Jul 2018 9:50 am

Just had a lovely chat with Terry, chairman of the Detectorists. Sorry, Roger, a volunteer from C&RT at their booth by the bridge. The ownership and responsibility for the towpath is gloriously confused.
- Hertford -> Gauge House. C&RT
- Gauge House -> Ware lock. and everything surrounding Ware Lock. Environment Agency
- Ware Lock -> Hardmead lock. Mix of Lea Valley Park and C&RT
- North side of the river, Star St Weir -> Hardmead lock. Environment Agency.
- Crane Mead bridge. Environment Agency. This is allegedly sub-standard and possibly dangerous to the point that EA employees are not allowed to use it.

I'm not sure I believe all this, but that's what I was told.

C&RT are going through a re-branding and re-organisation with consolidation of everything east of Uxbridge and south of Milton Keynes. The general enquiries email and number are london.southeast@canalrivertrust.co.uk 02075 175 560
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby kevin phillips bong » Tue 17 Jul 2018 4:44 pm

As you've mentioned, towpath's progressively got worse over the last few years. Inspite of the various public bodies involved, as its the only logical safe way for cyclists (+ walkers) to get from Ware to Hoddesdon/hertford, EHDC/HCC should get involved. East Herts never spend any money on Ware, just wasting it on vanity projects in Stortford and hertford. As for HCC their transport policy is 1 complete joke and always has been; they haven't a clue, wasn't last year 'Hertfordshire year of cycling'? and if so, sorting out the towpath would have been perfect but I suppose the district councillors who are supposed to represent us probably don't know it exists!
Good important subject and my rants over.
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