Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

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Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby jbond » Wed 27 Jun 2018 7:39 am

I'm wondering who would be responsible for promoting cycling in the Ware-Hertford area, and especially maintaining and improving the towpaths and bridges. Is this spread across several agencies? Where would funding come from?

1) The footbridge near Crane Meads. This really should be step-free and cycle friendly like the footbridge near the GSK Car park. There's room for proper ramps. It even gets a mention in old district plans and HCC Transport plans.

2) The Star St Garage route to the North side of the Lee Navigation. Narrow, broken and muddy where it goes round the old cottage

3) South side of Lee navigation, Crane Mead to Ware Lock. Narrow, awkward, potholed, rutted

4) Ware Lock to the Gauge House. Bad, rough surface with puddles.

5) Gauge House to Mead Lane. Bad, rough surface, 2 muddy kissing gates.

And so on. If HCC and EHDC (and WTC/HTC) are serious about promoting cycling as a utility form of transport, then the long term aim should be Dutch style single and shared use links with a good surface and no gates. And with safe and easy river and road crossings. How do we get from here to there?

And this is not just about cycling but also about sharing the routes with walkers and runners.

--
Next stop, inside Hertford and onwards to Welwyn and points north and west. Then South to Broxbourne and onwards to Harlow and Bishops Stortford.
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby Jethro » Wed 27 Jun 2018 5:30 pm

As I commute to Hertford and back by bike along the tow path each day I took up the state of the surface a couple of years ago, initially with SUSTRANS and then with the Canal and Rivers Trust (who I am told both own and are responsible for the path). Result was agreement regarding the poor condition of the path but the usual "no funds to do anything about it".

Attached is a picture I took after some rain at the time - bad enough on a bike, but for pedestrians?
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby Steve » Thu 28 Jun 2018 12:37 am

Jethro wrote:As I commute to Hertford and back by bike along the tow path each day I took up the state of the surface a couple of years ago, initially with SUSTRANS and then with the Canal and Rivers Trust (who I am told both own and are responsible for the path). Result was agreement regarding the poor condition of the path but the usual "no funds to do anything about it".

I got exactly the same result when I highlighted the issue with C&RT
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby jbond » Thu 28 Jun 2018 7:14 am

Where does HCC sit in all this? Their Transport Plans make frequent reference to cycle and pedestrian routes, some of which are off road on places like the tow paths. Is it just wishful thinking because they're expecting the landowners like C&RT to actually fund the improvements?
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby Matt40 » Sun 01 Jul 2018 2:12 pm

The footpath is in a terrible state these days. They want to put it on the tourist map and yet it looks almost third world now! I completely avoid the section right down by Dobbs Weir Road as it's given me a couple of punctures. The rest of it, including the section from the pump house to the A10 as pictured, is not much better.
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby Pat-H » Sun 01 Jul 2018 6:54 pm

HCC is busy stock piling cash to improve their reserves. No money to send on things like towpaths.
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby jbond » Mon 02 Jul 2018 7:46 am

Matt40 wrote:I completely avoid the section right down by Dobbs Weir Road as it's given me a couple of punctures.


The bit I hate is around Meadgate Rd to Nazeing New Rd. It's an unmade road to some static caravan sites. The pot holes are ridiculous.
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby Matt40 » Tue 03 Jul 2018 11:23 am

The bit I hate is around Meadgate Rd to Nazeing New Rd. It's an unmade road to some static caravan sites. The pot holes are ridiculous.[/quote]

I've not been down that far purely based on my puncture experiences. They need to resurface the lot and make it wider where they can so walkers and cyclists can exist in harmony :D
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby Jethro » Tue 03 Jul 2018 3:20 pm

There's not much point us whinging about this among ourselves if we don't bring it to the attention of the C&RT so I have emailed them again and suggested that they liaise with EHDC and try to get some funding for improvements. If anyone else wants to contact them all the details are on the website or email customer.feedback@canalrivertrust.org.uk It's probably going to end up in 'Spam' and get deleted after 30 days, but it's worth a try!
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Re: Cycling-walking, Towpaths, Bridges in Ware-Hertford

Postby jbond » Wed 04 Jul 2018 9:05 am

It's a puzzle as to who can help here.
- HCC - Responsible for County Transport with the biggest budget but really only pay lip service to sustainable travel.
- EHDC - Planning, District Plan and 106 money. Also responsible for footpaths and bridlepaths (I think. Or maybe it's only the definitive map)
- Town and Parish councils - extremely limited influence but can apply pressure
- Landowners - eg C&RT. Lack of funds and will. And then what about the old railway lines? Land ownership for those is all over the place.

Mainly, it just feels wrong that C&RT should be responsible for funding and developing a strategic resource. And a strategic resource that district councils and county councils are relying on in their long term plans. The current Hertford & Ware transport plan is full of comments, suggestions and plans for improving cycle routes. But it dates to 2010 and very little of the proposals have come to anything.
https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/media- ... cument.pdf
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