Drumochter to Aviemore

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Peter Main, Jun 18, 2003.

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  1. Peter Main

    Peter Main Guest

    After 3 years in a closed loop between Sustrans, Bear Scotland and the Scottish Executive I have
    resigned as a Volunteer Ranger. This means I can spend more time looking after the route and less
    time writing useless reports that no-one reads or takes any action on. It seems to me Sustrans are
    very good at getting cycle routes built and no good at all at looking after them after they are
    finished. Parts of the route through Drumochter will deteriorate over the next few years until it is
    unusable and no amount of shovelling and litter clearing on my part will change this. The
    authorities need a will to maintain the path. I have also cancelled my Sustrans Membership. I see no
    reason to throw my money at keeping staff in offices, there is plenty of lottery money to do that.
    Peter Main

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  2. Iarocu

    Iarocu Guest

    "Peter Main" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > It seems to me Sustrans are very good at getting cycle routes built and no good at all at looking
    > after them after they are finished. Parts of the route through Drumochter will deteriorate over
    > the next few years until it is unusable and no amount of shovelling and litter clearing on my part
    > will change this.>

    Hi I used the Drumochter cycle path last year and at that time the surface in many places had
    dangerous amount of loose gravel. I presume that is one of problems you have been unable to persuade
    BEAR or the local authority to deal with. Almost all cycle routes and lanes I,ve seen in cities
    (mainly Glasgow) are a waste of paint and more dangerous than the roads due to poor design. It,s a
    real shame that the Drumochter cycle path, that should provide a vital safe alternative to the 80
    mph dual carriageway A9, is not being maintained. Its basic design has faults such as sharp turns
    and steep gradients and these combined with a loose surface make it dangerous. Have you tried making
    your concerns public perhaps by a letter to local or national newspapers? You would appear to have a
    good knowledge of how the maintainance system for Sustrans routes is supposed to work. cheers Iain
     
  3. Taywood

    Taywood Guest

    "Peter Main" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > After 3 years in a closed loop between Sustrans, Bear Scotland and the Scottish Executive I have
    > resigned as a Volunteer Ranger.

    Such a pity it was forced on you in this way. We need guys like you, on the inside, fighting for us.

    So thanks, and thanks for your past reports too, I hope you keep them coming. Mike
     
  4. David Marsh

    David Marsh Guest

    [scot.general added: I only have very limited internet access at present so am unsubbing from
    uk.rec.cycling]

    [Interleaved quoting: please read to end for all comments] Peter Main wrote in uk.rec.cycling:
    about: Drumochter to Aviemore

    > After 3 years in a closed loop between Sustrans, Bear Scotland and the Scottish Executive I have
    > resigned as a Volunteer Ranger.

    I'm sorry to hear this.

    > This means I can spend more time looking after the route and less time writing useless reports
    > that no-one reads or takes any action on. It seems to me Sustrans are very good at getting cycle
    > routes built and no good at all at looking after them after they are finished.

    Have you spoken to the Sustrans office in Edinburgh about the situation? One of my friends actually
    works there in ranger liaison and I am sure would be very concerned to hear about the problems
    you're experiencing, and I'm sure he'd do his best to help.

    The situation at Drumochter, as I presume you know, is a tricky one as while the route is part of
    the Sustrans National Cycle Network, it was constructed by The Scottish Executive, and it is they
    who are responsible for maintenance. However, subsequently, ScEx have contracted out trunk road
    maintenance to a number of private companies, which is where Bear Scotland come in (or don't, by the
    sound of things?).

    > Parts of the route through Drumochter will deteriorate over the next few years until it is
    > unusable and no amount of shovelling and litter clearing on my part will change this. The
    > authorities need a will to maintain the path.

    I would strongly advise you contact Sustrans about this. If Bear are not performing appropriate
    maintenance, and if ScEx are unwilling to kick them, I'm sure they'd want to know.

    This is perhaps an issue that could also be raised with MSPs if there is no progress through the
    ScEx officials: there are Green MSPs representing the regions the route passes through, and other
    MSPs in the locale would presumably also have concerns about the issue (especially given safety
    concerns and the importance of tourism to the area).

    The Scottish Executive also has a Cycle Forum upon which Sustrans is represented: if you explain the
    nature of the problems to Sustrans, I'm sure they can ensure that action will be taken through the
    forum. CTC Scotland is also part of the Cycle Forum although their representatives (sadly) tend to
    be somewhat cap-doffing and secretive - I've spent several months trying to get answers from their
    committee.

    > I have also cancelled my Sustrans Membership. I see no reason to throw my money at keeping staff
    > in offices, there is plenty of lottery money to do that.

    Sustrans' lottery grant ran out in 2000, yet there is still much work to be done to complete the
    remaining parts of the NCN in Scotland (and elsewhere) and to further the development of the NCN
    into *local* cycle networks in projects such as Safe Routes to School / Stations where Sustrans have
    considerable expertise. Sustrans is by no means cash-rich as some might think!

    Sustrans in Scotland has very limited staff: a manager, an engineer, a ranger coordinator, a land
    manager. Everything else is done by hard-working volunteers like yourself! Your contribution would,
    I am sure, be sorely missed.

    David.

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