Upgrading the Brampton Valley Way Cycle Path, part 2

At the end of CTC Northampton’s morning ride last Saturday, Iain Dawson and I continued back to The Windhover along the Brampton Valley Way (BVW) to see the improvements where the BVW goes under the Northampton-to-Rugby railway line.

This crossing has been notorious for many years – a complete mud-bath – and, let’s face it, a local disgrace since the BVW is part of the National Cycle Network Route 6.  It’s been pretty much impassible in all but the driest weather and, even then, you’d want an off-road bike!

We were pleasantly surprised.  Here’s the start of the underpass approached from the south:

IMGP5669Iain shows how it’s negotiated:

IMGP5671and how you emerge on the other side:

IMGP5673Once you’ve emerged, you can see why it used to flood so often – it’s where cycle path, railway line and river all merged:

IMGP5675This is the edge of Kingsthorpe Local Nature Reserve, which has splendid views:

IMGP5676IMGP5677The cycle path then swings up to run alongside the railway line:

IMGP5680and the view remains good:IMGP5679All in all, a very welcome improvement!

And work looks well underway to complete a nice tarmac surface between here and the A5099 crossing, further north near The Windhover.

Upgrading the Brampton Valley Way cycle path

The Brampton Valley Way (BVW) is being upgraded in at least two places in Northampton: where it crosses the A5099 near “The Windhover” pub and where it goes under the Northampton-to-Rugby railway line to the north of King’s Heath.  The BVW is a “linear park” that follows the disused railway line connecting Northampton and Market Harborough.  It forms part of National Cycle Route 6 (NVR6).

Here’s what was happening today at the A5099 crossing:

IMAG0201IMAG0202IMAG0203IMAG0204One of the workmen confirmed that the intention is to widen the cycle path and provide a tarmac top.

Ride on Saturday morning – 22nd December

Phil Letts will be leading this ride and writes:

Start  9.30 a.m.  Brampton Valley Way (BVW) by “The Windhover”.   Brisk club ride – 35 miles. 

This is ride follows or shadows the Midshires Way all of which is now on good road surfaces so road bikes required.

Route links the Bramptons, Harlestone, Nobottle, Flore (coffee break) Bugbrooke, Gayton, Blisworth, Roade to Salcey Forest for an early brunch/lunch (25 miles)

Then the return follows the National Route 6 back through Quinton, Great Houghton and Northampton to BVW (10miles)

Phil is on: 07867388592

Report – Ride to Cyclists Carol Service – Sunday 9th December

A first for everything: a card-carrying atheist enjoying riding and taking part in the (61st) Annual Carol Service of Leicestershire & Rutland CTC!

Brian, David and I met at “The Windhover” at 10.00 a.m. on a bright morning.  We’d planned a simple ride along the Brampton Valley Way.  A mountain bike along this track is slower than a road or touring bike along the lanes.  Enjoyable though, once in a while – and you can chat as you ride.

IMG_0007Brampton Valley Way – at the Kelmarsh Tunnel

By 11.20 a.m. we were at the Waterloo Farm Café and met up with Max and Pete from CTC Kettering and our very own John Cutler.  Refuelled, we took the road route through Market Harborough to Great Bowden and SS Peter & Paul’s.

IMG_0014Great Bowden church – SS Peter & Paul’s

Chicken stew for lunch in the church hall and then into church!  A welcome from the vicar (Rev James Shakespeare), seven carols, six readings (one by Max), a brilliant prayer (May God bless Sustrans!) and a nice address from the vicar.  He quoted from “Little Gidding” – so Shakespeare quotes T S Eliot (boom! boom!).  Tea and mince pies in the church hall.  Fellowship renewed, new friends made.

IMG_0025The Carol Service

A fairly slow cycle home.  John was on his Brommie – for the Brompton Valley Way (groan! groan!).  And we arrived back at The Windhover in the dark.  Great stuff!

Thanks to Peter Witting and CTC South Leicestershire who organised the service; Robert Sulley and CTC South Leicestershire bell-ringers; Rev James Shakespeare; the members who provided the refreshments; and David for his photos!

Local share of £15 million for cycle-rail and Sustrans projects

Road.cc reports that 68 projects in England will be sharing Department for Transport funding.  From what I can see in the full list, locally we should see:

  • £140,700 to London Midland to revamp or remove old cycle parking spaces and install new high quality spaces to increase, sometimes doubling, cycle capacity at 13 rail stations including Northampton and Long Buckby
  • £350,000 to Northamptonshire County Council to improve the Brampton Valley Way by resurfacing and dealing with flooding and access problems so that it becomes an all-weather all-year resource.

Let’s hope the latter improvements deal with the quagmire under the railway line just north of King’s Heath!

 

Bridge Street Traffic – public consultation

Phillip Gray, Chairman of CTC Northampton, writes

Northamptonshire County Council’s Highways Department is currently carrying out a consultation on changes to Northampton’s town centre traffic routes. These include closing Bridge Street permanently to northbound traffic “except buses” and making “all traffic” on Gold Street one-way.

Phillip can find no evidence that cyclists and the impact on cycle routes (in particular National Cycle Route No 6) have been taken into account. No information appears to be available on the County Council website.

Closing date for the consultation is 24 February. You can submit views or questions to info@mgwsp.co.uk or telephone 01604 883400.

It would be helpful if you could inform our Right-to-Ride representative, John Cutler (johncutler@ardua88.freeserve.co.uk), and our Chair, Phillip Gray (chairman@ctc-northampton.org.uk) if you submit any comments.