Saturday, 24 January 2009
Long Eaton News
Derbyshire County Council have two town cycling initiatives in hand, those being in Chesterfield and in Long Eaton.
The Derby Ranger Group was asked to assist with the Long Eaton Strategy and Long Eaton Ranger Tony Allcock went along as our representative to the first meeting.
Here is his excellent report of the meeting held on Friday 23rd January 2009.
A well-run, informative and therefore interesting meeting yesterday with four DCC members (who included Anna Chapman) and two Sustrans representatives (Patrick Davies, our local Area Manager, and Mike Madin (BikeIt National Manager) resulted in several things - apart from arranging a follow-up meeting for a date in March.
First, I've agreed to complete over the coming week or two a map of the Long Eaton district showing all existing biking facilities - lanes marked on roadways (which, though done by EBC don't seem to have been recorded in any known form), cycle racks, etc., etc., even those provided privately (e.g. by Asda), as well as the few off-road bits within the district.
Second, a review of current needs and possible future developments was discussed, but not without focus: a possible 'new town/village' at the current Stanton Ironworks site leads to increasing importance of the southern bit of the Nutbrook Trail - including its peripheral crossings of the adjacent railway and River Erewash and on-going track(s) into Stapleford. We raised again the issue of the state of the towpath and were reassured that BWB would be taking action within 18 months as they 'had the money and the briefing to do it'.
Third, and linked with that, were points about possible road-links, the favoured one being via the present site on the Broxtowe side of the railway, which may/could result in changes of use for that whole district (Network Rail is trying to get rid of its surplus land, it seems, but can't decide yet just what of that site is truly surplus). However, that route is five times more expensive than an alternative where a proposed road would cut through green-belt land near Dale Abbey . . . (I attended a meeting of objectors to this at Risley Village Hall last week and found the protest well-organised though slightly split in its focus.)
Fourth, we discussed the links needed within the town itself: e.g. to/from schools, places of work, transport infrastructure . . . This is where there was extended discussion about the work done already in north Leicestershire, the problems of getting over the Trent (by bike) within Derbyshire, the possible need for a revised routing for NCN R6 especially between LE and Nottingham but also, once the new Longhorse multi-purpose bridge is finished (near Draycott) between LE/TrentLock and the Riverside Path via Elvaston Castle - and excellent through-route much enthused over.
Fifth, potential industrial and commercial sites within LE were looked at, and it was decided that the town could not reasonably expand further without looking at adjacent counties - Broxtowe from Nottinghamshire, and Leicestershire. The possible impact on bike/walker-routes was also considered if ever the NET tramway system is extended to Bardills (as currently planned). Interestingly, LE station is the third busiest within the county, it seems.
We all thought that two hours was long enough for the discussion. LE seems to be the second town within Derbyshire to have this treatment, the first being Chesterfield, so to have input at this early stage does seem to me to be important. Plans will be advanced before the next meeting, but we all decided that the scale and the area shown on their existing maps was inadequate for the needs.
Posted by Les Sims at 13:15