Leaves on the Line

Are you sick of slipping on leaves on Dumfries’s flagship cycle paths? Are you avoiding the Caledonian Cycleway and other routes because of the state of the paths? We are, and we’ve decided to take matters into our own hands. We’ve reported the state of the cycle paths (just as we did many times last year, to no avail) but we’re not going to sit back and wait to see whether anything happens. This Sunday, we’re going to gather for a little tour of inspection of the flagship cycle paths of Dumfries and, if they’re still not sorted, we’re going to clear them ourselves.

If you want to help – meet us at the station forecourt at 2pm this Sunday afternoon (8th December).

bikes and autumn leaves

Autumn leaves. Pretty and everything, but slippery when wet

Bring stout gardening gloves, and any implements that might help leaf removal that you can get your hands on (we appreciate that carrying a broom and/or a shovel might prove tricky on a bike). We’ll be checking the Station path, Caledonian Cycleway, and the Maxwelltown path. If you know of any other problem areas let us know and we’ll try and include them as well.

Leaves on cycle paths are a perennial problem – wet leaves can be as slippery as ice, and are positively lethal once the frost and snow arrive in earnest. Last year, despite repeated reports to the pothole hotline, the Caledonian cycleway was not cleared of fallen leaves at all throughout the winter, making it a real hazard not just to cyclists but to walkers (and even dogs!). Despite writing to all the party leaders we got no response on who (if anyone) was responsible for keeping our pathways clear. We hope that this year will be different and we’ll find the pathways clear – but we’re not prepared this year to sit around and wait until there’s a serious accident.

If you use the route regularly – or have had to avoid it because of the condition it’s in – then please come along and help out. It shouldn’t take long if there are enough of us. And if by some miracle the paths have actually been cleared, then we’ll just go for a nice bike ride instead.

 

 

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Leaves on the Line

  1. John Henry

    On Monday 2nd Dec whilst cycling on the cycleway near Cargenbridge I stopped and spoke to the operator of the motorised “hoover” to ask him why that end of the cycleway gets what I consider preferential treatment compared to the section from Moffat Rd to Heathhall citing how dangerous the descents from the bypass bridge are. We had quite and informative discussion which confirmed some of my cynical suspicions but condensed it is down to resources ie lack of cash and manpower and is set to get even worse in 2014!!
    The operator phoned his boss there and then and reported my concerns and although I have not had a chance to have a look he was seen to be entering the cyclepath at the Moffat road entrance on Tuesday.
    I also spoke to the contractors who have been cutting the trees and shrubs along the cyleway. I pointed out a few issues, in particular the overgrown access to the cycleway at Moffat road. Their reply was that they had only been instructed to clear the trees and vegetation around the lights along the lenght of the cycleway. They said they would report my concerns. A few days later the access was cleared, could have been done better but at least it was done.

    • sallyhinchcliffe

      That’s good to hear John.

      The Moffat road end was still reported quite bad on Tuesday afternoon – I’ll have a look myself tomorrow if I get the chance. It would be good if we didn’t have to push to get things done all the time though.

  2. Pingback: Many Hands make Light Work | Cycling Dumfries

  3. A folding pruning saw (less than a tenner from ebay) a pair of secateurs and a folding spade (also <£10) make pretty good clearance tools, are pretty light and easily fit into a small rucksack or panniers. I carry mine most days- they're also very useful for off road trail maintenance, even down here in Hertfordshire.

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