Anyone who drives much in Dumfries knows that roadworks anywhere around the hospital or the Crichton can lead to terrible congestion not just on the Bankend Road, but tailing back well into town. There are three weeks of works planned on the traffic lights between the Bankend and Glencaple roads starting on Monday, which may well cause problems (although it is the school holidays so it may not be too bad).
Whether there are tailbacks or not, could this be the trigger you need to try cycling to work or college instead? We’ve worked out four easy routes from Georgetown, Maxwelltown, Heathhall and Lochside that get you up to the back entrance of the hospital in the Crichton grounds without having to cycle with any really heavy traffic (there are a few on-road sections, but we’ve kept them to a minimum. Why not give one a go, instead of sitting fuming in traffic? You will arrive invigorated and refreshed – and you might find your commute becomes the best part of your day.
Coming from … Georgetown
3.5 km (2.15 miles).
Follow Craigs road south to the Maidenbower Path, and then take the path up and over the hill (yes it’s steep – but you can always get off and push and think how fun it will be going home…) to the Bankend Road. From there you can cross straight into the Crichton grounds.
Coming from … Maxwelltown or the Maxwelltown cycleway
3.5 km (2.15 miles)
This route can be used from anywhere on the Maxwelltown path. Get off at the Hardthorn road exit and cycle to the end of Terregles Street. Go straight across Laurieknowe and down to the river and cycle along past the Robert Burns Centre, through the park, and all the way down until you reach the Kirkpatrick Macmillan Bridge. Cross the river and go across the road and into Castledykes Park – up the hill (again, no shame in getting off and pushing) to the Glencaple road and onto the shared-use path that takes you to the back entrance to the Crichton.
Coming from … Heathhall or Locharbriggs
6 km (3.7 miles)
The Caledonian Cycleway forms a traffic-free route in from Heathhall, Locharbriggs and the top of the Moffat Road. Cycle down until you reach a cycle path crossroads and then right to join the shared-use pavement along the Edinburgh Road. Turn left onto the path that takes you to the station. Coming out of the station forecourt, cross Lovers’ Walk and cycle along Newall Terrace up to Loreburn St. Cross at the crossing and down to the High Street, down Bank Street, and cross the Whitesands on to the river path. Follow this all the way along through Dock Park until you get to Castledykes Park. From there, cross into the park, up the hill and onto the shared use path along the Glencaple road to the back entrance to the Crichton and the hospital
Coming from … Lochside or Lincluden
5.5 km (3.4 miles)
Coming in from Lochside or points west (along the Irongray Road or Newbridge), you can cross the Glasgow road using the Toucan crossings at McDonald’s. Cross the A75 over the Cuckoo Bridge (if you’re coming from Lincluden you might want to use the ‘curly wurly’ bridge at College Road) and then cycle through Goldie Park to the College Road. Follow the road down to the Loreburn Bridge by the rowing club and cross the river onto the sands. From there you can follow the Whitesands all the way down to Dock Park and up through Castledykes Park to Glencaple Road and to the back entrance of the Crichton as before.
Coming from … further afield?
You don’t have to cycle the whole way! If you’ve got a bike rack or a big enough car (or a folding bike) you can drive to a convenient spot and cycle the rest of the way. There are park and choose points at Locharbriggs Library, Lincluden (by the Rhinos) and Cargenbridge, and plenty of parking elsewhere in the town.