Tuesday 26 July 2011

A bit more cycle route

We discovered a section of cycle route signed with the NCN signs with the number 164. It seemed to be a newly opened route with the number 164. It seems to be part of a route designated the Yorkshire Wolds cycle route, but I didn't understand the numbering system.

We had followed a section from Beverley to South Newbald (see last post), so yesterday we then picked up from there, following the route onward. It headed through South Newbald and through North Newbald before turning up a rural lane called Stoneknowle Hill. The local council started to use a specific style of road sign about a year or so ago, so new signs are easy to spot and this sign is one of them. The road did not have a name tag in OSM, so I was pleased to add it.

The cycle route then leaves the road for a rather stony track, that in wet weather might also be rather muddy. This seems to be the only way of keeping the route off the A1034, which is not the safest road to cycle on. Another short stint on a quiet road and the route then crosses the A1079 - the main road from York to Hull which can be busy and carries fast-moving traffic.

Where did the 164 go?
The route coasts down a quiet road towards the disused railway line that runs from Beverley to Market Weighton which now carries the Hudson Way.  At the T junction under the old railway bridge there was an NCN sign but not for the NCN164, only for the NCN66. I guessed which way to go and followed the signs for the NCN66 towards Market Weighton, but then realised that the signs had the 66 label on them but also Yorkshire Wolds. This is where the confusion lay and I only sorted things out in my mind when I had got home. The cycle route is called the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route, but it uses various numbered routes, including the 164, 66 and 1.

The route goes through Market Weighton, climbs towards Londesborough and into Pocklington following the NCN 66, before striking out again on NCN 164 again. At this point it is joined by the Way of the Roses, which is a coast-to-coast cycle route. This is the best part of the Wolds route by far, meandering through the rolling hills and valleys around Millington and up to the village of Huggate. Near Huggate we found a sign for another cycle route, NCN 167, which was signed as going to Malton, but exactly what the route is I don't know, so there's another journey to investigate. The NCN 164 now drops down a long gentle slope to Tibthorpe, which is where we left it to head for home.

Marbled white
Clustered bellflower
The route was very well signed, once I'd understood that it wouldn't be signed with the same number throughout. The scenery in the Wolds is wonderful, with views through the hills and out over the Vale of York and the Holderness plain. We saw some birds, including yellowhammers, linnets, swallows and goldfinches. We watched a marbled white butterfly flutter through the flowers, which included a clustered bell flower.

I would recommend a visit and I really look forward to investigating the rest of the route and the other route too.

Saturday 23 July 2011

NCN 164

Out and about today in Beverley we stumbled on a new National Cycle Route, which it seems has recently opened. The NCN 164 circles the Yorkshire Wolds and has "Yorkshire Wolds" on the the bigger Sustrans signs. We followed a bit of it on a somewhat diverted journey home. I look forward to following some more of it, which seems to be a circular route mostly on rural roads.

If you are interested in a cycling in a quiet, rural space with gentle rolling hills, villages with B&B and pubs and wildlife still to be seen, try the Wolds. When this cycle route is added to OSM it will be worth following, but there are other delights in the Wolds too.

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Docks and footpaths

Shepherded between steel fences
Docks and public footpaths don't often mix. The modern dock area has to be secure, not only to prevent theft, but also to prevent unauthorised access to ships for people wanting to make unauthorised entry or exit of the country. The idea of having a public footpath running straight through a dock is a bit awkward, but there is an answer in Albert dock in Hull that is a bit unusual.
The walkway above the warehouse

The first part of the footpath is what you might expect, herded between steel fences to ensure you don't stray into forbidden areas. The next part goes over the lock gates, again carefully fenced to prevent any access to the main part of the dock.

The view along the warehouse roof
Then a surprise as the footpath mounts a steep set of stairs leading to the roof of a warehouse and the path follows a steel walkway along the roof of the warehouse to a short bridge and set of stairs that lead to the footpath along the outside of the rest of the dock. The view out over the dock and the Humber is pretty good but the novelty alone is worth the short walk from the Hull Marina to take a look at the footpath over the roof of a warehouse. You can see the map here.

A rather quiet Albert dock
Albert dock is fairly quiet now, mostly doing small refits on ships, including some large sailing boats. The view over the dock was particularly quiet today, but often there is a ship or two being worked on in there. The reason we revisited was to complete the footpath through the docks because the last time we tried the lock gates were open to allow a large ship out that only just fitted and since the footpath uses the lock gates we couldn't get across.

Saturday 2 July 2011

Crossing or not

I noticed a small change to OSM close to home, so, as usual, I looked to see what the change was. A guy known as Valentijn had added a gate to public footpath and a comment about it being locked. I contacted him to ask about this and following his helpful message I went to see what was going on.

There is a public footpath on a paved track from Dunswell Road to the service road that runs around the Creyke Beck substation just north of Cottingham, as shown here. What Valentijn had found was that the gate either side of the railway crossing was chained and padlocked, and that was what I found too. There were the usual notices that Network Rail put up on unmanned crossings so it looked as though the crossing was intended to be used, but that someone had locked the gates. It seemed to me that the public footpath had been blocked so I contacted the local council.

I got a prompt and helpful reply from an Assistant Engineer (definitive map) who explained that the footpath only went as far as the crossing gates at each side of the railway and that the crossing was a private crossing for a local farm. He sent me a definitive map, but I haven't copied it here since it bears the Crown Copyright notice.

He went on to explain that the farm has had a road built connecting it to Cottingham (part of the work on the substation expansion I suspect) and so the crossing is no longer the main way of getting to the farm. After some incidents elsewhere in the country Network Rail's Health and Safety Team looked at all such crossings and put up gates where the public right of way did not cross the railway. It is entirely clear that the public right of way that no longer crosses the railway is completely pointless, but Network Rail have clearly avoided a serious health and safety risk.

I and countless others have used the crossing for many years with no incident but we have now been saved from our carelessness by the timely intervention of the Muppets the Health and Safety Team at Network Rail, to whom I am indebted for doubtless saving my life.

I have, however, made a useful and helpful contact at the local council and thanks to Valentijn the map is now a more accurate reflection of the real situation.