Mackworth Park

The information provided by the Council is very limited and consists of: “The proposal is to make improvements to the existing Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 54/68 path that also links to nearby residential areas. The scheme proposes that identified paths are widened and resurfaced, and new street lighting be installed.  Planning Permission will be sought for this scheme and therefore the usual planning process and opportunity to give comments will apply.”

My first reaction is that this scheme may fall into the “spending money on improving already adequate routes instead of investing in new routes or joining existing routes together” class.

The route would benefit from being widened but is already a good surface. Improvements could include:

  • Removing a bollard at a dangerous place near the northern end of Mackworth Park. The location and visibility around the area means that it can be a surprise to suddenly encounter the bollard.
  • Removing the totally unsuitable gate / obstruction to reach the route from Onslow Road
  • removing the metal barrier near to the entrance to Murray Park school from the north.
  • Connecting the northern end of the existing off road route to the on pavement route on Brackensdale Avenue. There could be space on the eastern pavement of Greenwich Drive South.
  • A crossing over Brackensdale Avenue would also be useful to link to the continuation of Orbital Route 66 northwards.
  • Providing a new route to link to the south following approximately the route of the Bramble Brook and eventually joining Girton Way.

It is understood that the route of NCN 68/54 will change at the western end of this section as the new estate to the north of Onslow Road is completed. The route will then go through the estate to Station Road where there will be a toucan crossing to gain access to the Mickleover Greenway. However, the issues of access (totally unsuitable gateway) from Onslow Road will remain as users will still wish to reach the route from the south. Orbital Route 66 will, I assume, continue on the existing route and via the unsuitable gateway to Onslow Road.