Locals claim Olympic legacy path improvement will bring in "thousands" of cyclists

County council says new surface will improve year-round access

by John Stevenson   July 11, 2014  

Olympic mountain bike races at Hadleigh Farm (licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by Peter Dean:Flickr)

Some local residents are concerned that if an Olympic legacy project is carried out to improve a path to the 2012 mountain biking venue at Hadleigh Farm, cyclists might actually use it.

Essex County Council plans to close Piggery Lane, which enters the Salvation Army-owned park from the north-east, on Monday for five days while the path is widened and resurfaced.

Widening the path to 2.5m — from its current 2m — and hardening the surface will make it easier for wheelchair users and people with pushchairs to use, and prevent it from turning into a quagmire after rain.

But according to the Echo, residents are worried that more cyclists will use the improved path.

David Hurrell, 59, told the paper: “This pathway is historic. It’s beautiful.

“Dog walkers love it. It’s a haven for wildlife and billowing with wildlife.

“They’re putting a surface down that will be ideal for mountain bikers.

“Changing it will appeal to the cyclist and, to all intents and purposes, it will become a main road for anyone coming from the Southend side. They will come down Castle Lane and Piggery Lane.

“This will become a main thoroughfare for the thousand of cyclists Essex County Council said will use this site. I’m keen on wildlife and I’m very keen our community is not shafted.”

But the county council says the path is sometimes impassable for months at a time because of bad weather, and trees and shrubs next to the path will not be removed.


Hadleigh Farm residents prepare for an onslaught of cyclists (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 licensed by Howard Russel/Flickr)

Mountain biker Pete Shrimplin, 48, from Eastwood, said: “It’s a great thing for cyclists. The works at Hadleigh are fantastic for the area and will put Hadleigh on the map.

“The path is great for everyone. It’s not just for hardcore mountain cyclists.

“It’s shared space for walkers, the leisure cyclist and children.

“If it means more cyclists, that can only be good.”

A county council spokesman said: “Residents have been consulted on all aspects of the redevelopment, including Piggery Lane.

“Piggery Lane is a key trail which will now allow easy access for pedestrians, cyclists, people with push chairs, wheelchair users and those with mobility issues.

“The only visual changes will be an improved surface and wider path to accommodate an increase in visitors.

“These minor changes will make the path more accessible, safer and will ensure visitors are able to use it all year round.”

15 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Ideal for mountain biking eh? more like the dullest path imaginable if other resurfacing projects are anything to go by.

Nimbyism in this country is getting way out of control

posted by balmybaldwin [39 posts]
11th July 2014 - 12:42

38 Likes

Has NIMBY turned into England's national sport or what?

Resurfacing the trail is likely to make it much less appealing for MTBers anyway, though Sunday cyclists with the kids will love it.

posted by jacknorell [471 posts]
11th July 2014 - 12:46

45 Likes

Like others have said resurfacing it won't increase appeal to mtb riders but looks like it would be great for *all* users of the path.

Honestly I wish we had something like this where I live in NE Somerset - would be fantastic.

Ride For Precious Lives - Annual Cornwall to Bristol charity ride.

posted by graphite [58 posts]
11th July 2014 - 12:50

44 Likes

never mind the rest of the story

Quote:
... billowing with wildlife ...

that's a keeper - I'll be using that 'un regularly

Buddha said:

Believe nothing, No matter where you read it,
Or who has said it, Not even if I have said it,
Unless it agrees with your own reason
And your own common sense.

mad_scot_rider's picture

posted by mad_scot_rider [555 posts]
11th July 2014 - 14:59

27 Likes

I can imagine the DM story:
Improved access to Olympic cycling facility worries locals

Improvements to the path connecting with the 2012 Olympic MTB facility will attract more cyclists. Locals are up in arms about the environmental threat these non-polluting, posing pedallers will produce. Local NIMBY Arthur Pedantic complained, "It's disgraceful. We hoped everyone would forget about this mountain bike track after the Olympics were over and go back to scoffing pies. Worse still, some people will bring their children here and encourage them to take up physical activity. Where will all this exercise end? Now get orff my land."

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2249 posts]
11th July 2014 - 15:20

38 Likes

Oh FFS.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [904 posts]
11th July 2014 - 16:03

27 Likes

So, bets on how long it'll be before we see road.cc reports of incidents and fallings out on this new shared path?

Just drive there with the bike on the roof and clog their roads up instead.

posted by TheSpaniard [63 posts]
11th July 2014 - 17:55

20 Likes

Fine! Screw em, lay waste to the existing path with pnuematic drills, then it really will be "ideal for mountain bikers."

What is wrong with these people? This sort of path is not there to bring thousands of sports cyclists into the area, they're there so local people can ride their bikes safely to places with their kids.

posted by drfabulous0 [387 posts]
11th July 2014 - 18:44

23 Likes

Same shit, different NIMBYs

posted by dp24 [193 posts]
11th July 2014 - 20:00

29 Likes

Maybe sustrans could help, but offering to build it to the same standard as the rest of their national network. I nice fast rolling surface of mud and horseshit.

posted by bikebot [648 posts]
11th July 2014 - 23:20

12 Likes

bikebot wrote:
Maybe sustrans could help, but offering to build it to the same standard as the rest of their national network. I nice fast rolling surface of mud and horseshit.

...where you're not allowed to ride above 10mph.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [904 posts]
12th July 2014 - 10:05

12 Likes

Gizmo_ wrote:
bikebot wrote:
Maybe sustrans could help, but offering to build it to the same standard as the rest of their national network. I nice fast rolling surface of mud and horseshit.

...where you're not allowed to ride above 10mph.

and dismount for no apparent reason every few hundred metres...

posted by Paul_C [198 posts]
14th July 2014 - 19:40

2 Likes

I do love when road.cc do things like

Quote:
Hadleigh Farm residents prepare for an onslaught of cyclists

Applause

posted by Al__S [594 posts]
15th July 2014 - 17:38

0 Likes

drfabulous0 wrote:

What is wrong with these people?

Spinal fluid for brains?

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [293 posts]
15th July 2014 - 17:45

1 Like

userfriendly wrote:
drfabulous0 wrote:

What is wrong with these people?

Spinal fluid for brains?

No, something much less appealing, clearly.

posted by jacknorell [471 posts]
15th July 2014 - 18:41

0 Likes