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County council says new surface will improve year-round access

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.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

15 comments

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balmybaldwin [153 posts] 1 year ago
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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

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jacknorell [963 posts] 1 year ago
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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.

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graphite [64 posts] 1 year ago
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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.

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 1 year ago
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never mind the rest of the story

Quote:

... billowing with wildlife ...

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

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OldRidgeback [2616 posts] 1 year ago
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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."

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jollygoodvelo [1410 posts] 1 year ago
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Oh FFS.

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TheSpaniard [97 posts] 1 year ago
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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.

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drfabulous0 [409 posts] 1 year ago
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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.

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dp24 [201 posts] 1 year ago
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Same shit, different NIMBYs

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bikebot [1888 posts] 1 year ago
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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.

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jollygoodvelo [1410 posts] 1 year ago
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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.

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Paul_C [443 posts] 1 year ago
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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...

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Al__S [1018 posts] 1 year ago
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I do love when road.cc do things like

Quote:

Hadleigh Farm residents prepare for an onslaught of cyclists

 41

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userfriendly [553 posts] 1 year ago
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drfabulous0 wrote:

What is wrong with these people?

Spinal fluid for brains?

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jacknorell [963 posts] 1 year ago
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userfriendly wrote:
drfabulous0 wrote:

What is wrong with these people?

Spinal fluid for brains?

No, something much less appealing, clearly.