Marple Community Forum & Noticeboard

Local Community => Local Issues => Topic started by: CllrKennyBlair on August 30, 2016, 09:08:11 PM

Title: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: CllrKennyBlair on August 30, 2016, 09:08:11 PM
We have launched a campaign to Save Middlewood Way. Further details can be found on www.hgconservatives.com/campaigns where you can also sign the petition to support the campaign.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: admin on August 31, 2016, 07:52:12 AM
Here's a link directly to the petition too: https://www.change.org/p/stockport-metropolitan-borough-council-save-middlewood-way
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: Andy on August 31, 2016, 04:23:54 PM
Hi Kenny,

I was going to post about this too, as a regular MWW user and someone who lives within sight of it.

There are a couple of points I have issue with - firstly by stating that we must 'save' middlewood way it is somehow going to be taken from us, this isn't the case. Secondly, perhaps 4 or 5 years ago a large section of the path was resurfaced along with the section between the rugby club and golf club. To suggest that no money has been spent since the late 80's isn't accurate. I do agree that the surface could be better, however a one off injection of cash isn't the answer, it needs maintaining and it is this lack of maintenance which has resulted in its current poor state. As an example, did you know there was once a lovely picnic area at the end of the second rugby field? It is now overgrown, chopping it back may make it usable for a month or two but it will need to feature on the councils work plan to keep it usable. (Where are the Big Society when you need them eh?)

Is the irony lost on our Councillors that they represent a party that has presided over some of the largest ever cuts seen to local authority budgets which has left councils struggling to fulfill their statutory duties around elderly care and SEN Education and are yet lobbying their own council to spend more on green space and lamenting the reduced amount of money the LA has to spend on such things.

That said, credit where it is due, if it wasn't for your party we wouldn't have the Middlewood way in the first place. (We would have a direct trainline to Macclesfield and a rail link into Stockport.)


Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: Condate on August 31, 2016, 07:50:04 PM
What would ruin the Middlewood Way is to have large parts of it turned into a solid hard surface. The whole point is places like this is to provide walking on natural surfaces which does mean a lot of mud at times, but that's part of the attraction. I'd have no objection to part of the width being sanitised, but please leave the normal surface for at least half the width.

Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: mikes on September 01, 2016, 10:33:38 PM
better still bring back the railway line and let us have a decent train service.  There are plenty of other places one can walk should the desire take you.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: CllrKennyBlair on September 02, 2016, 08:20:23 PM
Hi Kenny,

I was going to post about this too, as a regular MWW user and someone who lives within sight of it.

There are a couple of points I have issue with - firstly by stating that we must 'save' middlewood way it is somehow going to be taken from us, this isn't the case. Secondly, perhaps 4 or 5 years ago a large section of the path was resurfaced along with the section between the rugby club and golf club. To suggest that no money has been spent since the late 80's isn't accurate. I do agree that the surface could be better, however a one off injection of cash isn't the answer, it needs maintaining and it is this lack of maintenance which has resulted in its current poor state. As an example, did you know there was once a lovely picnic area at the end of the second rugby field? It is now overgrown, chopping it back may make it usable for a month or two but it will need to feature on the councils work plan to keep it usable. (Where are the Big Society when you need them eh?)

Is the irony lost on our Councillors that they represent a party that has presided over some of the largest ever cuts seen to local authority budgets which has left councils struggling to fulfill their statutory duties around elderly care and SEN Education and are yet lobbying their own council to spend more on green space and lamenting the reduced amount of money the LA has to spend on such things.

That said, credit where it is due, if it wasn't for your party we wouldn't have the Middlewood way in the first place. (We would have a direct trainline to Macclesfield and a rail link into Stockport.)

Thanks for the response Andy, I also live right on it.There are a couple of issues I take with your post. The campaign was named 'Save Middlewood Way' for two reasons. One, this campaign was started with local residents, some time ago who named it Save Middlewood Way. Second, if the Way is unusable half of the year or it is not maintained properly we will lose it. To some people it is already lost because they cannot use it.
The part you mention was re-surfaced and my understanding is that it was paid for by money from the Morris Homes housing development there.
There is a plan for the upgrade and for regular maintenance but we need that initial injection of cash to get it up to a usable standard all year round and then to be maintained accordingly.
While you may think it ironic, it is my job to campaign on behalf of local residents. That is why I was elected. Yes, there have been cuts made and I am sure we have differing views on how these have been done or why these have been necessary but you have to question why SMBC had $670k of public money in reserve to spend on the Public Realm but had not spent it. In addition, according to the media, the Council budget has been cut by approx $50m since 2010. The Council reserves have increased from £20m to £70m in that period.
The Council spent money on creating a new cycle path in Cheadle that nobody, not even the cyclists wanted because it was on road. The Council want people to be more active, and if you read what I said in the Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee last year, encouraging people to be more active now will reduce the strain on the NHS in the future. Being proactive instead of reactive.
I am sorry you disagree with the campaign and can't see beyond the politics but many people do agree with the campaign and want this greenspace to be usable all year round.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: Andy on September 06, 2016, 03:30:34 PM
Hi Kenny,

I don’t disagree with the campaign – quite the opposite, I’d like to see all green space properly looked after by trained and remunerated council employees funded by corporations and individuals paying their taxes. I object to the ‘campaign’ being politicised by a group that advocated significant local cuts without acknowledging their complicity in the initial funding reductions.

The danger with using such emotive language is that, and the same is true for the Lib Dem ‘Save Stepping Hill’ is that once people realise the track won’t be closed the immediacy of the problem is lost and people fail to act. (Perhaps why the original campaign stalled) By engaging in token ‘clictivism’ people sigh a petition and expect the problem to be resolved for them, in fact it is going to take much more than that including political will when it comes to raising the money rather than just diverting it from another cause.

The mud is part of the attraction for me and my family, the renovations I mentioned were done early late 2010 / 2011 if memory serves me, the tarmac piece which runs behind Woodville and then a compact cinder surface went up to the junction with Torkinton Rd/ Threphurst Lane.


As Condate has mentioned, the best thing to do is to double the width and that would have the effect of reducing the traffic per linear metre in half which would preserve the surface, cutting back the trees and allowing sunlight through will keep it drier.

Whilst searching for something on the forum I came across the quote below:


I must say I do agree with the comments about some of the sceptical claims by local Councillors as per their achievements. This business about them successfully campaigning for work to be done along the Middlewood Way doesn't quite add up. It really gets to me when politicians jump on band-wagons or play politics with public services but I am sure it is not just the Liberal Democrats who do so.

 

I believe his is now Cllr Johnstone [CON]
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: nipper14 on September 07, 2016, 11:42:12 AM
The mud doesn't bother me. It's no problem just to wash the mud off my boots, or shower the dog when I get home. What I do find annoying is the cyclists who ride up quietly behind you and take you by surprise when they speed past you. I've been hit a couple of times at the same time receiving abuse as if I have no right to be walking there. Is it too much to ask them to buy a bell?
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: nbt on September 07, 2016, 12:58:10 PM
Why do walkers always insist that a bell is the magic answer to everything? I have a bell on my bike but it's rarely heard by walkers, most seem to be in a world of their own while their dogs run free. I end up calling out a polite "ting ting" only to see  the walker leap into the air as though someone has just fired a starting pistol next to them. Is it too much to ask that people should maintain a little awareness of the world outside their own little bubble?

It's a shared use path, and respect goes both ways. You should be aware that people on bikes  - and people on foot perhaps - will be on the trail and not necessarily be visible in front of you, they may be behind you and moving faster than you are. I'm sorry to hear though that some cyclists have been rude and hit you, that's inexcusable. It's sadly inevitable that given the amount of idiots in this world, some of them will be riding bikes
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: corium on September 07, 2016, 04:45:43 PM
Is it too much to ask that people should maintain a little awareness of the world outside their own little bubble?



Not at all - that's why cyclists who are not equipped with a bell, let alone use it, should be fined on the spot. The vast majority I see don't have one.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: CllrKennyBlair on September 07, 2016, 08:16:49 PM
Hi Kenny,

I don’t disagree with the campaign – quite the opposite, I’d like to see all green space properly looked after by trained and remunerated council employees funded by corporations and individuals paying their taxes. I object to the ‘campaign’ being politicised by a group that advocated significant local cuts without acknowledging their complicity in the initial funding reductions.

The danger with using such emotive language is that, and the same is true for the Lib Dem ‘Save Stepping Hill’ is that once people realise the track won’t be closed the immediacy of the problem is lost and people fail to act. (Perhaps why the original campaign stalled) By engaging in token ‘clictivism’ people sigh a petition and expect the problem to be resolved for them, in fact it is going to take much more than that including political will when it comes to raising the money rather than just diverting it from another cause.

The mud is part of the attraction for me and my family, the renovations I mentioned were done early late 2010 / 2011 if memory serves me, the tarmac piece which runs behind Woodville and then a compact cinder surface went up to the junction with Torkinton Rd/ Threphurst Lane.


As Condate has mentioned, the best thing to do is to double the width and that would have the effect of reducing the traffic per linear metre in half which would preserve the surface, cutting back the trees and allowing sunlight through will keep it drier.

Whilst searching for something on the forum I came across the quote below:

I believe his is now Cllr Johnstone [CON]

Hi Andy,

thanks for the response. I am glad you agree with the campaign and hope you have signed the petition accordingly. As I said, I am sure we have different views on the necessity of the cuts and who is to blame. That does not mean I will sit on my hands and do nothing for the people of Marple South ward to get any investment that is available. As I said, the Lib Dem Exec had £670,000 in reserve for Public Realm which no one knew what it was earmarked for or who could use it. It had been there for a number of years and growing. They also increased reserves by £50m at the same time as suffering £50m of cuts. How can this be? They invested £2.1m in cycle paths and walking paths in Cheadle Hulme. Should we not fight for some of the funding or is a Conservative Councillor not allowed to do so because the Government are trying to balance the books that were left in a mess by the previous Labour Government?

On your suggestion of cutting back the trees, this has already happened on some parts of the Middlewood Way and as I said there is now a Maintenance plan in place. The mud may also be an attraction for you, but it isn't for everyone including the disabled and people with buggies. The point is to get the surface to a standard that is useable by everyone but still maintains that country track feel. I believe the Cheshire East side and renovations from Middlewood Station achieve this and this is what I am campaigning to happen on the rest of the Middlewood Way. I sincerely believe the wording used, because it did need saving because if it isn't used it will be lost.
As for the comments from Cllr Johnstone, I agree. I don't like politicians claiming success for things they haven't done. I won't claim credit for anything I have not been directly involved with or had an impact on. I have had experience of it from the local lib Dems claiming credit for things I have worked on that they were nowhere near. I am sure other Cllrs from other parties and indeed from my party will likely do the same, but I do not control their behaviour, I can only control mine.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: rsh on September 07, 2016, 08:53:04 PM
Why do walkers always insist that a bell is the magic answer to everything? I have a bell on my bike but it's rarely heard by walkers, most seem to be in a world of their own while their dogs run free. I end up calling out a polite "ting ting" only to see  the walker leap into the air as though someone has just fired a starting pistol next to them. Is it too much to ask that people should maintain a little awareness of the world outside their own little bubble?

It's a shared use path, and respect goes both ways. You should be aware that people on bikes  - and people on foot perhaps - will be on the trail and not necessarily be visible in front of you, they may be behind you and moving faster than you are. I'm sorry to hear though that some cyclists have been rude and hit you, that's inexcusable. It's sadly inevitable that given the amount of idiots in this world, some of them will be riding bikes
I couldn't have put it better!

Middlewood does actually seem to be one of the best routes for interaction between users though, I suppose many use it every day and so know to keep an ear open for cyclists' bells. But it is still frustrating to often encounter people walking right in the middle of the path, with headphones in, or with their dogs cross-crossing all over the place out of control off-lead... And then be surprised that a cyclist is coming up behind, using a cycle route!

Anyway, I thoroughly applaud any campaign to bring the standard of the Stockport section up. Cheshire East make it look easy with seemingly a rolling annual programme of resurfacing (although they're still not perfect either).

Kenny, it seems like a lot of the responses thus far have been people saying they don't want a Tarmac surface for their horses. I very much doubt you are even suggesting this, so maybe clarify what surfacing you're actually aiming for to cut out that noise and get everyone on side to just focus on doing the job.

At the same time, as much as the section between Torkington and the A6 (or the next bridge beyond it) could do with a full-scale rebuild like the section near Middlewood station, I would also like to see some focus on a few initial "easy wins" such as filling in the big grooves which form in between the farm crossing gate posts, forcing people to walk or cycle through a deep puddle. These are so minor they could be done by a volunteer group (I'd volunteer!) with a few bags of ballast, but would make a big impact. They're the only puddles you absolutely can't avoid, almost year-round.

I have to also add, I'm astonished that the SEMMMS mitigation money only went so far to cover that tiny stretch between Middlewood station and the first bridge - what use is that if it doesn't even reach the A6! And don't get me started on why no-one, not the road planners nor local councillors, has seen sense to push for Middlewood to be directly connected to the new cycle lane which will run the full length of the A6MARR. All it would take is a short stretch of cycle lanes either side of the A6 down to the new bus bridge connection, and suddenly you connect Marple to a vaste swathe of south Manchester by easy cycling...
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: nipper14 on September 08, 2016, 11:30:21 AM
I agree with the comment about some people walking along the Middlewood Way in their own little bubble. On a few occasions I have seen people with earphones while at the same time tapping away on their mobile phones, whilst their dog is left to its own devices. I prefer to leave my phone at home and just enjoy the countryside. I try to keep aware of other users of the path, I always keep my dog on a lead,and always step to one side to let cyclists and horse riders past, which is usually (but not always) appreciated. Politeness and respect to each other doesn't take much effort, and helps to brighten the day.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: marplerambler on September 09, 2016, 09:47:31 AM
Why do walkers always insist that a bell is the magic answer to everything?
Because it is! I both cycle and walk the Middewood Way, I am always only too happy to stand to one side to let the cyclist pass when he rings his bell but unlike a car, the cycle is silent. I am not telepathic nor do I have eyes in the back of my head.

If I am cycling and I ring my bell, it is nearly always heard by walkers. If the walker doesn't react that means that (a) his hearing isn't perfect/ he is wearing earphones/ his mind is on other things and (b) that I slow down to walking pace to pass without causing any surprise or injury. The Middlewood Way is not a bike or horse race track. I thank the walker if he steps aside, I slow to walking pace if he doesn't. Tarmac will do nothing but turn the Middlewood Way into a cycle lane providing the fastest possible route from Marple to Macclesfield but this is not the purpose of the MW! The MW is not a commuter route - it is a route for the leisurely enjoyment of the countryside. If the cyclist wants rapid transit from Macclesfield/High Lane to Marple he should use the road which is designed for high speed cyclists! 
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: nbt on September 09, 2016, 12:33:14 PM
Why is the MW not a commuter route?
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: rsh on September 11, 2016, 09:37:13 AM
Tarmac will do nothing but turn the Middlewood Way into a cycle lane providing the fastest possible route from Marple to Macclesfield but this is not the purpose of the MW! The MW is not a commuter route - it is a route for the leisurely enjoyment of the countryside. If the cyclist wants rapid transit from Macclesfield/High Lane to Marple he should use the road which is designed for high speed cyclists!
Again, there's NO suggestion that this campaign wants to see the route tarmaced. It's purely about providing a wide and mud-free path. The section already improved is the example:

(https://scontent.fman2-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13232982_440758636133257_4992156330115008075_n.jpg?oh=89863b73c7f7f52633f31776b231dbca&oe=5841080E)

Some parts of the Stockport side are quite narrow, if they were widened out like this it would help all users pass each other without conflict as well as reducing wear across the width of the path.

Personally I see no reason why Middlewood shouldn't be (and I'm sure already is used as) a commuting route. The A6MARR nearby will only increase that. If I need to head over that way from Marple I certainly prefer cycling it than Windlehurst, Torkington, the A6, etc... Surely with all our other escape routes clogged up by cars, that's only to be encouraged.  :)
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: rsh on February 14, 2018, 11:42:11 AM
Good news: works should start THIS MONTH on Middlewood Way to improve the section north of the A6.

From Save Middlewood Way Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/middlewoodway/posts/721265098082608):

Quote
**** BIG NEWS ****
Well.... We have finally done what we intended to do. I think we might possibly of saved Middlewood Way from all the years of mud and sludge. The team behind 'Save Middlewood Way' campaigned to renovate and bring our much loved path back in to a useable state. This has taken many years and we can not stress the amount of time, energy and commitment of help we have had from Cllr Kenny Blair. Without his persistent pressure, dedication and passion for our rural multiuser path at council meetings we are not sure this would of been possible. We look forward in doing more projects with him in High Lane.
So what is the big plan??
As most will know collectively we raised enough funds to resurface the section between Middlewood Station to the foot bridge prior to the A6. Although muddy, this was not the only section requiring attention.
Further campaigning with bits of additional funding have now added up to allow us to continue with the plan. Therefore......
Starting THIS month Stockport Council will commence in the following:
1) Creating a clear pathway to a minimum width of 3,5 mtrs suitable for all users
2) Removal of vegetation i.e. branch trimming, crown lifting and clearing of undergrowth etc
3) Re-establishing working drainage ditches, filling potholes and scraping away debris to leave a clear surface
4) resurfacing some of the pathway with recycled Ultitrec surfacing.
5) Change of gateway systems along the route to prevent obstruction / narrowing.
This extension will be approx 2km from the end of the previously repaired section at the footbridge south of the A6 to hopefully Woodville Drive.
It is estimated the work will commence until approx. April /May
Once complete we will be monitoring the situation and if need be continuing with our campaign to retain and repair any section of Middlewood Way on the Stockport side.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DULbLbQXUAUC7Yv?format=jpg)
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: Lily on February 21, 2018, 04:58:43 PM
I have just been along the Middlewood Way, today, and - WHAT A DISGRACE!!
I got on at the bend on Torkington Road and on reaching the trail was met with a double track of churned up mud.
Heading towards Marple from here (having to keep to the middle metre of the trail due to the vast amount of mud) I met a man in a large dumper truck. I had to move to the side while he passed me (he did thank me) but once out of the way he set off at quite a speed towards the High Lane direction churning up the sides of the path with his large chunky tyres.
Moving on a little further towards Marple you could see that he had come off the land which, I think, is where the landfill site is.  If it is someone from the landfill site, have they got permission to drive along the Middlewood Way?
As the council resurfaced this section some years ago (although it does now get rather muddy) it would be interesting to know who should put it right now that the dumper truck has churned it up!!!
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: GeoffAbell on February 22, 2018, 09:33:46 AM
The MW is a bridleway and if people's memories stretch that far back when David Bellamy opened it, horses/bikes and walkers were segregated, which created narrowness in places.  Now it's a bit more mixed and messy.  The "Middle Wood" of the MW has improved drainage - that was the worst bit - but it can still be improved and I believe there are plans from our officers.  That photo shows a bit that always has midges in summer so there must be quite a bit of water.

@marplerambler - cycles are a good thing and this is one of the few segregated cycle ways.  (It's multi use.)   I am trying to get more. But cycles should be respectful. 

Also I trust now that Kenny has moved out of his Marple house by the MW, he won't forget us!
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: Lily on February 22, 2018, 10:50:13 AM
CllrGeoffAbell,
When I saw your name against this thread I thought, wrongly, that you were responding to my comments from yesterday.
I do remember when the Middlewood Way was segregated - now well overgrown.
However, you say it is now a ‘bit more mixed and messy’.
The messy that I am referring to is not caused by cyclists and horse riders (or animals leaving deposits) but by a large dumper truck with large tyres driving up and down the trail (as witnessed by me yesterday).
The deep rutted mess started from roughly where the landfill site starts (somewhere near the rugby club) beyond where you can get on at Torkington Road.
My question was, have they got permission to drive along the Middlewood Way churning it up so that it is almost impassible by all users!!!
If they haven’t, then who should ‘police it’, and who should put it back to the condition it was in prior to the dumper truck using it?
Everyone should be ‘respectful’ - not just cyclists
What did you mean by your comment ‘I am trying to get more’?
Like Marple Rambler I walk and cycle, have a bell, and respect all users of shared paths.
Thank you.
Lily.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: Lily on February 22, 2018, 12:13:25 PM
After my post, earlier today, I thought I would quickly walk down to The Middlewood Way and take a few photographs of the damage done by the dumper truck.
It appears that I was a bit hasty in my assumption that the truck was using the trail without permission.
This morning they were busy scraping off the top layer of mud (taking up the damage previously caused by the dumper truck).
I must admit, when I read in an earlier post that they were repairing a stretch beyond the previously repaired section I assumed it was from the Torkington Lane junction (after all, that is where they did it to last time) - it only said ‘to hopefully Woodville Drive’.
Apologies for jumping in feet first!
Lily
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: CTCREP on February 22, 2018, 04:34:32 PM
Some of you may have seen the following photo in the Otterspool Rd item.

(https://photos-2.dropbox.com/t/2/AADg75VI3JUKOsY6VHJEHSncqdl5j0z7nX-F0r4TvipFpg/12/385692851/jpeg/32x32/3/1519336800/0/2/DSC00045.jpg/EInOiokDGDYgBygH/lapn-xYndot-KuD_aCnC7gajHo2MTiNydzVDbKrgJss?dl=0&size=32x32&size_mode=5)

If the surface of the Middlewood Way was as good as the section of Bridleway near Windybottom Farm I am sure most of us would be satisfied,  Although some may consider the present “natural” condition is quite satisfactory, the Middlewood Way is such an asset to the area that we, or should I say the Council, need to think more widely.

At one time Marple was a weekend retreat for the people of Manchester, and it should be again.  Today we should be encouraging people to visit Marple in order to keep some of our businesses alive.  The Middlewood Way is obviously an easy access route into the countryside for ordinary people, those with young children and pushchairs for example, and another forgotten group - those having to use mobility scooters. What a wonderful way to get a change of scenery by travelling out from Rosehill into the countryside. Of course at present it is almost impossible, but the recent upgrading of the Bridleway by Windybottom Farm shows it would be possible if the Council will only recognise the benefits that could come to Marple by making the Middlewood Way a truly Multi-User route..
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: badger on February 22, 2018, 08:19:10 PM
Just to be clear the Byway/ Bridalway through to Strines resurfacing was the result of flooding last year and after new drains were installed, the funding for the surface was from a 'Flood Deffence Pot' to repair the footpath put by for that reason only.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: rsh on February 22, 2018, 11:39:42 PM
Had a look today out of curiosity and as Lily says they are indeed scraping the top layer back ready for resurfacing. It actually looks better already, very wide although obviously very bumpy so definitely avoid cycling it on anything other than a mountain bike for the next 8 weeks. That’s if it remains open throughout all the works?

Stockport MBC haven’t yet even put notices up about what’s going on, let alone given advance warning, so I’m sure a lot of people have been confused.

Remembering the split in paths, you can still see where the separate footpath used to be at the farm gate nearest Torkington Road with two overgrown stiles leading into some brambles. Unless you have room for two wide paths, a single wider path works much better though, giving more room for people to actually pass.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DWqNKWfXUAMGq_N?format=jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DWqNKWcX0AAi4Qj?format=jpg)
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: Lily on February 23, 2018, 12:18:44 AM
Thanks for the photo’s, rsh, showing some of the progress on the Middlewood Way.
As you mentioned, it would have been helpful if the council had put up warning or information signs about the work going on. It would have saved a lot of confusion (especially for me!).
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: CTCREP on February 24, 2018, 04:49:50 PM
The original decision to split the paths was sensible but wrongly interpreted.  Horses can be unpredictable animals, liable to be “spooked” at any moment.  The split should have been one track for horses and the other for pedestrians and cyclists, and as the pedestrians and cyclists are the majority users the greatest proportion should be given to them.   This is the case on the Longdendale trail for example.

I recognise that there is still a bit of a conflict between some cyclists and pedestrians but in reality this is  because  we all need to learn how to live together.  Catering for cyclists has been ignored for so long now that many cyclists assume that as society doesn’t recognise their existence then why should they abide by society’s wishes, and can you blame them.  The Government is encouraging more people to cycle and the Middlewood Way is an obvious commuter route for cyclists, as well as a useful training ground for parents to teach their children to cycle and how to behave when other people are about.  With more people being able to use the Middlewood Way eventually a code of conduct for everyone will develop for the benefit of all.

In reply to Badgers comment about the funding of the renovation to the footpath by Windybottom Farm. I am aware that it was funded from a pot set aside to deal with Flood Problems, but I do question the Council’s sense of Priorities.  The path is relatively little used when compared to Etherow Country Park which is rapidly becoming derelict -  one part is no longer accessible due to Flood Damage.  I suppose we now need a Save Our Etherow Park campaign.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gax05nzg64oeeu5/Etherow%20web%202.jpg?dl=0 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/gax05nzg64oeeu5/Etherow%20web%202.jpg?dl=0)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3pnddnh0pvr9xie/Etherow%20web%201.jpg?dl=0 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/3pnddnh0pvr9xie/Etherow%20web%201.jpg?dl=0)
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: amazon on February 24, 2018, 07:51:21 PM
The original decision to split the paths was sensible but wrongly interpreted.  Horses can be unpredictable animals, liable to be “spooked” at any moment.  The split should have been one track for horses and the other for pedestrians and cyclists, and as the pedestrians and cyclists are the majority users the greatest proportion should be given to them.   This is the case on the Longdendale trail for example.

I recognise that there is still a bit of a conflict between some cyclists and pedestrians but in reality this is  because  we all need to learn how to live together.  Catering for cyclists has been ignored for so long now that many cyclists assume that as society doesn’t recognise their existence then why should they abide by society’s wishes, and can you blame them.  The Government is encouraging more people to cycle and the Middlewood Way is an obvious commuter route for cyclists, as well as a useful training ground for parents to teach their children to cycle and how to behave when other people are about.  With more people being able to use the Middlewood Way eventually a code of conduct for everyone will develop for the benefit of all.

In reply to Badgers comment about the funding of the renovation to the footpath by Windybottom Farm. I am aware that it was funded from a pot set aside to deal with Flood Problems, but I do question the Council’s sense of Priorities.  The path is relatively little used when compared to Etherow Country Park which is rapidly becoming derelict -  one part is no longer accessible due to Flood Damage.  I suppose we now need a Save Our Etherow Park campaign.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gax05nzg64oeeu5/Etherow%20web%202.jpg?dl=0 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/gax05nzg64oeeu5/Etherow%20web%202.jpg?dl=0)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3pnddnh0pvr9xie/Etherow%20web%201.jpg?dl=0 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/3pnddnh0pvr9xie/Etherow%20web%201.jpg?dl=0)
Could not agree with you more its becoming a no walk zone .
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: Dave on February 25, 2018, 11:20:51 AM
The original decision to split the paths was sensible but wrongly interpreted.  Horses can be unpredictable animals, liable to be “spooked” at any moment.  The split should have been one track for horses and the other for pedestrians and cyclists, and as the pedestrians and cyclists are the majority users the greatest proportion should be given to them. 

I can't why there is any need to do this. It isn't done on the majority of our bridleways and byways, and it should not be necessary on the Mddlewood Way.  As CTREP himself says: 
we all need to learn how to live together. 

Absolutely right.  And it's the cyclists who have the most to learn, in my long experience walking my dog on the tracks around Marple, Mellor and Strines.   Horse riders and walkers generally get on fine - we watch out for each other, and I always put my dog on a short  lead if I see a nervous-looking horse.  The only problem is those cyclists who think it's OK to ride too fast past walkers and horse riders. This is a particular issue on the canal towpaths, where some cyclists hurtle towards you at a breakneck speed and expect you to flatten yourself (and your dog!) against the hedge, to allow them to shoot past.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: CTCREP on February 26, 2018, 12:29:14 PM
Regrettably we all have long experience, and we can all quote instances when our particular interest is affected by others, but while some will want to squabble over who has the best case this Council will most likely go ahead yet again with an ill considered construction of a Multi User Trail which in its present form is far from Multi Useable.  I hope our Councillors are across this and will ensure The Middlewood Way will become an asset to the area and not, as I have been told, probably the worst example of a multi-user trail in this country.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: rsh on February 27, 2018, 11:17:48 AM
Absolutely right.  And it's the cyclists who have the most to learn, in my long experience walking my dog on the tracks around Marple, Mellor and Strines.
Oh good, let’s have another topic bashing cyclists.

In my long experience of cycling around Marple, Mellor and Strines, always using a bell, slowing right down for horses and giving people plenty of room when passing, there are more than a few walkers (and particularly dog walkers) who have a thing to learn about using courtesy and common sense.

Things like walking a dog (or sometimes 5+ dogs) off a lead on a linear path like Middlewood, looking shocked when a cyclist appears (on a cycle path!) and either struggling to suddenly pull them in or just standing there and leaving the cyclist to weave dangerously between them. You know who they’d blame if one of the dogs made a false move. And why do these people think dogs need to be off their lead on a linear path anyway? It’s not a big field to run around, they may as well stay on their lead for everyone’s sake. As the owner of a slightly nervous dog it also totally puts me off walking these paths and towpaths because I can’t trust we’d actually be able to get past other peoples’ marauding dogs without being surrounded.

Then there are the walkers who are too engrossed in themselves, listening to headphones or dare I say it too hard of hearing to hear a bell rung at least 5 times from various distances but continue to walk right in the middle of the path, never checking behind if someone wants to come past. The minute they do finally realise you’ve been there hanging back for the past mile, trying to say “excuse me”, they jump out of their skin and suggest you “get a bell!!”

But of course none of these are YOU are they Dave, just like your impression of “cyclists” as a whole homogeneous group is actually just a very small minority of annoying idiots, which actually exist amongst every user group.  ;)

A smile and a thank you goes a long way from both sides. My favourite was a frightfully posh lady down the canal who as I approached ringing the bell exclaimed “my, that’s a good DING you’ve got!”  ;D
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: andrewbowden on February 27, 2018, 11:37:52 AM
Please note that I am not anti-cyclist.  I like cycling.  But also when we talk of walkers moving for cyclists etc, it's worth remembering
Section 30 of the Countryside Act 1968.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/41/section/30

Specifically "Any member of the public shall have, as a right of way, the right to ride a bicycle, [not being a mechanically propelled vehicle], on any bridleway, but in exercising that right cyclists shall give way to pedestrians and persons on horseback."

We should all be aware of everyone else and treat everyone with respect, but the law is very clear of who has to give way.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: EmmyJane Designs on March 01, 2018, 08:54:10 AM
All the cyclists I know are walkers/ramblers and car drivers too.
 As mentioned above the times I've had abuse on the canals, bridleways and MW from walkers when I ring my bell.
I get told off if I don't ring it (when I have and they haven't heard) or when they have heard and jump out of their skins. Green spaces are precious and we all need to get on.

I have to complain about the surface at 'Windy Bottom farm', which I understand is partially made from recycled plastic. When this breaks down and erodes in future years it will inevitably end up in the river and other water courses. This surface is not suitable for horse riders and mountain bikers. I cannot image how much it's cost. But too late now it's down.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: Dave on March 01, 2018, 10:21:09 AM
But of course none of these are YOU are they Dave, just like your impression of “cyclists” as a whole homogeneous group is actually just a very small minority of annoying idiots

rsh needs to read more carefully before going on the attack. This is what I actually wrote:
some cyclists hurtle towards you at a breakneck speed and expect you to flatten yourself (and your dog!) against the hedge, to allow them to shoot past.

NB the words 'some cyclists'. If I had meant to refer to cyclists as a 'whole homogeneous group' I would not have used the word 'some'.

But I'm more interested in this bit of rsh's post:
In my long experience of cycling around Marple, Mellor and Strines, always using a bell,

and this from EmmyJane:
I've had abuse on the canals, bridleways and MW from walkers when I ring my bell.

I can't imagine why anyone would 'abuse' EmmyJane for using her bell - it is extremely helpful when cyclists do that, especially when approaching from behind.  I wish there were more who were as considerate as her and rsh.

But as andrewbowdon says, it's a matter of law anyway.  If cyclists will simply comply with their legal obligations there will be no problem.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: rsh on March 13, 2018, 09:48:51 AM
rsh needs to read more carefully before going on the attack. This is what I actually wrote:
NB the words 'some cyclists'. If I had meant to refer to cyclists as a 'whole homogeneous group' I would not have used the word 'some'.

Well indeed Dave, you didn’t: Launching in with “And it's the cyclists who have the most to learn” certainly sounded like you’re talking about everyone who rides a bike, doesn’t it?  ::)

But as andrewbowdon says, it's a matter of law anyway.  If cyclists will simply comply with their legal obligations there will be no problem.

Though funnily enough, neither Middlewood nor the canal towpaths are legally bridleways, so there are no “legal obligations” there whatsoever - it just boils down to common courtesy and friendliness to hopefully be exercised by each user.  :)
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: andrewbowden on March 13, 2018, 10:01:10 AM
I'd assumed the Middlewood Way was a legal bridleway, but even the OS map lists it as a permissive bridleway.  Learning something new every day. 
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: Dave on March 13, 2018, 12:08:43 PM
neither Middlewood nor the canal towpaths are legally bridleways, so there are no “legal obligations” there whatsoever - it just boils down to common courtesy and friendliness to hopefully be exercised by each user.  :)

Point taken, but I hope rsh would agree that the spirit of the law here is just as important as the letter.   And the guidance issued to cyclists by the Canals and Rivers Trust makes it very clear that they (actually we, as I'm also an occasional cyclist) are expected to give way to pedestrians on canal towpaths.   And they have become sufficiently concerned about fast cyclists that they now run a campaign called 'Drop the Pace'.  See https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/cycling/cycling-faqs

But rsh's point about 'common courtesy and friendliness' is well made. And there is no doubt that horse riders are by far the most considerate and friendly users of our local rights of way.   They smile, they wave, they say thank you, they are really nice to meet. It's noticeable that the equestrian community have been engaged in a systematic 'charm offensive' for some years now. It has paid off, I think, in that nowadays motorists generally slow down and give riders plenty of space when they are riding on the road.

The rest of us would do well to emulate that.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: jimblob on March 13, 2018, 03:29:17 PM
With Marple's history for speed humps, we'll be getting them on Middlewood way next to slow down the cyclist!  ::)
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: ringi on March 13, 2018, 05:25:53 PM
And there is no doubt that horse riders are by far the most considerate and friendly users of our local rights of way.

But for some reasons they don't pick up the mess their pets make, unlike most dog owners.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: nbt on March 13, 2018, 10:27:56 PM
But horse poo is mostly grass and is in no way harmful to humans, unlike dog poo which stinks and can spread some horrible diseases
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: CTCREP on March 14, 2018, 02:02:16 PM
The fact that horse ordure is not harmful to humans is of little relevance.  The majority of people do not want to have to walk through, or at least divert their walk in order to avoid walking through horse ordure.  Those with wheeled vehicles, such as pushchairs and, if only the Middlewood Way were suitable, mobility scooters do not want to have to avoid the ordure as well. Push chairs etc that may be taken into the home.

Horses should be given a separate track to all others as is done on the Longdendale Trail so that this problem does not arise.  Now that the Middlewood Way is getting some attention I would hope the Council will recognise this.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: Cyberman on March 14, 2018, 09:10:36 PM
Could be worse. They could put it in bags and throw it in the trees, as many dog owners do.
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: GeoffAbell on August 05, 2018, 12:39:49 PM
What's going on?
I've been away for a while and cycling back from Poynton, I see the Middlewood Way is at last clear and dry with a lovely new surface, the A555 is looking suspiciously close to completion, the double yellows on Eastwood are painted and Stockport Road's really bad and busy but has been resurfaced.  Kenny's left the Tories.  And SK6 watch has shut down.

Admittedly the pool's future is still uncertain and national government is still in a dither over Brexit.  And of course Trump is still doing his thing.

But my Marple world has been turned upside down!
Title: Re: Help us Save Middlewood Way
Post by: wheels on August 05, 2018, 11:38:08 PM
And all is well with the world as County win 5-1. Let the football season end now. Lol