Since moving to this area I have to travel from East to West to get to my nearest, largish, town of Christchurch. The beginning of my journey is through fairly quiet residential streets which could simply do with reducing the speed of traffic to 20mph, instead of the usual 30mph, to make it safer for cyclists.
On coming up and off of Wharncliffe Road (see map below) I then have always turned left and joined the fast moving traffic for about a mile before one can then cross over the main road and pick up the shared pedestrian/cycle paths.
Now I could never see the reason for why the council decided to suddenly stop the shared ped/cycle route where they did and not bring it right to the top of Wharncliffe Road where cyclists could then ride safely off of the busy road, avoiding our own very busy row of shops where one can always find lots of pedestrians milling around.
I have today discovered why, or I rather presume this is the reason why.
On checking UK Cycling Maps I found that they state...... At the top of Wharncliffe Road, turn right and then immediately left onto the cycle path.
In all the time I have been traveling this route I have never seen a cycle path at the top of Wharncliffe Road. So today I set out to hunt down this cycle path. I actually walked the journey so that I wouldn't have to think about being in traffic on turning right and seeking out the path.
At the top of Wharncliffe Road immediately on the corner on looking right there is a pedestrian island crossing. On crossing I looked both left and right to see where this illusive cycle path was. It was hard to find but eventually discovered by a small gap in the bush type hedges. Very hard to spot unless one was specifically looking for it as I was.
The "cycle path" in actual fact is about 50 yards of pathway with wooded areas each side, until it emerges onto a residential estate. The rest of the "cycle route" is simply sharing the road with motorised vehicles albeit in quiet streets. This is not what I call a "Cycle Route".
There is no sign to say that a footpath/cycle path exists. Plus I walked the whole distance of the cycle route and there are positively no cycling signs anywhere until it comes to the shared ped/cycle paths to the west.
If by some miracle one does find the cycle route, they will then find it is mostly all up hill whereas the main road in that area is in fact all downhill. The so called cycle route also takes one many minutes out of the way.
In my opinion this is in no way a cycle route but instead quiet residential roads where it is safer to cycle. Unfortunately there is no way that I will be using that route, but instead will continue to take the quickest and easiest route and stick to my own law of cycling on pavements when along side a busy main road.