Friday, April 13, 2007

What a way to run a Cycleway

The main national cycleway from Birmingham to Wolverhampton runs along the canal towpath, and it is CLOSED near Sandwell and Dudley Station. There is a completely impassable wooden barrier, with no helpful signs on it (or before you reach this point), and no means of leaving the towpath here from the Birmingham direction. Retracing one's path to the previous bridge (c 1Km), you can get onto the old canal under a motorway, with (eventually) missing and misleading signs; the towpath here is very poor, and there are no signs to suggest how you would return to the new main line towpath. If I were not at least slightly familiar with the area, I would probably still be there trying to find my way out. Next time you feel inclined to criticise the railway service, or road signs, you might like to remember how poorly cycle riders are catered for on major cycle routes (this is not the first time I have had problems of this kind). If you want to take a train from Birmingham to Wolverhampton instead, there are no restrictions on bikes at any time on the local Centro trains, but for Virgin etc you will usually need to fold.