Most of the club has been on the usual Sunday morning jaunt and were now out as a group enjoying their favourite pastime with their nearest and dearest. Wives, husbands, children and Grandchildren met in Dunham Massey to get muddy along the Transpennine Trail and then off to the Rope and Anchor for a drink while the kids played.
I love the TPT. I use it often to commute up to work and we are very lucky to have such a long well maintained traffic free track to use in our area.
However, it doesn't come without its drawbacks and these were very much highlighted on our Family Bike ride with my club.
I will show you what I mean
My first section is very overgrown with nettles. If I take H down here either in his pushchair or the bike trailer, his face gets stung.
This is my first obstacle. A kissing gate onto the new estate. It had been broken and someone had taped it shut to prevent it banging. This prevented the RADAR lock being undone to allow the gate part to swing completely open. Thankfull after a few emails badgering Trafford MBC they have fixed it. Bingo, we can pass though here complete with trailer.
So on I go. About a mile along I actually get to the Transpennine Trail in Altrincham. Here is where my problems start. And this is the part of the Trail that Trafford are responsible for.
Personally, I dont think there is any excuse for having such a gate that blocks access for so many. The trail is many many miles long and throughout the stretch I ride within the control of Warrington Council, I have no such problem
So once I have negotiated this. I ride for about a mile and a half and I reach the car park where our family ride started.
This has a tiny gate through onto the trail. You can just about fit a person through it. Sadly my picture doesn't show the scale, but needless to say, you couldn't get a wheelchair through and you certainly cant get a trailer through.
This shows that although you can lift your bike over the horse styles, they are actually quite high in places. I struggle with my own bike. After having back surgery I need to be careful. Picking a bike plus a trailer plus a toddler up over this is impossible,
The lock could so easily be changed to a RADAR key!
This is my most considerable foe. A double set of gates.
Once past these, I am freeeeee!!!!!! Miles and miles and miles of trail with only the odd A-Frame through Warrington to slow me down. But I can get through these. They are wide enough at the bottom to allow you to negotiate them with a single trailer. They also are fine if you are on a tandem or with a tagalong.
So why oh why cant Trafford use these??????
If you are a wheelchair user, would you let me know if you are able to get through these sorts of barriers?
I have complained via twitter to Trafford who say they're looking into it, although I have heard nothing since. I also have a couple of councillors and Slater Heelis Solicitors in Sale have kindly offered to look into the legalities of the Trafford barriers.
We await the outcome.