Sunday 23 September 2012

The Trans Pennine Trail - Part 1, Heatley to Dairyhouse Lane

This is a three and a quarter mile section of former railway from the edge of Rushgreen just over the border in Cheshire to the edge of Broadheath in Trafford where the railway trackbed is obliterated by the construction of George Richards Way.

This section starts opposite the Co-op supermarket with a relatively wide A frame barrier.

The path is quite narrow here with low overhanging trees. The path has a reasonable grit surface, but with a number of puddles.

The route emerges from the trees a short way later, at the site of the old Heatley and Warburton Station and level crossing.

After crossing Mill Lane there is another A frame and a horse step, with the sign showing that this section is also open to horses.

After a short paved section the path soon degrades to a grit surface with muddy puddles under some of the trees.

The path soon opens out and crosses the River Bollin and into Trafford.

Before narrowing somewhat.

For a while the trackbed rises high enough to see over the Cheshire landscape,

but the hedges are quite high in places.

This bridge takes you under Dunham Road.

A little further along is Station Road, the site of Dunham Massey Station and level crossing.

Here you hit the first of a set of dreadfully over-the-top cycle barriers which mean that everyone using the trail, except horse riders, has to dismount. for a disabled rider on a handcycle or trike these barriers prevent them from using the route. Manc Bike Mummy has written an extensive post about these barriers though I don't think her proposed solution is viable, far better to remove the horse steps.

At this point I saw a number of people who couldn't get their bikes through the kissing gate and resorted to lifting bicycles through the muddy horse step.

The Trans Pennine Trail web site documents many of the barriers and their problems, the attitude of the local authorities who build them and the way in which they prevent people with mobility problems using the trail.

Further along the path passes Heatley Farm,

before going under School Lane.

On the far side of the bridge the path opens up with fleeting views of the adjacent farmland before diving into this atmospheric tunnel through the trees.

However, you soon come across the extensive car park at Seamon's Road,

and the final set of over-engineered barriers at Dairyhouse Lane.

Link to Seventh Series OS map of the route when the railway was still in place.

The next part of The Trans Pennine Trail - Part 2, Dairyhouse Lane to Woodcote Road is on road.

View Trans Pennine Trail in a larger map


  1. The over engineered barriers are a huge improvement on what was there. Trafford are changing the big gates to have radar key locks but its not even close to being right,

    Lorra lorra love....


  2. Please keep posting about these ridiculously over-engineered barriers Mr.Mad! We are continuing to fight the council officers over in Sheffield who are also big fans of keeping as many legitimate users as possible off the bike routes, but seem incapable of putting any measures in that deter motorbikes and quad bikes. Rotherham at least has seen the light and taken many of these out, or altered them to make them more usable.