Four months later and the final touches are mostly done.
Final touches designed to make cycling uncomfortable, noisy, dangerous and inconvenient.
Speed bumpsYes, speed bumps!
So, you put down a decent tarmac surface, then ruin it with these cobbled bumps. There are scores of them all along the path. Total waste of money, money that's supposed to encourage cycling not discourage it.
Locked GatesYes, gates which have been open are now locked.
This was last year...
and now. Try getting a bike and child trailer through this - impossible without lifting it over. Remember this is a Velocity route that is supposed to encourage cycling not discourage it.
Loose ChippingsRemember that lovely smooth tarmac surface in the first photo?
Well forget it!
Almost the entire route has been covered in a thick layer of loose chippings. This makes progress along the path slow and noisy, and if that dog runs out in-front of you your brakes will simply lock up so don't bother with the front brake if you want to remain upright.
and then there are the holes, but I'll get to them later...
Cyclists DismountYes, the signs of failure are everywhere, many of them new, presumably paid for with Velocity money. So cycling money is being spent telling people to get off and walk.
There have always been dismount signs on this route, but they are multiplying, thanks to Velocity funding.
The main excuse for them is the narrow path under the bridges.
But no attempt has been made to widen the path or provide alternatives, and in most cases nothing has been done to repair the poor surfaces under the bridges.
Likewise the cobbled surfaces by the locks have not been repaired, despite being in a dreadful condition.
LightingYes, there has been some attempt to put in lighting - solar powered lights in the path, white, except above some locks
where they are red. However, they are unlikely to provide sufficient lighting to persuade most people to cycle along this route in the dark. Many of these lights are shaded by fences & trees so they won't charge up in the winter when they are most needed.
Only a few of these lights have gone in so far at the Manchester end, the rest of the path is covered in holes.
I know from posts on Twitter that many people have gone back to cycling on the road, because the Ashton Canal path is now really inconvenient for daily commuting. Looks like TfGM and the Canal and River Trust have managed to divert cycling money into upgrading a footpath whilst discouraging people from cycling on it.