Get-things-linked-up proposal put to Tameside council this month
The plan is to help riders explore and navigate their way around existing bike-legal tracks and trails. Minimise the map reading headaches and maximise the ease of access.
Stalybridge resident Phil Allen along with Pennine mountain bike access campaigners PMBA took inspiration from the success of other waymarked routes in Lancashire to come up with the plan.
The ultimate aim is to get more people on bikes and to get existing riders to spread their wings a bit and go further afield.
PMBA: “we identified the lack of mapped and waymarked routes as a key constraint to developing mountain biking in the area as an asset for residents, an inspiration for young people and a draw for tourists”
If the route gets approved for waymarking this would take the total distance of waymarked MTB trails in the South Pennines to over 150 miles!
Whereabouts is the process currently?
The route was plotted by Phil Allen. The idea was discussed last month at Tameside council’s Strategic Cycling Group and deemed to be legally viable.
From that meeting the next step was for the Assistant Executive Director of that group to go and ride the route (alright for some innit?) and then report back at the next meeting.
That next meeting is happening this week.
A bit more about the project
Phil Allen: “The idea for the waymarked route came after riding one of the Rolling Boar routes around Bacup. I do volunteer work at Lee and Cragg quarries and with the PMBA generally so have been able to see and hear all the positive things these trails bring to an area and how they benefit the local people and businesses plus the mountain biking community.
“I’ve lived in Stalybridge for 38 years and at the moment there is a lot of passionate people who are working hard to attract people to visit the area and into the town centres.
“As a mountain biker I spend a lot of time riding the trails around my local area and appreciate how lucky I am as the Pennine bridleway passes through Stalybridge and Mossley which both sit on the edge of the Peak District so both have easy access into the Peak or into Saddleworth and further into the South Pennines.
“So after riding the Rolling Boar I thought what a good idea it would be to do a similar thing in the area I ride in, which would bring those same benefits.
“I contacted Tameside council with my idea and was put in contact with Michael Hughes (sustainable travel officer). Michael did say they had thought about it already but didn’t think it would be possible as any route would most possibly involve footpaths, but with my experience of riding the area I was able to put together a route that didn’t involve footpaths.
“I got my OS map out and plotted the route and sent it to the council.
“The waymarked route would be a fantastic addition to an already growing mountain bike scene that is starting to build in Manchester with the Clayton Vale trails and with Dirt Factory soon to open too.”