Sunday, 24 February 2013

Longman Drive Alternative

On Friday 22 Februray 2013, the day after completing Shore Street to Kessock Bridge
I discovered that I'd missed a bit of the route. So I revisited the section that day.

I'd failed to spot a small NCN1 direction sign on Stadium Road.
I can be forgiven for this as it's on the other side of the road.
There is no sign on the side I was travelling.
Nor is there any marked cycle crossing.

 The sign is placed quite high and often hidden by passing traffic.
 It points to Longman Drive although there is no name plate.

 A short distance along Longman Drive another road branches to the left.
 Interestingly, this is also called Longman Drive.
 There are two clearly visible and well placed NCN1 signs.
 Although, like the first section, this section has no name plate.

 This second section of Longman Drive is unattractive.
 Even on a sunny day it was dark and cold.
 I'm told that it can sometimes be subject to flooding.

 On this day, a continuous layer of ice covered the width of the road.
 This did have the benefit of levelling the rather large potholes.

 There were large collections of rubbish dumped at the side.
 Ironically this included a child's bike.

The Courier Building and the Kessock Bridge are in view.
Ahead is a T-junction.
The road ahead is a third section of Longman Drive.

There's a sign for NCN1 on a communications cabinet.
It's on the other side of the road and displaced to the right.
The cabinet may be convenient but results in poor placing of the sign.

The arrow on the sign points to the right
and to the collection of signs discussed previously.

In my opinion the route described here is much less pleasant than the coastal route.
It's only very slightly shorter. (In fact it's longer if you follow the intended diversion.)
Obviously it should remain available for any cyclist who prefers to use it.
For tourists it offers nothing.
It would be better if NCN1 remained on Stadium Road as far as the Courier Building.
I understand this was the original route for NCN1.

Whichever route is taken, the current diversion signs are ineffective.
Without local knowledge, a cyclist travelling from Harbour Road will be misdirected
if they attempt to follow the signs and diversions to get to the Kessock Bridge.

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