On 05th June 2012 I performed an inspection ride of NCN52, between Higham-on-the-Hill and Attleborough, Nuneaton. The ride was dual purpose; 1, to check the state of the Weddington Country Walk / Coventry Canal off road section and 2, to perform a reconnaissance ride of the braided section of the route that passes through the town centre. The latter was to make recommendations for possible renumbering, as per current SUSTRANS practice concerning split or braided routes.
My findings were as follows:
A. The Weddington Country Walk (WCW) is overgrown in two places:
1. Weeds are crowding the path in places between the A5 and A444.
2. Where the path near Sandon Park becomes very narrow, Hawthorne & Nettle are growing through the fence on both sides, making riding quite hazardous
B. There is a lot of damage to signage (see photographs) along WCW thus:
1. Reminder sign damaged at farm track over bridge near A5.
2. Damage to “Busy Road” warning sign near A444.
3. Signs damaged or completely torn away at Sandon Park.
4. Graffiti over sign on Stoney Road.
5. Signs damaged at entrance to Coventry Canal – Midland Road.
C. The Railtrack improvements and diversion of railway lines, means that the Stoney Road area is in a state of constant flux and will be for a considerable amount of time. This will cause requirement of frequent updates to signage.
D. There is very little signage along the Coventry Canal in either direction, this requires rectification. Signs that are in place are damaged or covered with graffiti.
E. The signage of the “alternative” braided route, via Nuneaton town centre is rather sporadic and ambiguous running in a Southwest direction; running Northeast, some of the signing is almost non-existent.
F. At Pingles Park (The Wem Brook Trail) the white “National Cycle Network” direction signs (as shown in Photograph 6) have all suffered damage, most missing at least 1 arm some having none.
I conclude that the on road route via Nuneaton town centre, is possibly the more viable route to sign as route 52. I suggest that the route via Weddington Way, Sandon Park, Stoney Road and the Coventry Canal could be renumbered as NCN (52) or (52A) or Regional Route RCN (52) or (52A). This should be applicable between where the route diverges at the A444 Weddington Road and where it reconverges, with the Coventry Canal at the Shepperton Business Park. This option will require less expenditure for replacement of signs.
I am prepared to perform some of these corrections, between Higham-on-the-Hill and Shepperton Business Park, but I also think that the Nuneaton group should have a chance to share in the improvements.
Kev Regester – West Leicestershire Ranger – NCN52 Weddington Way