Canterbury Riverside: from Barton Mill to Vauxhall Avenue

Map of proposed route
The proposed route (green/white dashed)
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Route

From the Barton Mill housing development along the south bank of the river Stour to Vauxhall Avenue (from where it will continue as the proposed Canterbury-Sturry riverside route. A spur could lead to Vauxhall Road.

Length: about 1 km.

Rationale

The Sturry Road (aka A28) is particularly dangerous for cyclists. With the recently constructed Parham Road Student Village project there are now many students living along this road.

There is no alternative route from central Canterbury to the Asda superstore and to the shops, businesses and superstores of the Vauxhall Trading Estate.

Maps

History

Funding, sponsors and supporters

Construction of the section of cycle path alongside the Parham Road Student Village development is being funded by the developers. They are also proposing to contribute Section 106 funding towards the construction of a cycle path along Mary Green Walk.

At present, there are no sponsors for the majority of the cycle route (ie, for the section from the Asda supermarket to Vauxhall Bridge) The overall route (from Barton Mill to Vauxhall Avenue) does, however, figure prominently in the Green Corridors priority list in the Canterbury district Open Space Strategy 2009-2014.

What the CCC Walking and Cycling Strategy document (2003) said

Riverside Walk - Barton Mill to Vauxhall Avenue - Plan Reference No B

From Barton Mill, the riverside path could be extended with a link through to Vauxhall Avenue. From Vauxhall Avenue cyclists can join the on-road cycle paths on the A28 Sturry Road. Footway works would be required for cyclists to use the existing Pelican crossing to the east of Vauxhall Avenue which would provide a link with the Reed Avenue route. The most achievable and economic route along the riverside would need careful investigation. Land acquisition and flooding issues would dictate this to some extent however a route on the southern bank could potentially provide links to the retail and industrial units along Sturry Road.There is also the possibility of further development of land along the southern side of the river.

From section 8.5.1 of the Canterbury Walking and Cycling Strategy (2003)

What the CCC Riverside Strategy document (2003) said

The River Stour: Specific Guidance

[4.14] Downstream of Barton Mill Island the Regeneration Zone continues along the southern bank of the river to the Asda superstore. This is one of the least accessible and least attractive stretches of the Stoure, with industrial development extending close to the river bank. There are fragments of semi-natural riverside grassland at the end of Glenside Avenue. Downstream levels of the adjoining land have been raised substantially by up to approximately 10 metres with steeply sloping banks.

[4.17] The Council will require any development on the south bank to provide a minimum of an eight metre strip incorporating a footpath, cycle path and landscape planting.

[4.22] On the southern bank, downstream of Asda, there is no development and the land is unmanaged, dominated by coarse grasses and invading willow and thorn scrub.

[4.23] Within this section the Council will maintain a minimum eight metre access link on the north side when the adjoining land is developed. On the southern side the Council will seek contributions from developers within the Kingsmead Regeneration Zone to upgrade and maintain existing open space along this stretch of the river.

From the Riverside Strategy, CCC, 2003

Present state of the route

Photo of cycle track
A completed section of the combined foot/cycle path
View larger photo

There is also a heavily overgrown path (photo) along the north bank of the river that, given provision of a bridge, could form an alternative basis for part of this route. This path, which can be reached via Willow Close, is not shown on the OS map, still less marked as a right of way.

Status

The section of the route, from the Asda supermarket to Vauxhall Road bridge is not presently under active consideration. It was not listed as a priority in 2003 Canterbury Walking and Cycling Strategy (see above) document. But it is listed as a priority in the more recent Canterbury Open Space Strategy (see above)

Next move

Spokes is actively campaigning for the continuation of this riverside route up to the Vauxhall bridge and, in the longer term, to Sturry.

Latest news

The Spokes blog carries the latest news for this route.