Canterbury: Headcorn Drive to Barton Mill

Map of proposed route
The proposed route (yellow).
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Route

The route, as proposed in the Canterbury Walking and Cycling Strategy (2003), starts at the junction of the existing Bird Cage Walk cycle route with Farleigh Road (photo). It follows Farleigh Road to Broad Oak Road and the along the latter to the entrance to the Broad Oak allotments (photo). It runs around the NE boundary (photo) of these allotments until it meets the northern channel of the Great Stour (photo), where a new bridge will be required. After crossing the river, it then follows an intermittent river channel along the NE boundary (photo) of the new Kingsbrook Park estate until (photo) it reaches Barton Mill and the proposed cycle route from Kingsmead Bridge.

Possible variations

There are several variations possible for the above route:

Length: about 1 km.

Rationale

This route would provide access from the Hales Place district and the Univ of Kent to the Sturry Road and the extensive residential and retail shopping areas of east Canterbury and, beyond that, to Sturry via the proposed riverside cycle route.

Maps

History

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

Headcorn Drive to Barton Mill - Plan Reference No D

This route would link the large residential area of Hales Place with the riverside city centre route and any future development at the Kingsmead stadium site.

The route would commence at Farleigh Road linking with the Hales Drive to Headcorn Drive cycle route (Bird Cage Walk). A 30 metre long cycle path would need to be constructed from Bird Cage Walk up a steep gradient to the footway on the west side of Farleigh Road.

Relatively high traffic speeds along Farleigh Road (greater than 30 mph) and light pedestrian flows make a shared path the most suitable option for consideration. The existing paving slab surface would require attention.

Improvements at the junction with Broad Oak Road would be required in order to improve the safety of the right turn manoeuvre. A Toucan crossing onto the southern footway appears the most suitable option.

Broad Oak Road is not considered suitable as a cycle route due to inadequate width, high traffic levels (particularly HGVs which represent approximately 20 per cent of traffic) and traffic speeds. However it would be possible to consider converting the southern footway and highway verges into a twoway cycle path/ footway.

From Broad Oak Road, the most direct route into the Kingsmead development site and through to the riverside walk on the northern bank of the southern branch of the Great Stour, is via the allotments and then providing a new footbridge across the river. Security fencing would need to be provided to prevent unauthorised access onto the private allotments.

From the footbridge, a new cycle route would need to be constructed along the riverside to join up with the existing footbridge at Barton Mill.

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

Present state of the route

Access to the section of the route through the Broad Oak Road allotments is presently restricted, and a footbridge will be required across the northern branch of the river. The section of the route that skirts round the Kingsbrook Park estate is presently inaccessible.

Present status

Although this route is listed in the Canterbury Walking and Cycling Strategy (2003) as being eligible for S106 funding, no further details have since been given.

The proposed plan (source) and detailed plans (source) for the Kingsbrook Estate does not show the proposed new footbridge (leading to the allotments) over the river nor the proposed cycle route skirting around the NE boundary of the estate. Enquiries at the Kingsbrook site suggest that the riverside cycle route (that will run from Kingsmead bridge to Barton Mill) is unlikely to be constructed before the end of 2012.