Canterbury riverside: from St Radigunds Street to Kingsmead Bridge

Map of proposed route
The proposed route (green/white dashed on a yellow background).
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Route

The proposed route runs from St Radigunds Street (photo) along the right (south) bank of the river, past the Lilliput pre-school nursery (photo), and then on to the footbridge (photo) adjacent to the Sainsbury's car park. There it crosses to the left bank and runs under the Kingsmead bridge (photo) where it continues as the proposed route to Barton Mill.

The proposed route is about 450 m long.

Rationale

This route will form part of a traffic-free route from central Canterbury running parallel to the busy, dangerous A28 arterial Sturry Road. In so doing it will link central Canterbury to:

and, along with the proposed routes to Barton Mill and on to Vauxhall Avenue, it will link to:

It will also form part of National Cycle Route 1.

Maps

History

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

8.6.1 Riverside Walk - St Radigunds Street to Barton Mill - Plan Reference No A

The existing riverside walk between St Radigunds Street and Barton Mill could provide an attractive and safe cycle route into the city centre. The potential usage would be fully realised with links to the major residential areas of Hales Place Estate and Brymore Road area.

The factors affecting the various sections of the route are as follows:

St Radigunds Street to Kingsmead Road

The width of the path was widened to 1.5 metres in 1995 to cater for the large numbers of pedestrians leaving the coach park. However in order to safely accommodate cyclists and pedestrians, the path would require widening to 3 metres. Where the path passes under Kingsmead Road the path narrows to 1.0 metre. This is far from ideal, and a more suitable route would be to cross to the north side of the river using the footbridge to the leisure centre (parapet heights would need to be raised to permit cycling) and create a cycle path adjacent to the rear access to the leisure centre. A Toucan crossing would provide a better at-grade alternative to the under-bridge and this should be a requirement under any future redevelopment plans of the Kingsmead stadium site.

From section 8.6.1 of the Canterbury Walking and Cycling Strategy (2003)

Present state of the route

There is a (pedestrian-only) footpath (photo) running from the Mill Lane car park along the right (south) bank of the Stour to Sainsburys car park on Kingsmead road. For the most part, this path is adequately wide, but is constricted (photo) where it passes the Lilliput nursery school.

A relatively new footbridge takes the route to the left (north) bank of the river (photo). The path passes under the Kingsmead Bridge; the track here is relatively narrow and, at 2.10m high, (photo) only just high enough to allow cycling.

Aside: this illustrates a lack of joined-up thinking in the past: it would have cost very little extra, when the bridge was constructed, to have allowed for a wider, taller passageway under the bridge.)

Funding, sponsors and supporters

Funding for this route is implied (but not guaranteed) by the Green Corridors priority list (see above) adopted by CCC in Nov 2009.

The S106 agreement entered into as part of Planning Application CA//06/00472 (described here) allocates some £15k for refurbishment of the underpass, including the installation of lighting.

Next move

Section 6.5.2 of the Open Space Strategy 2009-2014 states that:

There will be an Annual Open Space conference when action plan progress and delivery of the performance indicators can be reviewed with stakeholders. This will then feed into the annual update of the action plan via the appropriate committee within Canterbury City Council. They will provide an opportunity for adjusting tasks within the action plans.