River path closure at Chippenham dismays cyclists

Cycling pals Derek Weaving, Bill Potter anbd Bob Tobin beside the closure notice

Cycling pals Derek Weaving, Bill Potter anbd Bob Tobin beside the closure notice

First published in News by

Cyclists and walkers in Chippenham are disappointed by the closure this week of the popular cycle path leading to Lacock.

Walkers, runners and cyclists using the North Wiltshire Rivers Route over the past week have been faced with a notice near Naish Hill stating the path would close on Tuesday.

Derek Weaving, of Monkton Park, has been using the path with a group of friends for around six years and was upset to discover their trips will have to end.

The 74-year-old said: “It is going to cause quite a bit of difficulty for some people and disappointment for others, including me.

“I have always been a keen cyclist, but now I will not be able to cycle to Lacock any more.

“There is a group of us who go cycling to Lacock about twice a month and we have been using the path since it opened about six years ago.

“There are about five of us, all elderly gentlemen, and we cycle along there to a pub for a pie and a pint.

“When we found out it was going to close we met up for one last cycle to say goodbye.

“I was shocked and quite angry when I read the sign, but it does not seem as if there is much I can do about it.”

The section of the path from Chippenham to Lacock is part of the longer Reading to Bath Sustrans route and Mr Weaving fears the whole route will have to be shut.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Council said that part of the path had to be closed because the lease expired. She said: “"The lease had already been extended on a temporary basis and that had run out.

"It could not be extended again so we are looking at alternative routes.

"We are in talks with landowners to see if we can use any land to re-open the path."

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:42pm Thu 3 Dec 09

Hugh Briss says...

This is an absolute disgrace and shows how low in the list of Wilts County Council priorities this sort of facility is (or how incompetent they are). I hope they're investigating the use of a compulsory purchase order.
The cycle path is also used as a means of getting to work in both directions and as a footpath.
Presumably the to-be-closed section is from Naish Hill to where it joins the footpath from Reybridge so it will still be possible to walk from Chippenham to Lacock.
This is an absolute disgrace and shows how low in the list of Wilts County Council priorities this sort of facility is (or how incompetent they are). I hope they're investigating the use of a compulsory purchase order. The cycle path is also used as a means of getting to work in both directions and as a footpath. Presumably the to-be-closed section is from Naish Hill to where it joins the footpath from Reybridge so it will still be possible to walk from Chippenham to Lacock. Hugh Briss
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Thu 3 Dec 09

lordbuckethead says...

Chippenham to Lacock cycle path is a pretty route but way too many gates to make it a practical cycle path.

Go via Mons Lane and then Easton lane. Arrive at Chippenham behind Methuen Park. Much quicker
Chippenham to Lacock cycle path is a pretty route but way too many gates to make it a practical cycle path. Go via Mons Lane and then Easton lane. Arrive at Chippenham behind Methuen Park. Much quicker lordbuckethead
  • Score: 0

9:07pm Thu 3 Dec 09

Paul Tucker says...

I understand (from someone who is or was the Sustrans warden for another local route) that the gates were put in at the insistence of the landowner. As he grazes sheep on these fields this seems a perfectly reasonable condition.
Maybe it's the number of people ignoring the request to close the gates that has led to this situation. In that case, I have some sympathy with the landowner.
Maybe someone could come up with the cycling equivalent of those gates you see on bridle paths.
I understand (from someone who is or was the Sustrans warden for another local route) that the gates were put in at the insistence of the landowner. As he grazes sheep on these fields this seems a perfectly reasonable condition. Maybe it's the number of people ignoring the request to close the gates that has led to this situation. In that case, I have some sympathy with the landowner. Maybe someone could come up with the cycling equivalent of those gates you see on bridle paths. Paul Tucker
  • Score: 0

10:05pm Thu 3 Dec 09

chippenhamged says...

It won't stop me from using it.
It won't stop me from using it. chippenhamged
  • Score: 0

11:22pm Thu 3 Dec 09

chippenhamged says...

and I do close the gates where appropriate.
and I do close the gates where appropriate. chippenhamged
  • Score: 0

9:44am Fri 4 Dec 09

medrith says...

Just because someone's put a sign up, doesn't mean we can't still use the path. What a bunch of jokers.
Just because someone's put a sign up, doesn't mean we can't still use the path. What a bunch of jokers. medrith
  • Score: 0

11:17am Fri 4 Dec 09

The Maxter says...

This is a real disappointment. That was a wonderful walk, loads of wildlife and peaceful. The Townsfolk of Chippenham are in danger of being pinned in by roads and private land. - The biggest open prison in Wiltshire?
This is a real disappointment. That was a wonderful walk, loads of wildlife and peaceful. The Townsfolk of Chippenham are in danger of being pinned in by roads and private land. - The biggest open prison in Wiltshire? The Maxter
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Fri 4 Dec 09

medrith says...

haha rational response The Maxter!
haha rational response The Maxter! medrith
  • Score: 0

10:10pm Fri 18 Dec 09

salvo1 says...

it is a disgrace
it is a disgrace salvo1
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree