Trans Pennine Trail
I have recently had an interesting email discussion with the Chair of the TPT about tandems using - or failing to use - the Trail. This is because of the number of so-called Access Controls along the trail to stop motorbikes basically. If anyone is thinking of doing it along its length, then think again. We would have had to pass no fewer than 108 of these each way between Selby (our starting point) and Southport (the Western end). Having done a couple of other coast-to-coasts, this was to be our next one.
Has anyone managed this otherwise very interesting route on a tandem. And with what results ?
Anyone who would like copies of my exchange with the Chair of the TPT, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll copy you in. It is not all bad news...
CHRIS AND HELEN COBLEY (New Membes!)
Hi we had simialr issues on Sa to Sea some years ago with touring tandem anbd triplet (3 kids).
We are pallning to do the southern end of the Penine N-S route and Way of Roses C2C this year on Hase Pino (wide handlebars) so any infiormation re access control isssues on these routes would also be welcome.
Hard to beleive that cycle routes have such freq barriers for tandems!
I've ridden the bits around Manchester. The bit from Sale towards Liverpool isn't too bad on a tandem. We've ridden as far as Liverpool Airport. There are barriers, but many are the sort where you can get through slowly without needing to dismount (but with putting feet down). Going east is more problematic. I cycled to the Woodhead tunnels on my Mountain bike a couple of weeks back from Chorlton. The barriers going east seem to be narrower. I had problems with my handlebars and I'm sure that would also be the case for stoker bars. It is easier to miss out the bit through Stockport. I followed the fallowfield loop to Reddish and then cut onto the TPT. The Fallowfield loop has had many barriers removed.
I live in Lancashire and was on the opening day of the way of the Roses on a solo. I haven't ridden the rest of it.
From Morecambe prom it should be OK for the PINO . There is a level crossing on the first part of the Greenway Cycle Track that has spring loased gates but it should be ok if one of you holds the gate while you push the PINO through. The cycle track has odd bollards but they are widely Spaced.
After about a couple of miles there will be a diversion for the WofR. Unless you want to visit Lancaster it will be worth following it. It takes you to a complex traffic light crossing of a very busy junction which you will have to walk across. to access the shared path on the side of "The Bay Gateway" Don't be tempted to go on the carriageway as it has several nasty roundabouts. The shared path is quite good. At the other end it puts you back onto a cycle track up the lune vally to Crook o'Lune. Here you leave it up a hilly route. The first bit goes across a field which IIRC has two fairly narrow gates but if they are a problen you can get round by going up to the car park then up the road joining the route after anout 200 metres on a road to the right that looks like a private drive as it has gateposts.
If you do go through Lancaster there is an underpass that may be difficult as it has chicane barriers. you can get round it by going along the roadside path to a jundtion and crossing to a bit of a green park with the cycle path going out of the other end by the river.
For next year to Path will then be closed a short distance ahear with a signed diversion on footways beside a busy road. They will be OK to ride but the diversion earlier by the Bay Gateway is to avoid this. The local campaign group have been unsuccesfully resisting this 18 month closure of the cycle path
I've ridden the entire trail a couple of times and the section from Sale to Southport lots of times solo. My wife and I have ridden the Warrington to Southport section and back on a tandem a couple of times. From Sale onwards the gates really aren't a problem. I don't remember getting stuck in any of them with the tandem. The real problem is at Widnes where there are some terrible steps with barriers down each leg. It truly is a horrible thing to put on a cycle route. Even solo it's difficult but taking the tandem down them and even worse back up them fully laden is seriously difficult.
Most of the gates can either be ridden through slowly or navigated with a quick dismount. Even though they are a pain, don't let them put you off, the section of track through Liverpool really is quite lovely in places.