Thursday, 31 July 2014

Washington to South Tyneside - Recent Developments

Been toying with putting this post together for a while, and KatsDekker from Newcycling spurred me into action.

Below are a few photos showing the highlights of the cycling facilities between along Pattinson Road in Washington and upto the A1290/A19 junction at Downhill Lane in South Tyneside, which makes up a few miles of my daily cycle commute. Whilst not completed and even end to end, the facilities makes the journey doable. Without it the route on roads would be so risky and nerve wracking that I would chuck in the towel.

The photos were taken SW to NE.

This is the start/end of the shared path along Pattinson way West from here, you need to mix it on an uphill drag for 1/2 mile on a busy rough road with cars, vans and LGVs. Quite unpleasant at peak times.

Washington has floating bus stops too. Just past the stop on the right is a Sainsbury's store with cycle parking stands right on the route which is handy for picking up essentials.

For a distance the C2C route runs along the shared path.As a scenic leisure route it is fine, but as a transport route along this stretch it is twisty, convoluted and has some badly surfaced sections, unlike the shared path, which is actually has a better surface than the road 

One of the typical crossing points on the shared path along Pattinson Way. In the distance is the roundabout at the junction with Barmston lane. If you are heading straight on, you need to mix with traffic across the A1231 junction. An very quiet alternative is to head right along Barmston lane, and then left around the back of the Asda depot.

Once round, there is a quiet bridge over the A1231, again you kiss the C2C route here, which heads off to Sunderland along the narrow path to the right of the photo by the bollard.

Once over the bridge, you can either keep left along the single track lane, or use this short 25m stretch of permissive path to join the new road leading from Turbine business park to the traffic lights 2 photos down.

If coming in the other direction and wanting to use the single track lane, then look for the narrow tree lined entrance marked by No Through road signs.

This is taken from the same position as the above photo. The Turbine park road joins up at the traffic lights. The path up Cherry Blossom way & to Nissan starts on the left at the lights, hop on to the path even though the shared path signs have not been installed yet.

Once around the junction, you can easily see the widened path, and the concrete blocks designed to stop LGVs from parking on the pavement. Most of the time this stretch of road is a linear truck park with inter-continental lorries parked nose to tail along the full length.

Cherry Blossom way swings east at this roundabout with gates to one of the Nissan pounds for new vehicles. There is a typical crossing here, where the shared path switches sides for the rest of the run up to the A1290.

Just before the A1290 (that's it in the distance at the roadworks) the wide shared path terminates at the Unipress factory entrance. The now narrow path continues up to the A1290 and around to the right.  

The photo above shows the narrow path, and where the newly widened path along the South side of the A1290 ends. I understand this is to be continued as a future phase around to Unipress. 
The shared path is unfinished and is still waiting for it's top dressing, and as you can see below is a bit rough. Still preferable to the seriously deadly A1290 for all but the most hardened road warrior though, and quite well used already.

Once past Nissan, head along the old Washington road past the Transport museum, and over the A19 pedestrian/cyclist bridge to Washington Road on the edge of Hylton. 
There are various works ongoing (July 14) heading east, but if you are heading north, there is another widened shared path which runs to the junction with the A1290  

Currently when you get to the A1290, you are confronted with this crap junction,which is being rebuilt currently. If heading North,you need to cross the junction into Downhill lane, and then jump onto the footpath to join the cycleway heading north. There's no dropped kerb to get from the road to the cycleway. It will be interesting to see what a mess South Tyneside Council make of the cycling provision

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