Country park cyclist invasion fears over Olympic path scheme

Echo: Angry – David Hurrell by the path he says will become a main thoroughfare for cyclists Angry – David Hurrell by the path he says will become a main thoroughfare for cyclists

RESIDENTS are concerned plans to widena popular path at Hadleigh Country Parkwill see an influx of cyclists.

In August 2012, Hadleigh Farm hosted Olympic mountain bike events which attracted more than 40,000 spectators over two days.

Piggery Lane will be closed for five days from Monday, as works begin to resurface and widen the path.

The works are part of the Olympic legacy project which will see the area revamped – opening to the public next March.

The 2m path will be widened in places to 2.5m and the gravel path hardened to make it easier for wheelchair users and pushchairs to use.

But residents are concerned the improvements will encourage more cyclists to use it.

David Hurrell, 59, of Willow Walk, Hadleigh, said: “This pathway is historic. It’s beautiful.

Dog walkers love it. It’s a haven for wildlife and billowing with wildlife.

“They’re putting a surface down that will be ideal for mountain bikers.

“Changing it will appeal to the cyclist and, to all intents and purposes, it will become a main road for anyone coming from the Southend side. They will come down Castle Lane and Piggery Lane.

“This will becomeamain thoroughfare for the thousand of cyclists Essex County Council said will use this site. I’m keen on wildlife and I’m very keen our community is not shafted.”

The county council, which is overseeing the Olympic legacy, says the works will improve the path, which is sometimes impassable for four months in bad weather.

The shrub and trees alongside the path will remain and the surface will be identical to the new surfaced trails in the park.

Mountain biker Pete Shrimplin, 48, from Eastwood, said: “It’s a great thing for cyclists. The works at Hadleigh are fantastic for the area and will put Hadleigh on the map.

“The path is great for everyone.

It’s not just for hardcore mountain cyclists.

“It’s shared space for walkers, the leisure cyclist and children.

If it means more cyclists, that can only be good.” A county council spokesman said: “Residents have been consulted on all aspects of the redevelopment, including Piggery Lane.

“Piggery Lane is a key trail which will nowalloweasy access for pedestrians, cyclists, people with push chairs, wheelchair users and those with mobility issues.

“The only visual changes will be an improved surface and wider path to accommodate an increase in visitors.

“These minor changes will make the path more accessible, safer and will ensure visitors are able to use it all year round.”

SINCE the Olympics, the Essex Legacy and Active Essex teams at Essex County Council have been working to preserve the sporting legacy.

A number of redevelopments have taken place at Hadleigh country park, preparing for its official opening next March.

In March, work began on a centre at the park which will be the first thing visitors experience when they enter, whether they are cycling, walking, visiting the castle or just exploring the green space.

The hub will host a cafe, bike shop, bike workshop, ranger’s offices and a multiuse classroom.

There will also be a 400- space car park, ensuring easy access for visitors, and an outdoor children’s play area and seating.

As well as the hub, the Olympic mountain bike course is being adapted and maintained for all to use when the park opens next year.

Comments (20)

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8:33am Thu 10 Jul 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

No one was complaining when the road, Castle Road was widened for more cars.
No one was complaining when the road, Castle Road was widened for more cars. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: -7

10:23am Thu 10 Jul 14

Howard Cháse says...

Don't worry walkers there will still be plenty of room for you all to empty your dogs.
Don't worry walkers there will still be plenty of room for you all to empty your dogs. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 0

10:44am Thu 10 Jul 14

Kim Gandy says...

As usual, the cynics descend.

I'm with the residents. It's all very well people from outside the area dictating what you can and can't like, think, say and do but the residents are the ones that will have to live with it.

Same thing happened at Crays Hill, when I lived there. The villagers were subjected to a barrage of abuse from people who didn't live in the area every time they complained about anything.

This area is beautiful, it is one Essex's jewels and should be preserved for future generations to enjoy, not have hundreds of lycra clad cycling fanatics whizzing past.

And not everybody walks their dogs. Some people just enjoy the area for its tranquil beauty. I have spent hours walking around the Hadleigh/Benfleet creek area and it really is outstanding.

There has to be somewhere we can be safe from wheels of any sort.

Oh and widening a public highway isn't quite the same as disturbing the peace and quiet of the countryside, one of the few refuges we have left, to escape the hurly burly.
As usual, the cynics descend. I'm with the residents. It's all very well people from outside the area dictating what you can and can't like, think, say and do but the residents are the ones that will have to live with it. Same thing happened at Crays Hill, when I lived there. The villagers were subjected to a barrage of abuse from people who didn't live in the area every time they complained about anything. This area is beautiful, it is one Essex's jewels and should be preserved for future generations to enjoy, not have hundreds of lycra clad cycling fanatics whizzing past. And not everybody walks their dogs. Some people just enjoy the area for its tranquil beauty. I have spent hours walking around the Hadleigh/Benfleet creek area and it really is outstanding. There has to be somewhere we can be safe from wheels of any sort. Oh and widening a public highway isn't quite the same as disturbing the peace and quiet of the countryside, one of the few refuges we have left, to escape the hurly burly. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 11

11:15am Thu 10 Jul 14

pembury53 says...

“They’re putting a surface down that will be ideal for mountain bikers" ....... david hurrel, you couldn't be more wrong ! piggery lane, as it stands, is no obstacle to a mountain bike, its a joy to ride along, and easily negotiable in all weathers, in fact some cyclists are uneasy that many of these trails throughout the park are being overly 'sanatised' which will make them far more attractive to walkers, often with dogs, than mountain bikes..... overall, i'm in favour of the legacy project, but unless there are proper plans for segregation, there is already a significant potential for accidents, and endless confrontations...
“They’re putting a surface down that will be ideal for mountain bikers" ....... david hurrel, you couldn't be more wrong ! piggery lane, as it stands, is no obstacle to a mountain bike, its a joy to ride along, and easily negotiable in all weathers, in fact some cyclists are uneasy that many of these trails throughout the park are being overly 'sanatised' which will make them far more attractive to walkers, often with dogs, than mountain bikes..... overall, i'm in favour of the legacy project, but unless there are proper plans for segregation, there is already a significant potential for accidents, and endless confrontations... pembury53
  • Score: -3

11:56am Thu 10 Jul 14

Howard Cháse says...

Been riding bikes around that area for decades. Not all off road cyclists are loud, foul mouthed inconsiderate yobbos you know. Some of us actually ride with a lot of care and consideration for other park users.
Been riding bikes around that area for decades. Not all off road cyclists are loud, foul mouthed inconsiderate yobbos you know. Some of us actually ride with a lot of care and consideration for other park users. Howard Cháse
  • Score: -12

12:31pm Thu 10 Jul 14

CarnMountification says...

Progress has a cost, we cannot live in the past, thus the path needs to be wider, and needs to be tarmaced to withstand the extra thoroughfare.
Progress has a cost, we cannot live in the past, thus the path needs to be wider, and needs to be tarmaced to withstand the extra thoroughfare. CarnMountification
  • Score: -6

12:33pm Thu 10 Jul 14

landydave says...

The grey paths are not that exciting to ride on so i doubt very much that you will get a huge amount of "fanatics" riding them. There are a few people in every user group who will go out of their way to make it difficult for other people. for example, the dog walker I witnessed in Hockley woods placing logs across paths and snapping tree branches so that they hung at chest height across a path. when confronted he tried to explain that bikes werent allowed in Hockley or any of the woods for that matter. I dont think criminal damage is allowed in any woods either!
There are a few cyclists who should really learn to be more polite to others and slow down when they see a walker or a group but these tend to be few and far between.

Ive stopped and talked to a lot of walkers in the country park and most of them seem to be a sociable bunch. As i said above, there are a few that arent so nice but that's just people for you.

I think the paths should be extended back to benfleet station and on to Leigh as well! that would be great for commuting. i'd be more tempted to get off the train a stop early and ride :)
The grey paths are not that exciting to ride on so i doubt very much that you will get a huge amount of "fanatics" riding them. There are a few people in every user group who will go out of their way to make it difficult for other people. for example, the dog walker I witnessed in Hockley woods placing logs across paths and snapping tree branches so that they hung at chest height across a path. when confronted he tried to explain that bikes werent allowed in Hockley or any of the woods for that matter. I dont think criminal damage is allowed in any woods either! There are a few cyclists who should really learn to be more polite to others and slow down when they see a walker or a group but these tend to be few and far between. Ive stopped and talked to a lot of walkers in the country park and most of them seem to be a sociable bunch. As i said above, there are a few that arent so nice but that's just people for you. I think the paths should be extended back to benfleet station and on to Leigh as well! that would be great for commuting. i'd be more tempted to get off the train a stop early and ride :) landydave
  • Score: -3

2:02pm Thu 10 Jul 14

andy:) says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
As usual, the cynics descend. I'm with the residents. It's all very well people from outside the area dictating what you can and can't like, think, say and do but the residents are the ones that will have to live with it. Same thing happened at Crays Hill, when I lived there. The villagers were subjected to a barrage of abuse from people who didn't live in the area every time they complained about anything. This area is beautiful, it is one Essex's jewels and should be preserved for future generations to enjoy, not have hundreds of lycra clad cycling fanatics whizzing past. And not everybody walks their dogs. Some people just enjoy the area for its tranquil beauty. I have spent hours walking around the Hadleigh/Benfleet creek area and it really is outstanding. There has to be somewhere we can be safe from wheels of any sort. Oh and widening a public highway isn't quite the same as disturbing the peace and quiet of the countryside, one of the few refuges we have left, to escape the hurly burly.
I agree it is a jewel of Essex and should be preserved..and enjoyable for all, whether walking or riding on a bike. If you ead the report it is NOT being built for cyclists, just widened and given a hard standing.

Ever since the Olympic Legacy plans were announced there have beencomments from moaning Nimbys, the legacy so far has been new cycling clubs and shops, increased business and employment, many people getting involved with cycling, better fitness, friendships made, etc..it is hard to find any negatives but still people try and come out with dumb comments
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: As usual, the cynics descend. I'm with the residents. It's all very well people from outside the area dictating what you can and can't like, think, say and do but the residents are the ones that will have to live with it. Same thing happened at Crays Hill, when I lived there. The villagers were subjected to a barrage of abuse from people who didn't live in the area every time they complained about anything. This area is beautiful, it is one Essex's jewels and should be preserved for future generations to enjoy, not have hundreds of lycra clad cycling fanatics whizzing past. And not everybody walks their dogs. Some people just enjoy the area for its tranquil beauty. I have spent hours walking around the Hadleigh/Benfleet creek area and it really is outstanding. There has to be somewhere we can be safe from wheels of any sort. Oh and widening a public highway isn't quite the same as disturbing the peace and quiet of the countryside, one of the few refuges we have left, to escape the hurly burly.[/p][/quote]I agree it is a jewel of Essex and should be preserved..and enjoyable for all, whether walking or riding on a bike. If you ead the report it is NOT being built for cyclists, just widened and given a hard standing. Ever since the Olympic Legacy plans were announced there have beencomments from moaning Nimbys, the legacy so far has been new cycling clubs and shops, increased business and employment, many people getting involved with cycling, better fitness, friendships made, etc..it is hard to find any negatives but still people try and come out with dumb comments andy:)
  • Score: -9

2:03pm Thu 10 Jul 14

andy:) says...

pembury53 wrote:
“They’re putting a surface down that will be ideal for mountain bikers" ....... david hurrel, you couldn't be more wrong ! piggery lane, as it stands, is no obstacle to a mountain bike, its a joy to ride along, and easily negotiable in all weathers, in fact some cyclists are uneasy that many of these trails throughout the park are being overly 'sanatised' which will make them far more attractive to walkers, often with dogs, than mountain bikes..... overall, i'm in favour of the legacy project, but unless there are proper plans for segregation, there is already a significant potential for accidents, and endless confrontations...
Indeed, many cyclists avoid the newly created routes as they are simply to santised and similar to riding along the road.
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: “They’re putting a surface down that will be ideal for mountain bikers" ....... david hurrel, you couldn't be more wrong ! piggery lane, as it stands, is no obstacle to a mountain bike, its a joy to ride along, and easily negotiable in all weathers, in fact some cyclists are uneasy that many of these trails throughout the park are being overly 'sanatised' which will make them far more attractive to walkers, often with dogs, than mountain bikes..... overall, i'm in favour of the legacy project, but unless there are proper plans for segregation, there is already a significant potential for accidents, and endless confrontations...[/p][/quote]Indeed, many cyclists avoid the newly created routes as they are simply to santised and similar to riding along the road. andy:)
  • Score: -3

3:12pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Caber1984 says...

If it's a footpath then cyclists aren't allowed to use it. If it's not a footpath and bicycles are allowed to use, it then stop trying to cloak your selfishness with the 'I care for the environment' argument.
If it's a footpath then cyclists aren't allowed to use it. If it's not a footpath and bicycles are allowed to use, it then stop trying to cloak your selfishness with the 'I care for the environment' argument. Caber1984
  • Score: -2

4:01pm Thu 10 Jul 14

jxr says...

I know it's a massive cliche, but why can't we all just get along?

Why does one group of people always think they're better, or more important, than another group. Ramblers, cyclists, dog walkers - there's room for all, as long as everyone shows a bit of common courtesy and respect for other people.

It's actually quite depressing really that some people are so insular and selfish that it is impossible for them to show any empathy to anyone who is not a part of their own little 'gang'.
I know it's a massive cliche, but why can't we all just get along? Why does one group of people always think they're better, or more important, than another group. Ramblers, cyclists, dog walkers - there's room for all, as long as everyone shows a bit of common courtesy and respect for other people. It's actually quite depressing really that some people are so insular and selfish that it is impossible for them to show any empathy to anyone who is not a part of their own little 'gang'. jxr
  • Score: -3

4:36pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

That name sounds familiar. Almost certain was something to do with the vandalising of the KM signpost along the seafront!
That name sounds familiar. Almost certain was something to do with the vandalising of the KM signpost along the seafront! Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 0

5:17pm Thu 10 Jul 14

sesibollox says...

Good for motocross over there.
Good for motocross over there. sesibollox
  • Score: -7

6:03pm Thu 10 Jul 14

jxr says...

Keptquiettillnow wrote:
That name sounds familiar. Almost certain was something to do with the vandalising of the KM signpost along the seafront!
Put the name "David Hurrell" into the Echo search box. He's a serial complainer who will moan about anything and everything. The Echo wheel him out everytime something vaguey contoversial happens anywhere near Hadleigh.
[quote][p][bold]Keptquiettillnow[/bold] wrote: That name sounds familiar. Almost certain was something to do with the vandalising of the KM signpost along the seafront![/p][/quote]Put the name "David Hurrell" into the Echo search box. He's a serial complainer who will moan about anything and everything. The Echo wheel him out everytime something vaguey contoversial happens anywhere near Hadleigh. jxr
  • Score: -4

6:22pm Thu 10 Jul 14

jxr says...

and he looks like Brian Badonde.
and he looks like Brian Badonde. jxr
  • Score: -2

7:45pm Thu 10 Jul 14

pembury53 says...

landydave wrote:
The grey paths are not that exciting to ride on so i doubt very much that you will get a huge amount of "fanatics" riding them. There are a few people in every user group who will go out of their way to make it difficult for other people. for example, the dog walker I witnessed in Hockley woods placing logs across paths and snapping tree branches so that they hung at chest height across a path. when confronted he tried to explain that bikes werent allowed in Hockley or any of the woods for that matter. I dont think criminal damage is allowed in any woods either!
There are a few cyclists who should really learn to be more polite to others and slow down when they see a walker or a group but these tend to be few and far between.

Ive stopped and talked to a lot of walkers in the country park and most of them seem to be a sociable bunch. As i said above, there are a few that arent so nice but that's just people for you.

I think the paths should be extended back to benfleet station and on to Leigh as well! that would be great for commuting. i'd be more tempted to get off the train a stop early and ride :)
what a w****r that dog walker is.... with a bit of luck a group of cyclists will witness that and kick the fuuck out of him, i would definately join in
[quote][p][bold]landydave[/bold] wrote: The grey paths are not that exciting to ride on so i doubt very much that you will get a huge amount of "fanatics" riding them. There are a few people in every user group who will go out of their way to make it difficult for other people. for example, the dog walker I witnessed in Hockley woods placing logs across paths and snapping tree branches so that they hung at chest height across a path. when confronted he tried to explain that bikes werent allowed in Hockley or any of the woods for that matter. I dont think criminal damage is allowed in any woods either! There are a few cyclists who should really learn to be more polite to others and slow down when they see a walker or a group but these tend to be few and far between. Ive stopped and talked to a lot of walkers in the country park and most of them seem to be a sociable bunch. As i said above, there are a few that arent so nice but that's just people for you. I think the paths should be extended back to benfleet station and on to Leigh as well! that would be great for commuting. i'd be more tempted to get off the train a stop early and ride :)[/p][/quote]what a w****r that dog walker is.... with a bit of luck a group of cyclists will witness that and kick the fuuck out of him, i would definately join in pembury53
  • Score: -8

9:07pm Thu 10 Jul 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Its not a good all weather surface now, i went through this afternoon after some rain, add a few more days worth and it will get muddy, the greenery is growing fast and the actual track is very narrow in places now, its a good thing this path is getting widened and a better surface put down, the improvements in the area are fantastic, the new tracks are a great ride i been on most of them some parts are thrilling you need to go round again,understandably the profession downhill jumps/rock sections are out of bounds and they look lethal in the wrong hands, will be superb once its all up and running, easy to spend 2 hours over there, never come across a grumpy dog walker over there yet OR a nutcase dog on the loose and i must add rarely see a pile of turd either locals tend to look after the area most say Hello and i think the regular walkers are getting used to seeing more MTB'ers going through, we can work in harmony and appear to be already, i also take in the wildlife whilst riding through and stopping at the top taking it in, very lucky to have this our my doorstep, loving it and so is all the other bikers i briefly spoke to, we are a friendly bunch with 1 thing in common, if i see you over there David i will say hi, we want the same thing we don't want it ruined.
Its not a good all weather surface now, i went through this afternoon after some rain, add a few more days worth and it will get muddy, the greenery is growing fast and the actual track is very narrow in places now, its a good thing this path is getting widened and a better surface put down, the improvements in the area are fantastic, the new tracks are a great ride i been on most of them some parts are thrilling you need to go round again,understandably the profession downhill jumps/rock sections are out of bounds and they look lethal in the wrong hands, will be superb once its all up and running, easy to spend 2 hours over there, never come across a grumpy dog walker over there yet OR a nutcase dog on the loose and i must add rarely see a pile of turd either locals tend to look after the area most say Hello and i think the regular walkers are getting used to seeing more MTB'ers going through, we can work in harmony and appear to be already, i also take in the wildlife whilst riding through and stopping at the top taking it in, very lucky to have this our my doorstep, loving it and so is all the other bikers i briefly spoke to, we are a friendly bunch with 1 thing in common, if i see you over there David i will say hi, we want the same thing we don't want it ruined. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: -3

10:12pm Thu 10 Jul 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

andy:) wrote:
pembury53 wrote:
“They’re putting a surface down that will be ideal for mountain bikers" ....... david hurrel, you couldn't be more wrong ! piggery lane, as it stands, is no obstacle to a mountain bike, its a joy to ride along, and easily negotiable in all weathers, in fact some cyclists are uneasy that many of these trails throughout the park are being overly 'sanatised' which will make them far more attractive to walkers, often with dogs, than mountain bikes..... overall, i'm in favour of the legacy project, but unless there are proper plans for segregation, there is already a significant potential for accidents, and endless confrontations...
Indeed, many cyclists avoid the newly created routes as they are simply to santised and similar to riding along the road.
i don't avoid them, ok the grey route towards Benfleet is no real fun, but its still a route that can be used 12months of the year, the 'yellow' routes/trail actually on the track areas are very good.
[quote][p][bold]andy:)[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: “They’re putting a surface down that will be ideal for mountain bikers" ....... david hurrel, you couldn't be more wrong ! piggery lane, as it stands, is no obstacle to a mountain bike, its a joy to ride along, and easily negotiable in all weathers, in fact some cyclists are uneasy that many of these trails throughout the park are being overly 'sanatised' which will make them far more attractive to walkers, often with dogs, than mountain bikes..... overall, i'm in favour of the legacy project, but unless there are proper plans for segregation, there is already a significant potential for accidents, and endless confrontations...[/p][/quote]Indeed, many cyclists avoid the newly created routes as they are simply to santised and similar to riding along the road.[/p][/quote]i don't avoid them, ok the grey route towards Benfleet is no real fun, but its still a route that can be used 12months of the year, the 'yellow' routes/trail actually on the track areas are very good. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 1

8:05am Fri 11 Jul 14

jxr says...

jxr wrote:
Keptquiettillnow wrote:
That name sounds familiar. Almost certain was something to do with the vandalising of the KM signpost along the seafront!
Put the name "David Hurrell" into the Echo search box. He's a serial complainer who will moan about anything and everything. The Echo wheel him out everytime something vaguey contoversial happens anywhere near Hadleigh.
He also has about 10 Echo accounts so that he can 'thumbs down' all the comments he doesn't like. Too much time on his hands perhaps?
[quote][p][bold]jxr[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Keptquiettillnow[/bold] wrote: That name sounds familiar. Almost certain was something to do with the vandalising of the KM signpost along the seafront![/p][/quote]Put the name "David Hurrell" into the Echo search box. He's a serial complainer who will moan about anything and everything. The Echo wheel him out everytime something vaguey contoversial happens anywhere near Hadleigh.[/p][/quote]He also has about 10 Echo accounts so that he can 'thumbs down' all the comments he doesn't like. Too much time on his hands perhaps? jxr
  • Score: -4

9:07pm Wed 16 Jul 14

jolllyboy says...

Bikes and walkers dont mix - we know cos they ride on the pavements anyway.
Hadleigh country park is becoming a park only not a country park. I have seen cyclist riding right over on Hadleigh castle despite the notice saying no cyclists and no dogs. One dog jumped up at my relative - the first thing we were asked was did he bite you err. if a dog is liable to bite you keep it on a lead. And its no dogs at the actual castle. You cant go anywhere now without dogs poo or bikes. Where is the healthy lifestyle.
Lycra Louts
Doggie doos
both have no consideration for walkers. and where is all the hedging and trees going ? it used to be super there.
Bikes and walkers dont mix - we know cos they ride on the pavements anyway. Hadleigh country park is becoming a park only not a country park. I have seen cyclist riding right over on Hadleigh castle despite the notice saying no cyclists and no dogs. One dog jumped up at my relative - the first thing we were asked was did he bite you err. if a dog is liable to bite you keep it on a lead. And its no dogs at the actual castle. You cant go anywhere now without dogs poo or bikes. Where is the healthy lifestyle. Lycra Louts Doggie doos both have no consideration for walkers. and where is all the hedging and trees going ? it used to be super there. jolllyboy
  • Score: -2
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