Did you know that one of the National Cycle Network routes passes through Ashurst? It’s one of many that are designed to promote cycling by providing relatively safe roads and paths for people to ride on. The route comes from Lyndhurst along the soon to be resurfaced cycle path then heads down Holly Road. along Ashdene and out past Foxhills School.
Lots of people use the route and it takes you away from the fast traffic along the A35. However, a couple of years ago the Ashurst and Colbury Community Group instigated a review of the route, its signage and what additional cycling faciltites might be added to encourage more of us to cycle. The review showed that many of the signs were either incorrect, confusing, vandalised or all three! There was also a view, supported by the Parish Council (who, together with the ACCG produced a detailed report from the review) that an additional shared path should be created along the south side of the A35.
The New Forest National Park Authority was contacted and they agreed that there was a lot of room for improvement…. In particular the safety of campers leaving the campsite to cycle into Ashurst (to the Welcome Store in the main) was a concern and it was unclear where the shared path ends (at the junction of Holly Road). So a bid was made for the money to completely overhaul the signage, improve the campsite exit and create a new shared path along the A35.
The bid for signage improvement was approved but the Highways Authority refused the new path on the grounds that the existing footpath was too narrow and it would cost too much to widen it. There are ongoing discussions taking place about the route from the campsite.
The process has been very slow, as these things often are! But the ACCG has now been advised that the work to upgrade all the signs through the village should commence by the end of September.
The ACCG still thinks a cycle path along the south side of the A35 would be a good thing. If the idea is to be pursued we’d need to be able to show that there was support for the proposal by village residents so why not let us know what you think?