On to the longest cross town West-East routes for Grey taking in Broadstone on the way. My Strava links show its a 53 minute ride in total. You could do it quicker as I timed these at everyday riding pace. There are only a couple more routes to write up and in the New Year theres a new design coming, friends are putting together a unique overall map which we will be using to promote active travel and increase cycling in the Bournemouth and Poole area. Presently Im booking in workplaces for led bike rides the first of which came in today for January, exciting times, will be using the whole Routes vs Queues template to show people these choices so do feedback please on the posts in this blog. Lets get on to the bike.
We could measure this between Poole- Broadstone as a 5.5 km link
Broadstone – Kinson (Bear Cross) 7.4 km link
then Kinson- University 4.9 km link
or a total 17.8 km which at the University end links 3 other routes.
Leaving Poole town alongside Holes Bay road I’m happy to say this is likely the best segregated cycle route on the map, wide with a decent surface you are on the Sustrans route 25 which leads onto the Castleman Trailway eventually to Moors Valley and beyond. Engineers had plenty space on this build past Fleetsbridge and then crossing Broadstone way to join the old railway, familiar scenery to anyone who used Sustrans routes before and incredibly popular recreational line. As always on the gravel this can get mucky in the winter rain, and the gradient is that subtle railway engineers slope that dosent look changing but is actually gently uphill all the way if you took it to Wimbourne where the trains used to operate on the days of Dorset and Somerset railway. Super route which is unlikely to change, Often on reflection I do wonder what might happen if the Government changed agenda and started rebuilding Sustrans routes into the railways that were axed by Beeching, instead of the ridiculous road building plans, we needn’t worry about that happening for a while though. Youll pass under Broadstone itself at the delightful roundabout and carry on the gravel past the old goods yard site of the Leisure Centre now, wiggling around to get back on the old track bed. After just under 2000 metres Delph woods is on the right and just after a bench the path drops down through the woods and onto the minor road which links Gravel hill to the Delph Cricket Ground. Choosing this way is far preferable to riding gravel hill up from Darbys corner which is unpleasant even for hardened road riders. Reaching the main road shortly traffic lights control youre exit across to A341 Queen Anne drive signed to Bournemouth. We are actually passing the whole of Canford Heath now which does omit Bridleways and good dirt riding, its a massively popular Mountain biking area that deserves it own guide- hence the way I’m leaving it out here from the routes map. A wide road here with varying traffic volumes, it isn’t cycle marked but theres plenty of room and undulates along to Bear Cross roundabout. Being transparent about this choice Ill say I use this as a fast on road route back to North Bournemouth, which is superior to using Canford Heath road which is both narrower and has inadequate cycle path often less than a metre wide and featured on the Council cycle map. Navigating back south at Bear Cross roundabout you enter a section of new cycle path alongside Ringwood road, this was L.S.T.F funded, (Local Sustainable Transport Funding 2012-2015) in the same fashion as Castle Lane work its just over a kilometre in length built in a place where space permits, these features may never persuade people to start cycle commuting as they are so short, at least we have them now in preference to fast arterial roads. Subject is very contemporary and I’m sure I dont need to direct you to the thousands of cycle campaigners and blogging writing books about all of these changes to the built environment. Well worth a mention though is the excellent ‘Roads were not made for Cars’ by Carlton Reid, documenting the whole evolution of roads from the pre motoring turnpike age to present day. Turning left into Turbary park avenue and passing that green space you’ll reach Kinson proper and a back route via Kingsbere road, Columbia Trees road and into Slades Farm where the Bournemouth Cycling Centre is located. Talbot woods is the border onto Wallisdown road and the central hub of Bournemouth University. With many people living near this route in the main housing, there may be some of you surprised how enjoyable this route is.