Friday, 12 March 2010

The Five Pound Note Bridge

Here's a view of the Five Pound Note Bridge, Darlington's iconic bridge over which Locomotion 1 travelled, a sketch of which appeared on one version of the £5 note, that you don't often see. No, not because I'm in the picture! It's because the archway to the left of the photo is usually bricked up, so it's normally a tortuous scramble to get to this point.

For my cycling readers, by the way, that's the arch through which the proposed cycle path running parallel to North Road right into the town centre will pass, if the Council ever manage to purchase a strip of land owned by Magnet, which is 100 metres further on downstream.

Fred and I were there because we'd been told that the wall across the archway had been removed and a temporary metal gate erected to replace the brick wall had been thrown into the river. And indeed it has. We have yet to find out why the wall was removed.

The main gas pumping station for the town is away to my left and two huge gas pipes cross the river at this point, while other smaller pipes carry the gas north and south along the riverside. You can hear the gas wooshing along the pipes.

This is a little corner of Darlington that most people don't see. Sadly, evidence of serious drug taking lies spread across the ground. It'll take a lot of effort to turn this stretch into a cycle path, but, if the money's there, it'll certainly be worth it.

1 comment:

miketually said...

Getting that cycle path completed will make it possible to get into town without riding on a main road for a huge number of people.

However, the presence of the path must not become a reason to not make North Road itself more cycle friendly.

That path will be great for a pootle to the shops on a weekend, but for riding home from work in the dark or when it's icy? No thanks!

There's still a reluctance to take road space away from motor vehicles, but this is what's needed.

When we do get the infrastructure on/by the main roads it needs to be gritted in the winter, if we're ever going to get people using bikes for transport regularly; I had a lovely slide on black ice in front of Bannatyne's gym on Haughton Road on the ungritted cycle path.