No, nothing whatsoever to do with educational technology but I fancy writing about something else. It’s the first day of spring, (and a nice one at that) and while I’m supposed to be panicking about completing my thesis, I had a far better idea. I thought I’d wheel out my “proper” bike and shake off some of the winter dust it’s been accumulating. I set off down the Cycle route which leads out of Lincoln, through Skellingthorpe, and on to Harby, with the idea of doing a 2o mile loop around Lincoln. The first part is a disused railway line, which I had thought was pretty much abandoned after Harby. However, when I got there , I noticed that the fence that separated the cycle track from the railway was gone, and a brand new trackbed had been laid. Ever inquisitive I followed it and discovered that it now runs all the way to Fledborough Viaduct, (pictured) a rather impressive structure which carried the railway across the Trent and miraculously appears to have escaped demolition.
The viaduct itself is still blocked off, but work is clearly going on to re-open it. Which is much needed as the only way to get across the Trent in those parts is by using the Toll Bridge at Dunham a mile or so to the North. If you’re on a bike, that’s not much fun as you have to ride down the very busy A57 for a few miles either side to get to it. Clearly the work isn’t finished – there are no ramps up to the roads that cross the new cycle route as yet, and while the track bed is perfectly rideable, I think it will need a more rainproof surface in the long term. All this may explain why there’s been hardly a mention of it in the local press so far. While in truth it’s not the most scenic, or photogenic of routes, it is going to be a fantastic facility for local people. I don’t know how far the plan is to extend the line on the other side of the river, but apart from a short section through Lincoln itself, it’s now possible to have a traffic free ride from Kirkstead Bridge to Fledborough – which I guess to be about 20 miles. And, I’m very pleased to see our industrial heritage being re-used in this way so credit to Nottinghamshire County Council for pushing this through.