Bennerley Viaduct restoration plans: Sustrans decide not to make a second bid for HLF funding

Following the great disappointment at the decision last December by the Heritage Lottery Fund not to approve the Sustrans funding bid, despite the extensive support it attracted, there has now been further great disappointment, especially from the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct, at the news that Sustrans have decided, after careful consideration, not to resubmit a second funding bid to the HLF.

Below are the relevant statements from Sustrans and Railway Paths Limited, an associated organisation, as circulated on 8 February 2018 by Dave Clasby from Sustrans:-

“Sustrans have decided not to resubmit a second bid to HLF, as explained in these statements from Railway Paths Limited (RPL) and Sustrans . Sustrans and RPL have said that they now need to rethink their strategy as to how to bring this amazing structure back into use as a walking and cycling route.”

Railway Paths Limited’s statement on the future of the Bennerley Viaduct

“As the owner and custodian of the Bennerley Viaduct we were disappointed that a bid to restore and open up the viaduct as a walking and cycling route was not successful in winning a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. We are also disappointed that Sustrans will not be resubmitting the bid but understand the reasons behind the decision.

We remain committed to this viaduct and would like to see it opened as a walking and cycling route. The Railway Paths Limited Board is meeting next week and will be discussing options for the future of the viaduct together with Sustrans. We are keen to build on the local support for the viaduct that has been generated to date as we see this as being key to the successful development of the project.”

Will Haynes, Principal Officer of Railway Paths Limited

Sustrans’ statement on the future of the Bennerley Viaduct

“Sustrans has been working to restore and open up a multi-million pound project Bennerley Viaduct as a walking and cycling route for over three years. In August 2017, as part of this work, we applied for a large grant from Heritage Lottery Fund (HFL), for which we were turned down in December 2017.

Although the HLF board considered the project to be a strong one, the bid was not successful, as it was not considered to provide the same level of outcomes and values for money as competing applications. Despite the outcomes, the HLF said they would welcome a revised application.

In January 2018, after careful consideration, Sustrans made a decision not to re-submit the application in its current form to the HFL for the following reasons:

  • The financial risk to Sustrans posed by the match funding requirement of almost £2m.
  • The continued investment of staff and cash resources both in developing the re-submission and, if successful, the Stage 1 proposal.
  • Bennerley Viaduct is not part of the National Cycle Network which requires significant investment across the UK. We are currently reviewing the Network and identifying investment priorities which makes prioritising a large single site project that is not connected to the National Cycle Network hard to justify at this stage Sustrans is exploring a number of options for the future of the viaduct, working with the owner of Bennerley, Railway Paths Limited. We are committed to working with the local community and recognise their ongoing support as being key to the successful development of Bennerley”

Xavier Brice, CEO Sustrans.

Request for suggestions to Notts Police on location for ‘Close Pass’ campaign trials

At the Greater Nottm Cycling Development (CDG) meeting on 1 December 2017 Inspector Mark Whitaker of Notts Police asked for suggestions from Pedals members for further locations where they might trial a possible local West Midlands style ‘Close Pass’ campaign to tackle drivers who do not give enough space for cyclists. They have already done one trial on Wilford Lane, near the Harvest Wheatsheaf pub (and in fact on the bit of Wilford Lane with cycle paths, perhaps rather surprisingly) but now want other suggestions, taking account of various criteria they have including whey they have space to pull in drivers safely, etc., as well as where close passes are a particular problem for cyclists.

For more information contact:


Further information (6 Dec 2017) from Inspector Mark Whitaker on Possible Close Pass locations

It needs to be a road sufficiently clear of obstacles to provide a sufficient stretch where a clear close pass can occur and be observed and of appropriate length for observation of the approach, pass and then beyond that to wave down the vehicle into an off road parking area. It needs to be a location where the operation itself does not cause obstruction, or danger to road users/public by any reaction to it.

It needs an off road area, where the landowners permission might be obtained to set out the close pass mat, park police vehicles and park the vehicle of any motorist stopped.

Beyond that, as I mentioned the operation has so far chosen a road where the issues are clear cut and a driver cannot offer any mitigation for their actions. As said, persons who drive in such a way in these circumstances will likely drive at least as bad on other types of roads.

Clearly an operation that cannot be run on many roads that are being suggested, but I think the benefit is that it is being run. It is being publicised well to the public, which whilst raising the profile and educating, it also might increase compliance as you never know if the cyclist you are passing is an officer or not. It was also pleasing to hear the thought that the Op has assisted in Derbyshire deciding to also run such an initiative. With drivers crossing counties the positive actions of neighbours will also benefit in county.

I will continue to look through the suggestions and they are all valued, as if not an option for the op, I will be looking  to see if other resources, such as a mobile camera van cannot be brought to bear to influence in that area. I just hope I have not unduly raised expectations.



Pedals discusses Broadmarsh proposals with City Council

Keith Morgan of Nottingham City Council attended the 16/10/17 Pedals meeting to discuss the proposals for Broadmarsh redevelopment. Here are the key points:

Concerns and issues to consider:

  • Concerns that without segregation along Canal Street that with the level of buses, bus stops and car park access it will replicate Parliament Street, which is not seen as a good environment for cyclists.
  • Ensuring there is a clear north – south route for cyclists and show options:
    • Highlight you can’t cycle in the BM centre but there is a connection via Lister Gate
    • More detail for Middle Hill to see how this will work for cyclists
    • MMW should have a better connection at the Toll House Hill roundabout to connect northbound cyclists to Parliament Street (without needing to get into right hand lane)
    • Provision for cyclists heading south down Grey Friar Gate to get to Wilford Road which leads to wider connections to the south/south west
  • Concerns cycle connections will require a large number of stop start toucans and island hopping
  • A discussion should be had with NCP to see if secure parking can be provided in the Arndale
  • Provision to allow cyclists to get between Middle Hill and Trent Street

Pedals would like more information on:

  • Location of cycle parking
    • In the new bus station
    • On street
  • Location and number of bus stops
  • Number of buses which will be on Canal Street at peak times
  • Location of car park entrance
  • When the traffic switch will take place to remove traffic from Canal Street
  • Capacity of the new Broadmarsh car park

Incidentally, an item appeared in the 3 Nov Nottingham Evening Post on the dangers for cyclists in the Broadmarsh area.

Image: Mark Fear, Nottingham Evening Post

Have your say on improving the A52 Dunkirk to QMC cycle route

Highways England is planning to improve the A52 Dunkirk to Queens Medical centre (west side) cycle route.

This section of pedestrian and cycle path is one of the busiest on Highways England’s roads in the East Midlands. Highways England would value your feedback – “sharing your views will provide us with valuable insight to inform our detailed design. Please have your say by 30 November 2017.”

Highways England have launched an online feedback tool that allows the local community to share their views about how Highways England can improve the west side cycle and pedestrian path.

The Most Dangerous Roads for Cyclists in Nottingham – What You Told Us

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our recent survey, each giving us up to 3 locations in Greater Nottingham which they find particularly dangerous to use as cyclists.

Within 2 weeks over 150 responses were received, mainly from Pedals members, followed by readers of the Nottingham Post and West Bridgford Wire, and via @leftlion on Twitter. The 150 respondents collectively identified 54 danger points in total. Of these, 17 blackspots were mentioned at least 10 times. The 10 Most Dangerous areas were found to be:

  1. Trent Bridge
  2. Mansfield Road
  3. West Bridgford (many danger points)
  4. Broadmarsh, Canal St, Collin St area
  5. London Road (BBC rdbt to Trent Bridge)
  6. Lady Bay Bridge
  7. Lower Parliament St/ BBC Island
  8. Northern sections of Ring Road
  9. A610 Nuthall Road/ Alfreton Rd
  10. Any Road or cycleway shared with a tram line

A Pedals spokesperson said “Most of the people responding to the survey were clearly confident, experienced road users, using their bikes for commuting from all over the conurbation. We are alarmed at the depth of feeling expressed by many about the dangers on roads which Pedals has been seeking improvements for many years.” 

The problems most frequently cited occur when a confluence of roads forces cyclists into middle lanes squeezed by traffic on either side. These are pinch-points where vehicles deny cyclists space to switch lanes safely. This happens particularly on the southern side of Trent Bridge, at many points along Mansfield Road, and in all lanes around the Broadmarsh Car Park/Bus Station.

The survey is very much a wake-up call for Nottingham City Council and the County Council: most of the blackspots occur in locations which are not priorities in the City Cycling Ambition Plan and the south side of Trent Bridge isn’t even mentioned in the West Bridgford Cycle Network Strategy.

Pedals’ most imminent concern is the success with which cyclists needs are accommodated within the new plans for the Broadmarsh, Canal St, Collin St area.

  • Heading south on Radmarsh Rd as it crosses Derby Rd (drivers turning right across your path don't expect emerging cyclists and don't give priority resulting in fairly terrifying near misses)
  • London Road towards the BBC roundabout
  • Collin St/Canal St/Castle Blvd - The western corridor disappears just before the loop around broad marsh bus station.
  • Crossing from lady bay bridge onto meadow lane
  • Train station to West Bridgford is awful!
  • mansfield road past the forest
  • A60/a52 roundabout between west bridgford and ruddington
  • from trent bridge onto London road (into town) traversing lanes across the bridge
  • Mansfield road junction with Forest Road
  • Anywhere with a tram line
  • Junction Melton Road/Loughborough Road/Wilford Lane end of suspension bridge crossing to West Bridgford
  • Trent Bridge turning right from Radcliffe Road then having to cross over the traffic from the slip road in front of County Hall
  • A610 alfreton road bewteen intersection with gregory boulevard and aspley lane
  • Literally every junction with a "bike box" at the front, that you can't access because the road is too narrow and there are no bike lanes to get to them.
  • London road roundabout
  • Exiting the cycle superhighway in town. It just stops! Where are you supposed to go if you want to access, say, London Road end of Canal Street
  • Junction melton Road/Loughborough Rd/Wilford lane in West bridgford. Traffic in left lane on melton Rd should go left but only told this by paint on road surface which could be covered by a car.
  • A610 between ring road and phoenix park
  • Mansfield Road, between Sherwood shops and Hucknall Road junction inbound
  • London Rd & Crossing Trent Bridge in either direction
  • Loughborough Rd, Wilford Rd, Melton Rd junction. Particularly bad when approaching from Wilford Suspension Bridge - a major cycling route.
  • A60 Nottingham Knight Roundabout
  • The roundabout where the A606 Melton road crosses the A52
  • Ladybay bridge junction with meadow lane
  • Davies Road, West Bridgford - the horrendous bike path exit at the Radcliffe Road end and so many close passes in the morning because of the parked cars and people using it as a rat run
  • Machine Mart Corner
  • Castle Blvd/Castle Bridge Rd junction - heading west on Castle Blvd the lights go green for going straight (cars and cyclists) but stay red for turning left onto Castle Bridge Rd
  • Trent Bridge/London Road - Trent Bridge is horrible to cross on bike, but is the most direct route for most of west Bridgford. It's six-lanes wide, one of these should be converted into a cycle track, all the way into the city.
  • Newly created pedestrian island and right hand turning into new Llidl on carlton hill road leading to loss of cycle and bus lane - compressing the traffic into 1 lane
  • A60 Trent Bridge crossing from the West Bridgford side over towards the city. There's a merging lane of traffic coming from the left which cyclists must cross in order to get to the left hand lane.
  • Access to Phoenix Park from A610 westbound
  • Radcliffle Rd East bound from Trent Bridge to Regatta Way Junction
  • Canal Street / Collin Street

Growing menace of taxi abuse on Queen’s Bridge Road cycle route

Pedals is well aware of the increasing problem of abuse by taxi drivers with the Queen’s Bridge Road cycle route and we are pressing the City Council for urgent action to address it. We are also are very concerned about the poorly designed new taxi feeder lane (especially as we were not consulted on the plans) which may well make this an ongoing problem without the City Council modifying the layout and taking the dangers of increased conflict between cyclists and taxi drivers much more seriously!

To help tackle this menace it would be very helpful please for people to send details of continuing problems, including the number plates of taxis obstructing cyclists, to the City Council. Please send details to John Bann: Photos and video footage would also help them to take appropriate action.

Dec 1 Update:

John Bann from the City Council said yesterday said that the layout of the taxi feeder lane is to be modified, and that there will be some planting, and bollards, alongside the cycle path to deter cars waiting, along with painting of green markings and more cycle logos (when the weather is warm enough to do this), and the erection of signs to make divers more aware of the 30 mins free parking in the  Station multi-storey car park. Demolition work in the neighbouring (Unity Square) site by the railway should soon be finished, meaning an end for now at least to the extra nuisance of HGVs crossing.  As the Unity Square proposals for this site have not yet got detailed planning permission it will be a long time before HGVs start moving in again for the construction.

Sustrans Bennerley Viaduct project continues to attract wider support


Photo of the viaduct by Paul Atherley




On March 28 2017 the Nottingham Post published a double spread article which records the growing support and enthusiasm for the Sustrans Bennerley Viaduct restoration Project.

Pedals is one of several local groups involved in the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct working with Sustrans to restore this major structure between Ilkeston and Awsworth, with a walkway /cycleway over the top and linking to both sides of the Erewash Valley Trail, etc.

The exhibition they arranged this summer about their project in the Erewash Museum in Ilkeston attracted much interest, and included a model of the restored viaduct and its new links at both ends. This model is now being shown at other local venues.

As well as continuing a wide range of efforts to encourage local interest and support Sustrans are focusing on many other elements of preparing the first part of their main funding bid, to be submitted in mid-2017 to the Heritage Lottery Fund. The HLF have already funded two part-time posts as part of this long process.

Update of 13 Dec 2017 from Bill Tomson, Sustrans:

Just letting you know that unfortunately our bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund hasn’t been successful this time round. HLF say yesterday’s Board meeting was a highly competitive round of decision-making and that the current level of demand means they simply can’t support all the good heritage projects that apply to them.

As mentioned in my last email, we’ll be holding a Bennerley Viaduct Project partnership meeting at Awsworth Village Hall (NG16 2QQ) on Thursday 18th January 10:30am (note the slightly later start time). We’ll be discussing feedback on the bid and what we need to do in preparation for submitting again.

Best wishes
Bill Tomson | Network Development Officer
2 King Street, Nottingham, NG1 2AS


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