A while ago I e-mailed Devon County Council for an update on the Walkham viaduct. I waited patiently and received only a thundering silence as response.
Fortunately we have the Freedom of Information Act, which means if I asked the same questions as a Freedom of Information request they had to respond, and respond with a reasonable time frame, or be in breach of the law.
No prizes for guessing what I did next! And it worked – hurrah!
I asked when the viaduct would be completed. Naturally I was concerned that the project may after all have been shelved, but apparently not! Devon CC tells me it is due to open in January 2012. While that’s a tad further into the future than I would have preferred, it is a big project, and apparently that time scale includes sealing the iffy track surface between Old Station Road and the viaduct. Double woohoo!
Interestingly the viaduct has a new name: Gem Bridge! Perhaps not very imaginative, but the name isn’t all that important, now is it?
They also told me that a “mountain bike standard” cycle path is being planned from Tavistock to Bere Alston, following the course of the old railway track where possible. Although they couldn’t commit to a timescale, they did say it was possible for this track to open later this year.
Having that track open would mean a circular rail/cycle route would be in place. Starting at Plymouth, by rail to Bere Alston. From Bere Alston via the “mountain bike standard” track to Tavistock, and from there via Drake’s Trail to Yelverton, before returning to Plymouth via the Plym Valley Trail. That would be a very nice day out!
All I can say is well done Devon, and we eagerly await the final results!
3 thoughts on “Walkham Viaduct – an update!”
Pity it won't be open sooner. I'm hoping to do the Devon C2C with some friends this summer and the steep track south of Grenofen Bridge was a definite low-point when I last did it (2006).
It is a pity – pretty much still a year away IF there are no delays. The steep bit south of the little wooden bridge is a bit easier now they've cleared the gorse, but when you have to push a laden bike up the steep, winding path it isn't much fun, especially after it had been raining.
I take it you're planning on doing the Devon C2C sometime around June?
Planning is too strong a word for it, but if it does happen then June is when I hope to go. I'm waiting for the 2011 Waverley/Balmoral timetable to come out, as it'd be a trip across the Bristol Channel from Penarth to Ilfracombe to start things off.