And it’s open!

Yep, Ashmill bridge has been opened, which means the whole new section of NCN27, from Tavistock to Gem Bridge is open, and going by this morning’s experience, it’s rather popular! I lost count of the number of cyclists I saw. The really good thing is it included many very young cyclists, and many quite old ones, too. It’s true what they say: build it and they will come!

Seriously, the old NCN27 route between Tavistock and pretty much Yelverton was not a route for very you or very old cyclists, nor for people who weren’t accustomed riding up long and steep hills. The new route offers gentle gradients and is mostly traffic-free.

My only criticism lies with the path surfacing. From Horrabridge to Anderton Lane in Tavistock, the path was surfaced with compacted scrapings that result from roads maintenance. This resultes in a good surface that is very much like a tarred path. Unfortunately they have spread fine gravel on top of this surface all the way, resulting in a surface that isn’t terribly efficient to cycle on, and almost useless when applying brakes. While the route has gentle gradients, there are still uphills and downhills, and stopping suddenly (especially on a bend) is not something you’d be able to easily achieve. I suggest you go fairly slowly along this section!

Overall this is a massive improvement on what was the the original route, and thanks should be said to many, including Devon County Council, West Devon Borough Council and Sustrans. Above all else, one man needs to be thanked: Graham Cornish. It is primarily due to his ceaseless work over many years that we have this new route, the Plym Valley trail, the Granite Way and indeed large parts of the Tarka Trail.

See also  Money? You want money? Are you selling out?

Here’s a map showing the new route, from the centre of Tavistock to just past Gem Bridge:

I guess now I’d better crack on and update the OpenCycleMap as many apps, such as CycleStreets, use the maps.
UPDATE: OpenStreetMap, which is the foundation of the OpenCycleMap, has been updated, so now all that is needed is time to allow for the map tiles to be updated.

3 thoughts on “And it’s open!”

  1. I rode to Tavistock on Saturday evening with a couple of my friends and found the route brilliant. I rode from Plympton to Tavistock with only doing less than a mile on road. The surface from the Gem bridge to Tavistock has way too much gravel on it. Like you said stopping becomes an issue, but saying that if the grave wasn't there it would be very fast form the tunnel to Tavistock. I also found the signage is quite poor from the end of the new route. Apart from that much better than the roads. riding back to Plymouth was much easier, apart from old station road to Yelverton!!

  2. Will, Many thanks for keeping us all updated on this highly significant new route. I have used the route as far as Tavistock as its been developed, but I look forward to taking it all in its entirety in the future.

  3. Hi Mad Scientist! Yes, the signage is poor from Anderton Lane into Tavistock, and it is very easy to go off the track. Hopefully the MapMyRide map above will help people, as they can download the GPX from it.
    I'm also planning on updating my Drake's Trail page soon with more detailed instructions and photos.

    Thanks, Chris. Let me know when you're cycling the route and I'll buy you some cake and coffee somewhere along the route. Sounds like you had a blast in Mallorca, but did you remember to bring some sunlight and heat back with you?



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