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Direct routes between towns bypassing another town?



  • Official comment
    Slow Ways Support

    Hi Nick, thanks for asking.

    The clarity of the network comes in part from making compromising. These are often felt most between neighbouring and nearby settlements that don't benefit by more direct connections. 

    The solution to this would be to allow connections between any two places... but then we've lose that clarity. 

    So, for now, we've going to keep the network structure as it is... but we're going to keep listening, watching and be open to changing the structure in the future. 

    Please do add your suggestions for missing Slow Ways here as that will help to keep the idea and conversation live.

    Many thanks.

    - Dan

  • nickw

    Hi Dan, ok thanks for your reply. This particular example is an interesting one as (living locally) I would not really consider Lordshill a town, it is more a suburb of Southampton, whereas Romsey for instance is a definite town and cultural centre. Consequently in this - and similar - cases I suspect there would be more value adding a route between neighbouring 'real towns' if you see what I mean.

    I will add a suggestion when I have a moment.

  • Robert Hays

    As a former Southampton resident I completely agree with the above. Lordshill has a Sainbury's and a lot of houses. I don't remember it as dangerous or unpleasant, but nor is it particularly uplifting. The route essentially follows a main road out of Southampton, so I'd go a small distance out of my way to avoid the area and definitely wouldn't recommend it.

    It looks as though a node has been created just to avoid TOTEAS and ROMSOU crossing rather than meeting. If that's the case, then rather than skipping a node, just moving the Lordshill node to Bassett or Chilworth would allow for much nicer routes.

    This is not the only oddity in the area. SOUBLA One seems to take the ferry to Hythe. That much is sensible. SOUBLA Two however avoids the ferry and follows a route around the river Test. Also fair enough - maybe some people will want to walk, or won't want to pay for the ferry. The trouble is that, because of the limited river crossings, this route goes right through Totton.

    This seems to be the reverse situation - because a direct ferry crossing exists, it is possible to plot a longer route which essentially does skip a node, despite in practice being 24km long and passing within about 300m of the Totton meeting point. It feels as though the alternative to SOUBLA One shouldn't be SOUBLA Two, but TOTSOU + TOTBLA.

  • nickw

    Agree with Robert above. Yes, Lordshill is a primarily residential area, with as he says a large Sainsbury's. While I can see that Lordshill residents would want to walk to Romsey, I can also see that residents of other parts of Southampton (thinking of around the Avenue axis or the Portswood area) might also want a 'green' route to Romsey (or intermediate points) - and imposing the constraint that routes have to pass through Lordshill means that the nicest routes cannot be followed.

    There are at least two 'SOUROM' routes I can think of that would be very nice walks.

    'SOUROM One' would go across the Common then the Sports Centre and head across the north east corner of Lordswood (i.e. the bridleway which heads north from Coxford Road) to just south of Chilworth, then take the footpath along the north edge of Lordswood to the Toothill area, thereafter following 'ROMLOR One' to Romsey (assuming access to the Broadlands estate is allowed, I am not sure about that - ROMLOR One takes you through the estate in its last section).

    'SOUROM Two' would again head towards Chilworth via the same route as above, and then follow bridleways and footpaths to the east and then to the north of North Baddesley to join 'ROMEAS One' and then follow 'ROMEAS One' to Romsey. This is a roundabout but very green route and would make a nice if long walk.

    Haven't looked at the SOUBLA Two route (BLA = Blackfield?) though I do know that the "New Forest buffer zone" between Southampton Water and the Forest does suffer from a lack of rights of way. There is a waterside path between Marchwood and Eling but it is private for around half its length.

  • nickw

    .. to follow up on this, I have now added "Romlor Three" and "Lorsou Three" routes, though in my view the ideal situation would be to use most of these routes - plus an additional direct link from Chilworth to the end of Coxford Road - as my "Romsou Two" suggestion above - cutting out the Lordshill bit.

  • nightauk

    Re routes bypassing towns:

    1. We walk from Marple to Hyde and vice versa using the Peak Forest canal throughout (9.5km) and would never dream of going into Romiley, which is only 3km away from Marple.

    Is there any way of adding this route?

    2. Similarly there is no direct slow ways route from Marple to Bollington, yet a good canal route available.


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