Overly prescriptive start and end points
I live in Torbay. The Torquay end of walks is (logically) Torquay train station, a stone’s throw from the coast, but the best part of an hour’s walk for me. Depending on where the routes are going, they can go more or less past my house or fan out in another direction.
My gripe is twofold. Firstly, am I expected to walk to the official start and then walk to, say, Newton Abbot? Advice elsewhere on these boards is to review routes in their entirety, not in part, which seems to me overly restrictive.
Secondly, virtually no Torquinians will be walking from Torquay train station as we all live inland from it. There seems to be little flexibility to accommodate people who want to walk from a centre of population, but not the centre of that centre. Do all routes really need to begin and end at fixed points? If I have this issue in Torquay I’m sure others have it magnified in the hundreds of towns larger than mine.
All the "meeting points" (where routes start and end) were decided through a peer review process that lots of volunteers were part of.
The specific location is needed so that, in the future, we can do "network analysis" that will allow people to search the network to find routes between places... just like searching for a route on Google Maps. It also makes it all tidier!
That all said... there are no Slow Ways Police... so unless you are doing a route survey or review, you don't have to stick to the route and can join/leave whenever you like.
If you think the location of a meeting point should be moved, please do make you case here and at some point we'll do a review.
Does that all help?
I have this issue with Lichfield (I live about 2.5km from LIchfield City Railway Station) so when I reviewed the 3 routes Brolic, Brobur and Burlic (Lichfield, Brownhills, Burntwood and back) yesterday I had to factor in the and extra 5km on top of the 24 km of the routes themselves. It's a bit of a pain but I figured I was only going to review these routes once, so worth being a completist. If the sections of the walk that you would be excluding are very familiar to you then I can see an argument for being allowed to review the route without walking them. I am planning to review Licalr, Kinalr and Lickin (Lichfield, Alrewas, Kings Bromley and back) on Thursday. I'll be walking to the last section of Lickin, which passes the end of my road, with my son on his way to school, as I do every day. I won't repeat that section at the end of the walk.0
Thanks. I think one aspect where our situations differ is that whilst people may come to both our towns, people are only liable to walk through yours - unless you're walking the already well-established South Coast Path, in which case Slow Ways isn't adding much value. Hence having a seaside train station as an obligatory waypoint does neither Torquinians nor holidaymakers any favours. Enjoy your walk!
Could you not just do the walk in two stints. I live mid-way on a 25km route I just reviewed, so one day I did the 10k route to the end destination, and the next day I did the 15k route to the start destination. You've still then covered the route in its entirety just not in one stint. In reality, surely that's how a lot of people do walks anyway with breaks in between? Just a suggestion.1
The request to walk the entire route is a minor quibble; my main point (perhaps I should have put it first) is the need to go via fixed (and, in Torquay’s case, inconvenient for most) points. It’s this that makes me wonder about the workability of Slow Ways. With a car journey from, say, London to Leeds, the messy bit of getting from a specific spot in London on to the suggested route and then off the generic route to a specific Leeds address is a small proportion of the journey. A plain vanilla ‘London to Leeds’ route makes sense. With a walking route from one town to the next, the specific begins to outweigh the generic, making no one route the obvious ‘standard’, all depending on which end of town you want to go to or from.
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