Open for Business

The lovely new foot and cycle route between University Boulevard and Thane Road, which includes a bridge over the Midland Mainline, is now open. Nottingham and Beyond sent its intrepid reporter, Dick Duckling, along to have a look. Over to you, Dick.

‘Thank you. As you can see from the photograph above, this new addition to our pedestrian and cycle network really is a thing of great beauty and utility. A picture paints a thousand words. Actually, in this instance, it fails to paint the fact that I was being blown off my feet by a gale, but no matter.

‘The bridge is apparently named after Dr Stewart Adams, who was a major part of the Boots team that developed Ibuprofen. Sadly, Dr Adams died in January.

‘To arrive at this location, I turned off University Boulevard down a road between Nottingham Tennis Centre and Nottingham Science Park that appears, as yet, to have no name.

‘Let’s have a walk up that welcoming ramp to see what views are on offer.

‘Splendid. The view to our left (top photo) is towards the Beeston Sidings Nature Reserve, which can be accessed from the science park, while the scene to our right shows the water channel heading in the direction of the Royal Mail facility at Padge Road. What a treat it is for the humble pedestrian or cyclist to be able to gain access to these areas. As we proceed over the railway bridge, I’m sure that more visual treats await us.

‘Simply sublime. Here we see views along the railway towards and away from the city. Unfortunately, you need to be reasonably tall to properly appreciate the scene from the central point, so children and small adults should consider bringing a portable stepladder or similar device. Caution is advised – as the bridge becomes busier, cyclists will inevitably revert to their natural instinct – i.e. that of taking no prisoners.

‘Onward and downward…

‘Yes, a real treat here for fans of recycling and/or epic industrial processes, of which I am one. As it’s Saturday today, however, there’s not much going on, and, to add insult to injury, barriers are being erected at the side of the walkway/cycle path – presumably with the intention of shielding this magnificent sight from passers-by. Spoilsports.

‘Before we proceed any further, let’s take a look back in the direction from which we have come. We can now see, on our left, the University of Nottingham’s magnificent Trent Building, with its iconic clock tower.

‘Reverting to the task in hand, we turn around once more and descend towards Harrimans Lane, where we will cross the road and carry on along the new path that leads (eventually) to the Boots sentry post, erm, I mean security gatehouse, at Thane Road.

‘To our right is the HGV entrance to the Boots campus and in the near distance is Imperial Tobacco’s Horizon factory. What a fantastic alternative commuting route this new path will be for many of the workers there. Oh, hang on a minute…

‘At any rate, as you can see below, there are certainly plenty of options available here for the adventurous pedestrian/cyclist.

‘It’s time to press on towards our final destination, along a stretch of path that leads us around the eastern edge of the Boots HQ, alongside the canal and past the listed D90 building,…

‘…all of which brings us to the Thane Road Gate (below), where some interesting possibilities for onward investigation present themselves.

‘It’s been an invigorating journey.

‘Full marks to Nottingham City Council for this excellent initiative, which opens up some fascinating liminal areas for the student of urban topography. This is Dick Duckling, signing off, until my next intrepid adventure.’

Thank you, Dick.

4 thoughts on “Open for Business

  1. Excellent. Like most people I guess I only know that area from the train, although the view of Nottingham University reminds me of many visits to the boating lake with my Dad. I took my own kids there after my Dad died, in the late 1990s, but sadly it was closed for repairs of some sort. My Dad, like me, was a big fan of public transport, and walking, and we went all over the place. I still use the same combination to get to meetings, but can please myself, as I am semi-retired now. The local authority here in Pontypridd have done some good work making use of ex pits and railway lines, creating some great parks, and path networks. I can walk to a place called Barry Sidings, from my house, from where the coal trucks carried the black gold from the Rhondda, to the docks at Barry. At one time Barry was a bigger port than Cardiff, just as Merthyr Tydfil was once bigger than the Welsh capital. Keep up the good work, Andy.

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  2. Thanks Andy. Glad to hear that you’re a fan of public transport and walking. I gave up my car a few years ago and haven’t looked back since. I understand that life would be difficult without a car for some people, but I hope that we can continue to move towards a future society that isn’t so reliant on (and shaped by) the automobile. The university boating lake is still in use, though some of it was closed for dredging recently. I do like the sound of the area in which you live. I’m always fascinated by industrial and post-industrial landscapes and I’d love to read more about it and see some photos if you ever have the chance. The great Iain Sinclair was, of course, born in not-too-far-away Cardiff!

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    1. Yes, I agree about the industrial and post industrial landscapes, and am a big fan of Iain Sinclair. Some of your phrases about edge-lands and liminal landscapes reminded me of him. I will try and send you some writing/pictures, or write a blog with pictures of the area round here. Sunshine and hail here now, so only a short walk to Iceland today!

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      1. Similar weather here in Nottingham. Iceland is very appropriate in the circumstances! I think a blog with photos and thoughts about your local area would be great. My blog and its associated Twitter account have helped put me in touch with fellow urban wandering aficionados.

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