The Barntown cycle tracks are full of promise but lack of connectivity, unnecessarily steep ramps and poorly maintained foliage encroachments result in these not being used in the main.
Barntown cycle track.
(from Wexford Town)
The access to the Wexford to Barntown cycle track.
Access is quite difficult to the beginning of this track. If coming from Rosslare, there is no signage to guide you on to the track. The crossing from the Newtown Rd. you see the cycle track sign but crossing there is problematic at this very busy roundabout.
Once on the cycle track, it becomes obvious that just like the Oylegate tracks, there are no footpaths leading in or out of Barntown so despite the cycle track signs, the reality is that these are shared paths.
It also becomes obvious that this ‘cycle track’ is little used, given the amount of moss and debris on the tracks themselves.
What you do Notice about The Barntown tracks is that there are no ‘Give way’ signs on them. This is not in keeping with the similarly designed Oylegate track so it’s difficult to ascertain if this was deliberate or unintended.
Moving along past the church, there is a excellent and simplistic grass verge dividing the suddenly appearing footpath and the cycle track. (If only the rest of it had been done to this standard).
Unfortunately, we return to type where the cycle track ends in a damp squib with a very narrow sliver of rough tarmac leading to a generous hard shoulder.
The start of the Eastbound Barntown cycle track is not very inviting and provides an unfortunate insight in to what lies ahead.
The steep ramp, dangerous gravel and glass shards is the access point to this little used track; ideal for dog walkers, but positively hazardous for bicycle riders..
Travelling along the cycle track you need to negotiate a couple of junctions. These are not marked with Give Way signs so right of way at the point of crossing is not clear. Foliage, extreme track narrowing and broken surface add to the hazards that a rider will experience here.
I would be greatly concerned that a younger more inexperienced rider could clip the kerb edge at these narrowings causing them to flip out on to the main road.
Dangerous steep ramps
This side of the cycle track is blighted by dangerous and unnecessary sharp steep ramps that belong more in a cyclist stunt park that something intended to be used for a cycle track for those from 8 to 80.
The dangers of these cannot be overstated especially as these particular ones are on a downhill stretch where a rider might get up a fair bit of speed. Hitting these at speed could likely result in a fall. I am 100% positive that person who designed or fitted these has not ridden a bicycle and if they do, it will have been as a Danny MacAskill stunt extra.
You then come to the end of this track where you have to fend for yourself. On the day that I did this, I waited 7 minutes to find a safe time to walk my bike across the two crossings of the road here.
Overall, the execution of these cycle tracks is so very disappointing. This is an area with plenty of space set aside but the design is of such poor quality that it fails to entice riders in the main.
The lack of connection to the Wexford Town cycle lanes is ill judged and further though is required where these lanes cross a very busy roundabout. A toucan crossing could serve that purpose.
There is really little advantage for a bicycle rider to use either of these and I would argue the Eastbound side is a safety hazard.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.