The collaboration of Sustrans (a charity supporting the use of walking, cycling and public transport) with Cheshire West, Chester Council and Flintshire County Council has seen the completion of improved cycle routes from North Wales to the Wirral Way.
The cycle path provides an important link between Cheshire Flintshire and the Wirral, connecting the Wirral and National Cycle Network route between England and Wales.
Part of the path crosses a wetland area, which is also part of an RSPB site and is a Site of Special Scientific interest; decking was chosen to provide a natural sustainable hard landscaping solution.
Antislip Plus®, with a smooth profile, was chosen for the 3m wide cycle path that crosses the marsh at Burton on a raised wooden boardwalk, before returning the cyclist back to the tarmacked route.
Robin Nursaw, of Flintshire County Council, comments on the project: ‘Without the use of timber decking for the boardwalk we would have had to change the route of the cycleway. Requirements for the RSPB reserve include a natural and low noise solution. The 3 metre wide cycleway is raised up over the wetland in an exposed and open area. We (the council) chose a smooth timber deck board with anti-slip as it’s better for pedestrians and maintenance is easy.’
‘Grooved boards were rejected as, in such an open area, muck and dirt gets into the grooves and is difficult to clean. The risk of water freezing in the grooves was also a consideration. Smooth decking requires minimal maintenance which is increasingly important to keep overall maintenance costs down.’
Robin continues: ‘The new boardwalk has been in for a while now [since April 2013] and the timber is settling in and weathering nicely. The path has a footfall of around 10,000 visitors a month and I never get a bad report about the path.’
Adrian Parry of A Parry Construction, who installed the cycle path comments: ‘We were pleased to complete a challenging specification, in difficult conditions for Flitshire County Council. It’s great to have such positive feedback and that everyone is happy with the result.’
The timber deck boards chosen for the Burton marsh section of the cycle network were Antislip Plus® smooth profile. Also specified by Devon County Council as the ‘optimum solution for a cycle path’, the smooth boards deliver a low noise solution and the anti-slip inserts were chosen for an extremely low slip risk.
The slip resistant qualities of Marley Eternit’s Antislip Plus® decking have been independently tested by the Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL). This resulted in a Pendulum Test Value (PTV) score of 69, even when wet, which is significantly above the minimum required score of 33.