Home
Index

There is a need for a safe cycling and walking path from Clare to scenic Armagh

Contact: email me at daveclarkecb@yahoo.com
Created 2006/03/20, modified 2014/06/16

On this page

The present road
The answer?
Armagh gallery
 
 
Scobie road
Scobie road, near Armagh

Introduction

While there are many quiet and scenic back roads ideal for mountain bikes in the Armagh area, there is no safe connection between the Riesling Trail at Clare and Armagh. The existing road is busy, unpleasant and dangerous for cycling, so cycling tourists rarely get to Armagh; this disadvantages the tourists, the people who cater for tourists in the Armagh area, and tourism in the Clare Valley in general.

The purpose of this page is to press for a safe walking and cycling trail between Clare and Armagh and to point out how scenic the Armagh area is.

The 'Clare Valley' is actually a number of small valleys within an elevated area. It has a higher rainfall than the surrounding areas because of its higher altitude, and has retained a much larger proportion of its original native vegetation; see the photo at the right and Armagh gallery, below.

The local Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council has a difficult task in maximising safety for all travellers while retaining the rural beauty of the Clare Valley.

The popular Riesling Trail follows the path of the old railway line from Auburn to Clare and is well used by walkers and cyclists. It is to be extended north to Barinnia and several loop trails connected to the Riesling Train and mainly using existing roads have been developed.




Home
Top
Index

The present road

Walking or cycling between Clare and Armagh

As people become more aware of the greenhouse/climate change problem, and as fuel prices rise, more will take to walking or cycling, both on holiday and as a way to get from place to place.

Armagh is 3km from the center of Clare, but the road carries relatively heavy motor traffic, is narrow in places, windy, not well suited for walking, and dangerous for cycling. The alternative roads are very indirect and one goes over quite a high hill. Visitors do not know that the road is unsuitable for cycling until they get onto it.

 
The Clare to Armagh road
No road shoulder
No road shoulder for cyclists
Road shoulder
On the opposite side of the road from the above photo the shoulder has scattered stones on it and, as it stands, is dangerous for cyclists. But there is sufficient width for a sealed bicycle lane.
No space for pedestrians
No space for pedestrians

Cycling

The photo on the right shows what is probably the most dangerous section of this road, especially to cyclists. As you can see, there is no shoulder at all at this point, which is both on the crest of a rise and a corner. It is impossible for a cyclist to get off the left side of the pavement and out of the way of overtaking vehicles. For the vehicle drivers, forward visibility is very short and they do not know what is coming from the other direction. There is a double line along the middle of the road.

At many other points the shoulders of this road are loose, steep, and/or covered with loose gravel and scattered stones. It is difficult and destabilising for a cyclist to get off the road pavement and out of the way of an overtaking vehicle onto this sort of surface.

There is a double white line on much of this road; crossing the double line is illegal, but overtaking a cyclist with less than a metre free space between the overtaking vehicle and the bicycle is dangerous and also illegal. On much of this road it would be impossible to overtake without doing either one or the other. From a cyclist's point of view, I'm pleased to say that most people go at least a little across the double line when they overtake a bicycle. It's a pity when people are forced to either put someone's life in danger or break the law.



Walking

The bottom photo on the right shows the bridge over the Armagh Creek at Armagh. You can see that there is no space for pedestrians. Visibility is not great in either directions. Even if a pedestrian starts across the bridge when no vehicles are to be seen, it is quite possible that one or two might come before he/she can get across. A pedestrian on the bridge and vehicles coming from both directions creates a dangerously tight situation.




The answer?

Bike lane on Fisherman's Bay Road
Bike lane
It would not be difficult to establish a bicycle lane between Clare and Armagh similar to this one that runs from Port Broughton to Fisherman's Bay.
 
There is a reasonably wide, but unsealed, shoulder on the right side of the road all the way from Clare to Armagh. I believe that by sealing this shoulder, moving the white posts, and painting a bicycle/pedestrian lane the road could be made much safer for both pedestrians and cyclists. It would not be necessary to remove any native vegetation, although a few feral pine trees that are particularly close to the road should be taken out.

A pedestrian bridge would seem to be the best option for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the Armagh Creek.

Home
Top
Index





Armagh gallery

A sample of what you will miss if you don't go on the back roads around Armagh
More images on another page


Misty trees
 
Early sunshine on blue gums partly hidden by a mist; near Scobie Road, west of Armagh

The early morning is the most beautiful time of day.


Jacobs Range road
 
Jacobs Range road, south of Armagh

One of my farourite roads for a walk or a bike ride


Curious cows
 
Curious cows on Jacobs Range road, south of Armagh

They were particularly interested in my little dog


Scobie Road
 
Acacia blossom on Scobie Road, near Armagh

Acacias blossom from mid winter through spring


Near Boconnoc Park road
 
Spring vineyard and grazing horses adjacent Boconnoc Park road, south-west of Armagh


Old Blyth Road
 
Blooming callistemon along the Old Blyth Road, west of Armagh


New vineyard
 
A new vineyard, Jacobs Range Road, south of Armagh
Home
Top
Index



Toward Blyth
 
Overlooking the Blyth Plain on a hazy day

From the top of the hill on the Clare to Blyth road, about 2km west of Armagh


Toward Blyth
 
The view from Brooks Lookout, about 2km west of Armagh

Not only is there a beautiful view here, but also a large variety of native plants are labelled.

On a clear day one can see eighty kilometres or more from here, from Spencer Gulf to the southern Flinders Ranges.


Sunset
 
The sun setting over the Blyth Plain

Seen from the Clare to Blyth road west of Armagh


Sunset
 
Another sunset over the Blyth Plain

As seen from a minor road that follows a ridge overlooking the Blyth Plain; north of the Old Blyth road, about 2km west of Armagh
Home
Top
Index





Index

Home

On this page...
Armagh gallery
Introduction
The answer?
The present road