QTSQ routes

Image as described adjacent

On a ride out from Cambridge a few weekends ago, I was intrigued to see a sign for a permissive bridleway marked with the logo of the Quarter-To-Six Quadrant (QTSQ). I’d never heard of this, but having found its website (http://qtsq.org.uk) it strikes me that it’s a rather clever initiative by the four parish councils to the west of Cambridge – Barton, Coton, Grantchester and Madingley – to position themselves as the ‘green lungs’ of Cambridge, presumably with a view to forestalling unwelcome future developments. And good luck to them!

As part of this, permissive bridleways have been opened up in co-operation with local farmers – their leaflet (also at http://qtsq.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/wwrr.pdf) is entitled ‘Wonderful Walks and Rural Runs’ but as bridleways they are also open to cyclists unless the landowner specifically withdraws permission. The Joint Vision document http://qtsq.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/QTSQfinalA.pdf (published back in May 2012) does mention the need for better cycle access, but I get the feeling they still assume that driving will be most people’s default option.

Image as described adjacent

The Coton Countryside Reserve already has some decent cycleable routes linking to the Coton Path; however Burwash Manor (www.burwashmanorfarm.com/walks) and the Countryside Restoration Trust’s Lark Rise Farm (http://countrysiderestorationtrust.com) only offer walking routes (Burwash Manor has decent cycle parking, Lark Rise does not). And of course, the Cantalupe Farm route, a very useful alternative to the A10, is not included. I don’t think its owners will ever be interested in cycle access.

Tim Burford