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Over the past six months we have been alerted to a number of incidents of anti-social behaviour, robbery and assault on the Fallowfield Loop and adjoining routes.  This has been a matter of great concern and the Friends have, along with others, raised the matter with the police, Sustrans and other bodies.

There has also been some concern that some of the press coverage has described some incidents as “on the Fallowfield Loop” when in fact they have not been – some have been near to the Loop or on other nearby parts of National Cycle Network Route 60.  However, these crimes are deplorable wherever they occur, and it is promising that the latest news is that police have arrested four people.  The police progress in this is greatly welcomed.

Please remember that if you experience or witness any anti-social behaviour on the Fallowfield Loop the action you should take is: in an emergency call 999, otherwise call the police on 101. Also notify Sustrans on 0161 923 6050 or by email.

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Levy-Front-5.jpgWe were delighted to hear from our friends at Station South that their crowdfunder has successfully raised £66,561 from 1,161 supporters in 64 days!

Pauline Johnston (Director of Station South CIC), has provided us with this update: “Station South are continuing to make good progress with the building. The roof is near completion, save for the insertion of glazing, which will be done at a set date in the future. The collaborative restoration with the building owners Railway paths Ltd is continuing at pace and planning and change of use applications are being drawn up for submission in preparation for the second round of vital repairs, which are out to tender currently. The successful crowdfunding campaign will go some way to supporting the continuation of some of the vital repair works that we are leading on, including the creation of a new floor throughout the building and connecting to main utilities.

Station South are also developing outline plans for the external site and are keen to progress a detailed co-design with community stakeholders along with offering opportunities to volunteer in Spring 2019. We’ll be sure to keep the Friends of the Fallowfield Loop involved in the process as we’re keen to have your continued support and input.”

Autumn clean-up of the Loop

An autumn clean-up of the Loop has taken place over the past weekend (20th and 21st October), almost exactly six months after a similar event in the spring.  Fortunately the weather was warm and dry on both days which made for pleasant conditions!  As previously, volunteers started from The Quadrants, Levenshulme on both days and headed east on the Saturday and west on the Sunday.  The task was over by 1 p.m. on each day which was partly due to the fact that the Whalley Range Scouts took responsibility for some of the Loop at the St Werburgh’s Road end and The Abbey Hey Neighbourhood Forum did the same for the Fairfield end. It was also helped by the fact that there was only about 40% of the litter collected this time and there were no blatant fly-tips to be dealt with. The detailed statistics were as follows (where the numbers in brackets are the corresponding numbers for the spring clean-up):

  • Number of volunteers participating Saturday = 15 (20).
  • Number of volunteers participating Sunday = 8 (17).
  • Number of volunteers participating more than once = 3 (8).
  • Total volunteer-days = 23 (38).
  • Total volunteers participating = 20 (29).
  • Number of bags filled on Saturday (Levenshulme to Fairfield) = 26 (61).
  • Number of bags filled on Sat/Sunday (Levenshulme to St Werburgh’s) = 28 (65).
  • Total bags of litter collected = 54 (126).

These figures only tell half the story as they don’t take into account the amount of litter picked up in the months prior to these events. Undoubtedly there was significantly less removed before this clean-up as compared to the previous one; we hope that this all points to the Loop becoming less littered!

FloopFest – a great success!

The FloopFest on Saturday 15th September was a huge success!  A lot of thinking and hard work had been put in by organisers Sustrans and by volunteers to ensure a fantastic day happened.

Bee ride - winners

Sustrans photo: Winners of prizes for their costumes in the Bee Ride (picture: Lorraine Taylor).

There were three hubs of activity along the length of the Loop, each with stalls, arts and crafts activities, local food and drink, live music and more.  A family bicycle Bee Ride also took place, covering the length of the Loop.

Big thanks to Sustrans and all who helped this to happen!

Don’t forget that Sustrans’ online survey, relating to this event and use of the Loop, remains live for contributions until the 30th September.

 

Members of the Friends have just produced a new and updated “Points of Interest” map!  The map has multiple layers which can be turned on or off by the user, showing the route of the Loop and points of interest on or accessible from it. Current map layers are:

  • Access points
  • Wildlife and natural features
  • Public resources and amenities
  • Landmarks
  • Historical interest
  • The railway 1891-1981

The Friends would like to continue to refine and update this over time so if you have suggestions for places to include on this map or notice any necessary corrections then please let us know!

Beelines!

Beelines logo

Beelines logo

The Friends have welcomed the Beelines cycling development proposals for Manchester, which have been developed with all 10 Greater Manchester local authorities and “will be the largest joined-up system of walking and cycling routes in the UK”.

Don’t forget that until the end of September there is an online process underway where you can view a map of the first draft of the proposals and zoom in on any areas that may be of interest, adding specific comments relating to development of the scheme.  See https://mappinggm.org.uk/ beelines/.

You will probably need to read the instructions to work out how to utilise the map layers and add comments.  We encourage all members of the Friends to engage with the consultation and share their views on how the proposals interact with the Loop in particular (and of course – we’d encourage everyone to get involved with the consultation for other routes and areas too)!

HandleBards on the Loop

Yesterday and last Wednesday the Loop acted as a great venue for performances by the HandleBards, a troupe of cycling actors who carry all the set, props and costumes they need to perform extremely energetic, charmingly chaotic and environmentally sustainable Shakespeare plays!

The HandleBards have an all-male and an all-female troupe, and this summer both are touring the UK.  On 25th July the Loop therefore hosted the boys performing “Twelfth Night”, and on 31st July it was the girls’ turn to appear, this time to give us “Romeo and Juliet”.  Both evenings were blessed with good weather and the Levenshulme Quadrants were awash with bicycles as good crowds turned out.

A large number of volunteers helped everything to run smoothly, so huge thanks to all concerned – and here’s hoping for repeat visits in the future!