Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 62 total)
  • The demise of a vision for a community
  • tom.nash
    Full Member

    In the forthcoming week or so local Tweed Valley folk will read an article from the local public agencies that spells the end for an exciting project. The community group’s aim, backed by huge public support, was to regenerate the economies of Traquair, Innerleithen and Walkerburn by building a world-class, multi-user, all ability uplift that would provide employment, income and continued trail development of the area.

    You will read things like a disbelief in visitor numbers, how Glentress is thriving and how the mountain bike trails are still a world class venue. When I speak with local accommodation owners seemingly occupancy rates are nowhere near full; the numbers of people I see riding at Glentress and cars in the car park is substantially lower then when I moved here three years ago; the numbers of people I see riding ‘other’ trails up and down the Tweed Valley away from the trail centres has boomed; the ‘Tweed Valley’, and the 7Stanes trail centres featuring in mainstream media polls about where is best to ride in the UK has noticeably dropped and big name event organisers are not returning to the Valley.

    The answer apparently is in building more accommodation, another car park and another café at Glentress. If you read the fine detail there is scant mention of anything to do with trail building or maintenance. The Forward Action Plan you will read of talks about investing in trails – what this is missing is the ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘what’ and where the moneys is coming from, it’s not committed money. So we end up with more corporate accommodation threating the livelihoods of the community we wanted to help regenerate and seemingly no definite trail improvement plan. The amount of ‘underground’ trail building will continue as there continues to be no consideration for the development of the sport and those that have outgrown the now-battered trail centres of the Tweed Valley.

    I speak out now as, over two and a bit years, I have been ground down by the utter lack of vision, inspiration and action from those in a position to help make this vision a reality. Obviously places like Bike Park Wales are not a good enough example of ‘if you build it, they will come’. We have constantly been outwitted (played) and a different spin put on the work, it is your taxpayer money that has funded all the ‘research’ that has been conducted. I have invested time, and my own money to help pay bills, to this vision and now is the time to say enough is enough and let the community I represented (as a previous Director on the Board) know the reality.

    This is solely my comment and is not the view of AimUp Ltd or any other organisation I work for / represent. I submitted my resignation to the chairman last week as I felt I could not agree to the proposals AimUp Ltd have been asked to support. For those that know me, I am not afraid of standing up for what I believe in.

    ahwiles
    Free Member

    Their money would be much better spent on a 10+k swoopy blue at Innerleithen, making the valley a 2-day-ride venue for kids and newbies.

    my wife loves the blue at Glentress, it’s just the right amount of effort and tech for her.

    but it’s a long way to go for 1 days worth of riding – so we don’t, unless we’re passing, and can stop for 1 day.

    for 1 day’s riding, we can go to Cannock or Gisburn, Keswick, sherwood pines, etc. All similar, all much closer.

    Q) how much for 10,000metres of trail, at £50/metre? (which would attract families, and kids, who’d all need somewhere to stay, eat, etc.)

    A) £500,000

    Q) how much for a chairlift, which would attract van-driving Dh’ers, who’d all sleep/eat in their lowered transporters?

    A) about £5,000,000 + significant operating costs.

    with the right trail, you don’t need an uplift, the climb up the Buzzard’s Nest at GT is great fun. it’s very much an entertaining part of the ride, rather than a necessary evil we’d pay to avoid.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    My 2p.

    BPW (and South Wales in general) is within driving distance of London, the South, Birmingham, etc, within day tripping distance. Even Leeds is quicker to BPW than it is Glentress.

    Glentress and the 7 stanes was hugely popular when it was one of a minority of trail centers where you could go and ride a 20 mile glorified BMX track. Now there are several within an hour of London (Swinley, Aston Hill, PORC, Surrey Hills).

    Tourism is clearly an important industry for the area, but I don’t think increasing mountain biker numbers is going to be cost effective now that there’s competition, relative to attracting walkers or others users who require little in the way of infrastructure.

    I like GT, but for ~85% of the population of the UK it’s a 4-8 hour drive. Which puts it more in competition with a flight to Spain than a trip to Swinley.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Respect is due for making the effort – even if the vision hasn’t become reality.

    Are “the proposals AimUp Ltd have been asked to support” public knowledge then? Would be useful context for your post.

    It’s interesting you mention BPW. Do you feel its model provides a possible alternative for Inners?

    bigjim
    Full Member

    where the moneys is coming from, it’s not committed money

    Assuming you have engaged the Forestry Commission on the matter, you’ll know they basically have no money, few staff, and will likely have even less of bith next FY. I think only 25% of their income is from the taxpayer, they need to generate the other 75% themselves. As far as I can see devolution, budget cuts and timber value have left the FC in bits.

    In terms of the Glentress Masterplan I think you are referring to, I’m get the impression it was developed privately by consultancy for the Borders council, with FC as the owner of the land being developed, rather than it being an FC led initiative, however I’ve only skimmed it once so could be wrong.

    I thought Bike Park Wales was a private venture rather than FC (which doesn’t even exist in Wales any more anyway) but could be wrong?

    Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Thanks for that Tom, interesting stuff. Kudos for all the work you’ve put in.

    kimbers
    Full Member

    I think we’ve covered this but GT was doomed when they spent a bazillion pounds to build a cafe (that cant even make toasties) in the stunningly beautiful Tweed Valley, with impressive floor to ceiling windows that afford amazing views of the hole that the cafe was sited in.

    tom.nash
    Full Member

    bigjim – Member

    In terms of the Glentress Masterplan I think you are referring to, I’m get the impression it was developed privately by consultancy for the Borders council, with FC as the owner of the land being developed, rather than it being an FC led initiative, however I’ve only skimmed it once so could be wrong.

    I thought Bike Park Wales was a private venture rather than FC (which doesn’t even exist in Wales any more anyway) but could be wrong?

    Correct – a consultancy delivering to those same bodies that will benefit from the land lease income and business rates, the sceptic may think the answer was before the question. BPW is a private venture that has rejuvenated an area and bought jobs/income to the area. The biggest point is BPW was built around (ever growing) trails, it’s the trails that are the draw. There is no trail PLAN for the Tweed Valley. Lots of words and expensive stakeholder groups but no funded plan that details any how, when, where, who for etc. even though considerable work has been done by a legend of a local trail builder.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Trails (built and natural), paths and rivers etc are the core of what would attract people to the ‘outdoor area’ that is Tweed valley.

    These are not things that are glamorous or big contract for big business.

    They are also difficult for locals to understand that a few well drained sections instead of bog, a few steps or re-routed paths, an new river access path etc would make a huge difference for visitors.

    When the visitors come, the businesses such as b&b and cafe’s will follow – but you need the reason to come in the first place.

    Del
    Full Member

    I think we’ve covered this but GT was doomed when they spent a bazillion pounds to build a cafe

    yeah, we did cover this, but if you imagine that those same funds could have been used to build trails, I think you don’t really understand enough about how this sort of funding works.
    I can’t pretend to be an expert of any sort, TBF. 😀
    In any case, the cafe hardly dooms the rest of the place’s facilities, does it?

    stevenmenmuir
    Free Member

    You tried Tom, that’s more than a lot of people can say. More time to practice bunny hops now.

    benpinnick
    Full Member

    In any case, the cafe hardly dooms the rest of the place’s facilities, does it?

    Not directly, but the case for further investment is usually predicated on previous investments displaying some sort of ROI. Not to say that they necessarily add up in the cases where further investment occurs, but spending a whopping wadge of money on a cafe (assuming thats what happened) which, unsurprisingly, adds only marginal value to the local community or economy seriously diminishes the case for further spending.

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    If I’m correct, the intended uplift at Inners wasn’t solely for “van-driving Dh’ers, who’d all sleep/eat in their lowered transporters” 🙄

    It was a funicular type system that would also transport non bikers (as could any uplift technically) but the funicular would give shelter from the weather vs an exposed chairlift. I believe there were also plans for non-biking related facilities on the hill? I’m thinking a bob-sleigh type ride?

    A real shame. God forbid we should have a world class year round facility here. Having ridden Antur last year, the Welsh facilities are leaving us behind, but as was mentioned above they don’t have the joy of the FC to deal with.

    bigjim
    Full Member

    Correct – a consultancy delivering to those same bodies that will benefit from the land lease income and business rates, the sceptic may think the answer was before the question. BPW is a private venture that has rejuvenated an area and bought jobs/income to the area. The biggest point is BPW was built around (ever growing) trails, it’s the trails that are the draw. There is no trail PLAN for the Tweed Valley. Lots of words and expensive stakeholder groups but no funded plan that details any how, when, where, who for etc. even though considerable work has been done by a legend of a local trail builder.

    Well, I’m fairly sure they’ll legally have had to tender it out so it would always have gone to some kind of consultancy. The whole purpose of the excercise from the FC’s point of view would be to generate revenue from their land, simply as they have to generate income from the national forest estate, fairly sure that is their main duty.

    In terms of trails I do feel your pain. To me though, the fundamental problem here is that there is great reluctance for mountain bikers to pay to ride their bikes – look at all the endless threads on here with people complaining about paying £5 or whatever it is to park at GT and saying they’ll go ride somewhere else or park in Peebles. The FC has no spare cash to build trails (costing many tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds), and trying to get people to pay a few quid to use GT isn’t going to get anywhere in terms of developing trails. It’s things like accomodation and having families spending on site that will bring an income in.

    I think another problem may be there just isn’t the resource at the FC to push forward the ‘enthusiast’ side of mtb trail development, ie more than family type riding. I wonder if the fact that there is a massive amount of unofficial trail building that has catered for the ‘enthusiast’ has in part taken away the need for this, as we’re basically looking after ourselves and have world class trails attracting world class riders and events with no input from FC apart from providing the land and tolerating the trail building on their land. If there was a new black trail at GT would people go and pay to ride there instead of the free to ride trails at the golfy etc?

    It would be interesting to see if the BPW model could work in somewhere like Glentress, much further away from big population centres.

    Please note I’m not arguing against you, just thinking aloud with a hangover and too much coffee. I think it would be great to have something like aimup. Peel development is a disaster but it’s done and there’s no point in looking back, it can’t be undone. I do think we are very lucky to have what we do have though, there aren’t many places in the world where you can ride and build trails where you want for free.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Very sad if this is the end, but the question was always “where is the money coming from”. Aimup has had some big wins but as far as I’ve heard none of them have gained it any promise of funding

    And not to be a ****, but I wouldn’t back it. When you refer to BPW as a proof of concept it just proves you don’t need a chairlift. If BPW had decided they needed £5m for a chairlift, there’d be no BPW either. Sorry.

    So what does it really mean- giving up on the lift? Or giving up on the entire project? What are the prospects of separating the two and delivering the benefits of better facilities and more investment in the stuff that counts?

    In Wales you have Cognation, you have driving forces that actually get things done, and you have a willingness from government (not FC)- Finance Wales underwrote it and loaned money, Visit Wales has a fund set aside specifically to promote cycling. Again, no BPW without these things.

    I have no constructive suggestions; I’m not the sort of person that gets these things done, I know you have some people that are if they’re not burned out. Someone needs to sell it to Borders Council and to the Scottish Government. Scotland had a head start on biking and we’ve used that head start to stand still 10 metres down the track and go “look how far in the lead we are!” It’s a pretty stark message, this is a golden goose that will stop laying.

    Pointing at the forest cabins is beside the point I think- as I understand it that’s a public/private deal, it’s not FC money that could be redirected to a different project. What it is, is an attempt to monetarise Glentress for the FC. (not neccesarily to make it turn a profit, more realistically to make the money pit smaller)

    And that’s what’s always at the bottom of the entire argument; mountain biking costs the FC- the taxpayer- money, and makes money for other people. Borders council and businesses have been very happy to get golden eggs while someone else pays for the goose. Now they’ll complain loudly as the egg supply dries up but no ****’s going to look after the goose.

    Which links nicely into this

    ahwiles – Member

    Their money would be much better spent on a 10+k swoopy blue at Innerleithen, making the valley a 2-day-ride venue for kids and newbies.

    That’d be a great thing for the area to have but the FC’d have to be fairly daft to pay for it as things stand- it’s a capital outlay with a long-term maintenance liability and very little revenue. Just makes the problem they have right now worse.#

    Which is why stuff like this:

    BoardinBob – Member

    they don’t have the joy of the FC to deal with.

    Is depressing. The FC aren’t an obstruction here; don’t rip them just because they don’t give us enough blank cheques.

    br
    Free Member

    My pennyworth?

    Without high-level sponsorship/cash (either private or Govt) any venture that can’t generate an income to make a profit is doomed (from the start).

    If you need to rely on grants/handouts then it’s only a matter of time before it will fail – unless it is doing some that is fundamental to somebody’s politically dogma.

    And let’s be clear, £5m is chickenfeed to Govt, they’ll happily waste hundreds of millions on something if it fits a particular interest of theirs and/or means that they don’t ‘lose face’.

    And Tom, relying on the SBC to do anything is even more pointless…

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    Which is why stuff like this:

    Is depressing. The FC aren’t an obstruction here; don’t rip them just because they don’t give us enough blank cheques.

    I know you’re involved with the trail repair stuff at GT so no doubt the FC, but lets be serious. Yet to speak to anyone that’s had dealings with him about getting actual stuff done, that has anything good to say about them. The Carron Valley saga sums them up perfectly

    http://www.carronvalley.org.uk/

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    To me though, the fundamental problem here is that there is great reluctance for mountain bikers to pay to ride their bikes – look at all the endless threads on here with people complaining about paying £5 or whatever it is to park at GT and saying they’ll go ride somewhere else or park in Peebles. The FC has no spare cash to build trails (costing many tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds), and trying to get people to pay a few quid to use GT isn’t going to get anywhere in terms of developing trails.

    I think for so many outdoor sports, we are accustomed to not paying to walk the hills, surf the sea and paddle the rivers.
    In days gone by (wipes a dusty tear) we were happy to pitch up and park on the verge a mile away, or not have loo’s or just accept ‘its the countryside, there are no facilities’.

    Today we expect so much more in the way of facilities, and have some many more people doing damage by tyre, foot and paddle.

    This costs. Simple fact. We have to choose – do we value our ‘green gym’ enough to properly subsidise it at taxpayer level, or do we pay per use?

    Is it time to pay for our pleasures?

    bigjim
    Full Member

    I know you’re involved with the trail repair stuff at GT so no doubt the FC, but lets be serious. Yet to speak to anyone that’s had dealings with him about getting actual stuff done, that has anything good to say about them.

    Tar everyone with the same brush much? As I’ve said I think it’s amazing what we have, loads of trails, free reign for people to build their own trails, one off, national and world class events. I think it’s amazing they let the kind of building we see at the golfy take place. I worry that it will become a victim of it’s own success and some middle age middle class mincer will crash their santa cruz, brain themselves and sue the trail builders or the FC and we’ll lose it. Sure not all things go well, there are very few resources and Peel was a waste of money, but we’re very lucky.

    I think for so many outdoor sports, we are accustomed to not paying to walk the hills, surf the sea and paddle the rivers.
    In days gone by (wipes a dusty tear) we were happy to pitch up and park on the verge a mile away, or not have loo’s or just accept ‘its the countryside, there are no facilities’.

    Today we expect so much more in the way of facilities, and have some many more people doing damage by tyre, foot and paddle.

    Yes there has definitely been a paradigm shift. I think the internet has a lot to do with it, it gives everyone a voice and becomes very easy for one person to say something and everyone to feed off it.

    Once upon a time it was great that we could freely ride our bikes where we want, now it is not good enough that we only have whatever hundred km of trail and facilities provided for us, and can you believe that they won’t even provide a freshly made toastie or artisan coffee. Ironically there was someone on here moaning that there wasn’t someone at the FC to give them out of hours access to glentress toilets not too long ago 😆

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    There’s so much negativity about the whole Scottish MTB scene on here. I’m surprised anyone bothers making the effort to visit at all.

    It’s a shame the AIM project isn’t achieving what the OP wanted but the arguments for and against haven’t changed since the things inception.

    ninfan
    Free Member

    What it is, is an attempt to monetarise Glentress for the FC. (not neccesarily to make it turn a profit, more realistically to make the money pit smaller)

    And that’s what’s always at the bottom of the entire argument; mountain biking costs the FC- the taxpayer- money, and makes money for other people. Borders council and businesses have been very happy to get golden eggs while someone else pays for the goose. Now they’ll complain loudly as the egg supply dries up but no ****’s going to look after the goose

    I think these are very valid points – it is right and proper that the FC have the opportunity to monetise the facilities in order to offset the costs of management and maintenance, but worth remembering that most of the CapEx came from european funds to boost rural economies in exactly this way, it was never ‘FC’ money in the first place.

    one of the key lessons through history though is that sometimes you are better to ‘nudge’ payment than try and ‘soak the punters till the pips squeak’ – if anything this is more important with places like Glentress where a high proportion of users are repeat visitors from nearby conurbations rather than holidaymakers. The classic examples here being trailhead cafe’s, shops and bike wash facilities – for which the FC gets a kickback through the rent or a tidy slice of revenues – by doing that they don’t *need* to charge four or five quid for parking – indeed doing so puts people off using the trailhead facilities, so you end up with an empty cafe that can’t turn a profit (ahem…)

    This costs. Simple fact. We have to choose – do we value our ‘green gym’ enough to properly subsidise it at taxpayer level, or do we pay per use?

    http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/news/is-it-time-to-pay-for-our-pleasures/0014339/

    I would take that article more seriously if NTS (and NT in E&W) were not only the worst buggers for doing it themselves (free car parking being a key membership driver) but also deliberately stand in the way of many private landowners monetising their access through providing facilities.

    thv3
    Free Member

    I don’t blame the Forestry Commission, I think the likes of GT and the 7 stanes has developed way beyond their original remit and statutory duties. When your look at the huge swathes of land the the FC do manage, the 7 stanes and mtb trails affect a small portion only, and it’s not as if they can ignore the rest and focus on our MTB aspirations only.

    In my view, they would be far better managed by a more suitable body, such as Visit Scotland, Scottish Cycling (although I think this would be too specific to cycling activities only) or perhaps a specific outdoor activity development body(?). This would allow the FC to concentrate on its forestry and forest management “roots”, rather than worry about the risk assessments, visitor attraction and the site development of Glentress and other sites as a mtb hub. It would be interesting to compare sites elsewhere, so for example Whistler, Bike park Wales, Alpine bike parks etc to see how and by whom are they are managed?

    The introduction of the new Community Empowerment Act in Scotland should in theory provide community groups more say around community facilities, and grant new powers of community land and building ownership. It is in this capacity that I can see AimUp, TVTA or similar groups becoming more involved with how these facilities are actually run, and designed in future, hopefully preventing any further “cafe in ditch, facing embankment” type scenarios.

    I don’t think anyone is against the ongoing site developments, its just the ongoing lack of corresponding trail development and updates which don’t make sense. Without the contributions of the Trail fairies, GT would be completely worn out by now! Having ridden GT with someone who hadn’t been for years, their smiling summary of “It’s never changed” is in my eyes somewhat depressing. In fact, only change they did ask about was Ewok village which is sadly no longer with us 😥

    Northwind
    Full Member

    BoardinBob – Member

    I know you’re involved with the trail repair stuff at GT so no doubt the FC, but lets be serious. Yet to speak to anyone that’s had dealings with him about getting actual stuff done, that has anything good to say about them

    Yeah, they never get anything done, that’s why there’s no trailcentre or dh trails at innerleithen 😆 The entire AimUP scheme is founded on their efforts and successes.

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    Yeah, they never get anything done, that’s why there’s no trailcentre or dh trails at innerleithen The entire AimUP scheme is founded on their efforts and successes.

    Except the core trails were built years ago with virtually nothing (official) since.

    We were having a chat on a ride last year and the consensus was the likes of Glentress or Innerleithen wouldn’t get built today if they didn’t already exist.

    bigjim
    Full Member

    Except the core trails were built years ago with virtually nothing (official) since.

    We were having a chat on a ride last year and the consensus was the likes of Glentress or Innerleithen wouldn’t get built today if they didn’t already exist.

    I’d say they definitely wouldn’t. And I suspect following Gideon’s further cuts next FY, we’ll see a decrease in what we have already.

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    I’d say they definitely wouldn’t. And I suspect following Gideon’s further cuts next FY, we’ll see a decrease in what we have already.

    Yip, new (official) development on forestry land is pretty much over

    Any decent privately owned hills up here? Must be a disused quarry somewhere!

    seosamh77
    Free Member

    Scotland has enough trail centres. tbh, I’d much prefer they spent the money on something like a (or multiple )trans-scotland mtb route (s). Wouldn’t be that hard to do with a bit of vision and investigation into what needs linked up.

    bigjim
    Full Member

    Any decent privately owned hills up here? Must be a disused quarry somewhere!

    Yes lots, more forests are privately owned than you might think. However I imagine private owners will be more resistant to people hacking up their woods and land and building trails.

    You can view the FC legal boundaries here.

    http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/supporting/communication-consultation/map-viewer-guidance

    STATO
    Free Member

    bigjim – Member

    Except the core trails were built years ago with virtually nothing (official) since.

    We were having a chat on a ride last year and the consensus was the likes of Glentress or Innerleithen wouldn’t get built today if they didn’t already exist.

    I’d say they definitely wouldn’t. And I suspect following Gideon’s further cuts next FY, we’ll see a decrease in what we have already.[/quote]

    Id disagree. New projects on blank canvas are always easier to get going as people stake there claim on it, much harder to get someone to support something that looks to be struggling or a failure (even if that failure was caused by poor management). Essentially glentress needs to die before it can be reborn (to be over-dramatic)

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    Because over 300,000 visitors per year is a sign of failure.

    bigjim
    Full Member

    Any decent privately owned hills up here? Must be a disused quarry somewhere!

    Scotland Forests: 478,000 hectares FC; 954,000 hectares Private; go nuts!

    http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-7aqdgc

    Because over 300,000 visitors per year is a sign of failure.

    I struggle to believe that figure to be honest, it’s definitely a lot of visitors, but not an average of 822 a day.

    tom.nash
    Full Member

    scotroutes – Member
    Because over 300,000 visitors per year is a sign of failure.

    I am assuming you have read some completely out of date promotional propaganda number from several years ago. This figure is used to try and justify the multi-millions spent on a cafe and car park they now want to demolish and replace with…. a cafe and car park. If you look at the real figures for number of parking tickets issued it doesn’t equate to 300,000 visitors a year…

    STATO
    Free Member

    scotroutes – Member

    Because over 300,000 visitors per year is a sign of failure.

    It is if its not making them any money.

    mt
    Free Member

    the FC can’t even run forests properly these days let alone a bike park.

    tom.nash
    Full Member

    mt – Member
    the FC can’t even run forests properly these days let alone a bike park.

    Can I please say that this IS NOT a go against the FC – they are under-resourced with basically no funds for recreation – so please don’t focus on that.

    The lack of vision, from the government level down, to regenerate a whole community whilst also increasing employment, income and reputation within a great area for mountain biking is the issue. The FC is only one voice in a stakeholder group that was tasked to deliver a plan for improvement, of which AimUp / the uplift was a possible solution. Unfortunately the seemingly chosen (non funded to date and still to be formally issued) solution is the potential for more trails (good but no plan and no money allocated) and ‘improved facilities’ in Innerleithen and a new car park, cafe and self catering lodges at Glentress. To me that does not say ‘game changer’ to bring the Tweed Valley back as a global mountain bike destination and compete against Wales and other rapidly developing areas of the UK.

    iainc
    Full Member

    Any decent privately owned hills up here?

    Just have a look at Drumlanrig as a good example. Superb trails, excellent eating and family stuff, buy a season pass for a year of access for £30 and get discounts on cakes 😀

    The trails are well maintained, always developing and evolving, and all owned pritavely.

    It’s my nearest trail centre at an hour’s drive but that’s not why it’s my favourite….

    survivor
    Full Member

    Not sure of the all the reasons etc and we’ll done for trying, those who were involved but from what I’ve experienced with regards to Innerleithen when the project seemed to be getting off the ground was never going to help.

    The available DH tracks were reduced in number.

    The uplift cost increased, run amounts dropped from 10 to 8 i think and turnaround times lengthened. ( ie do your run then wait 30 mins to get back on bus to the top)

    For me it started to become not worth the effort to go as the track choice was limited, uplift slow and not enough runs.
    I miss riding DH at inners but each time I think of going I talk myself out of it for the above reasons. I’m not the only one who thinks this and I assume numbers dropped dramatically that were needed to make this look good to investors.

    I think they’d of been better off with a nice smooth uplift road and faster and more frequent uplifts and a more varied choice of routes back down.

    Oh and enduuro!!! Everything’s enduuro fault.

    mc
    Free Member

    Oh, another chance to bash Forestry.

    Tom’s original post, he doesn’t actually bash FCS over AIMup, as I know other than the protracted negotiations (typical large organisation where everything involves seemingly endless queries to get a definitive answer for even the simplest of things) regarding the land purchase, FCS had little to do with AIMup or it’s funding. It was a community run group seeking funding from various sources.

    I think Northwind’s post pretty much sums up the main problems. Everybody loves a golden egg, but aren’t willing to pay for the goose to lay them. How many accommodation providers, who sell themselves as being for bikers, have ever monetarily, or even physically contributed to the trails?
    The same could be said for those delivering skills coaching.

    I probably know better than most the issues and reasoning, but at the moment, I can’t personally see anything changing in the near future.
    I’d love to see an improved uplift at Innerleithen, however without a fair bit of investment and backing of the local landowner, there’s not much room for improvement.

    People complain about the FCS’s unwillingness to expand the trail network, but that is a government level policy. Unofficial local agreements do exist in certain areas, but they are very much under the radar, and all it will take is for an accident to explode that tin of worms open. It could be argued that said tin of worms needs opened quickly, but it may not have the effect people would hope for.

    Given the current state of affairs, the word that springs to mind is clusterf*ck.

    Oh, and the 300’000 figure. I know how it was calculated, and despite there being a flaw in their calculation assumptions, it was done using tried and tested methods. I happened to discuss it with somebody who was involved with the start-up funding of a rather large visitor attraction elsewhere, and he said it would be a perfectly valid figure for investment purposes. Certainly high enough for him to be very interested in finding out out more about AIMup, but given nobody ever contacted him, he assumed those running the project weren’t that serious about it…

    bigjim
    Full Member

    Unofficial local agreements do exist in certain areas, but they are very much under the radar, and all it will take is for an accident to explode that tin of worms open. It could be argued that said tin of worms needs opened quickly, but it may not have the effect people would hope for.

    I’m interested why you think the can of worms needs opening? Though I guess you might not want to say online. I’m assuming the can of worms is the FC stopping being tolerant of people making their own trails on their land and putting a stop to it. I did think the well known new one might push things over the edge as you can probably see it from space and I imagine quite a few trees were, er, relocated.

    bigjim
    Full Member
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