I noticed the works when I spotted the trunks of newly felled trees stacked up on the grass besides the pedestrian and cycle path.
The path that runs across 'Battlefield' from the direction of town towards the suburb of Heaton is being widened. Divided between pedestrians and cyclists, today a flimsy notice tied to a lamp post says the path widening will create 'haven space' at crossroads and even out the dips and climbs. I know of no public discussion about these plans.
The lamp post statement of the bald facts ends with a vague promise of 'some (new) plantings', presumably to make up for what has been lost.
The widening of the path to the dimensions of a road entails felling trees. A thirty years old or more ash and a mature cherry have ben felled and I counted eight other stumps – so far.
I had never seen any difficulty with the arrangements as they were. The path was clearly divided and most people walked on one side while others cycled by, a very few at speed. Maybe the cyclists want something more like a road? And why would one want a haven space?
I speculate the aim of these works is to increase separation between cyclists and walkers (how remains to be seen) to allow for greater speed, inspired no doubt by the cycling craze and speedier bicycles. I hope this doesn't mean we are in for this ...