Having walked the new Lias Line route last month (which is in rural Warwickshire) and seen the influence of NH/DfT there, it is definitely the case that such influence [i.e. NH/DfT] produces trails which are very well engineered – so properly ‘all-weather’ routes – but have a distinctly urban appearance, which some will find inappropriate in rural locations. I noticed this in photographs last year of NH’s works in Goonhavern, Cornwall, although it must be admitted that that village is carved up by main roads, especially the A3075 Newquay-Truro road.
On the subject of Goonhavern, this was supposed to be an intermediate point on the new railway path from Newquay to Perranporth (via Goonhavern), but that has now been cut back to just Goonhavern to Perranporth. The full story, with several informative (but rather sad) links will be found here:www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/saints-trail-shambles-cycle-project-6607453
This is Cornwall Council’s page on the Saints Trails, or what is left of them:www.cornwall.gov.uk/saintstrails
£19m has gone into the Saints Trails, less a clawback (from NH) of £1m for failure to deliver on time. That still means that £18m has gone / is going into the project, so I am sure that people in Cornwall will be asking for some time, ‘How could so much capital produce so much less on the ground than initially promised and planned?’ The same kind of thing happened with the Lias Line project in rural Warwickshire, where the funding obtained – which delivered only Radford Semele-Marton Junction-Long Itchington – was intended to fund also Marton Junction-Draycote Water on the old LNWR ‘main’ line to Rugby.