Science Vale Cycling Update – Wantage, Didcot & A34


Wantage New Cycle Route. Several years ago HarBUG proposed a new cycle route to Wantage connecting the villages along the A417; the Hendreds and Ardington. This project has funding but has been stalled for a couple of years. The County Council are currently in discussions with landowners, these discussions are sensitive so we don’t know any details about where the final route will run. As soon as we have information we can pass on we will but the project is ongoing.

Didcot Garden Town. The delivery plan for Didcot Garden Town is open for consultation until 31st July. It mentions cycling in quite a few places. It is a large document but the main places for cycling are contained in:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Cycling featured as on the Early Priority Projects (p62)
  3. The main section on ‘Transport’ (p97) including cycling on many pages but particularly p118-119

HarBUG will be putting in a response but please also support cycling in the Garden Town with an individual responses. The report and appendices can be downloaded from: Didcot Garden Town

A34 Link. Last year HarBUG and the Oxfordshire Cycling Network put in a bid to the Highways Agency to get a path built alongside the A34 linking the Chilton Junction with the Ridgeway Junction. Our bid was supported by Oxfordshire County Council and West Berkshire Council. We have had no updates on the bid as yet.


Science Vale Cycling Update – Milton Outer Ring


In HarBUG’s submission to the Local Transport Plan we put forward an idea to build an outer ring around the Milton Interchange for cyclists and pedestrians. There has been progress with this.

Steventon Rail Path. This is an existing path that runs parallel to railway from Steventon to Milton Park. This is already used by cyclists but very rough in places. The path is due to be widened and re-surfaced. Currently in discussions with landowners to get a better access point in Steventon.

Milton Park. Milton Park are proposing a series of improvements to make cycling easier around the park, this will include linking the end od the Steventon Rail Path to the Backhill Tunnel.

Backhill Tunnel. This is a former disused tunnel under the railway just before the Milton Interchange and will be a cut through into Milton Park. This is currently under construction. There will be a new crossing on the A4130 but details about this is sketchy.

Didcot, Valley Park North West. This is the extension of Didcot up to the A34. The County Council has agreed with the developers that a shared use path will be built linking the Backhill Tunnel up to the Milton Heights Bridge although this may be a few years away.

Milton Heights Bridge. The County Council has secured funding from the developers of new houses at Milton Heights to pay for a new cyclists / pedestrian bridge across the A34. There are currently discussions with the developers about when they will make the money available and any new bridges across the A34 have to be approved by the Highways Agency.

Milton Heights Development. From the plans of the new housing there will be a route through to the Steventon Hill Traffic Lights.

Steventon Hill Traffic Lights. There was a consultation for road improvements inbetween the Featherbed Lane Junction and the Steventon Hill Lights, a few years back now. We raised objections as they were not cycle friendly. No changes have been made to the designs but this project is being reviewed so there may be opportunities to include some changes to benefit cyclists.

The Milton Outer Ring will provide an alternative route for cyclists to the Harwell Campus from Abingdon. The full Outer Ring is a few years away yet but it is good that it has been identified and acted upon.

Science Vale Cycling Update – The Winnaway


It is a good time to have a catch up with what is happenning with cycling in the area, starting with The Winnaway

There was money left over from the Winnaway project and the County Council are looking to use this to try to improve crossing the A417 for cyclists at Harwell village.

One issue that we did raise was the rough surface finish where private driveways cross the new Winnaway route. The County Council were not aware of this and the crossing points should have been the same surface standard as the rest of the route. They are going to look into this.

The legal status remains as a footpath and since some of the landowners will not agree to it being changed to a bridleway the County Council have advised us that the best way forward is for HarBUG to request a change in its status. We will be putting a request together, we don’t think there will be a problem as it has been used by cyclists for 30 years or more. The problem is there is a 10 year backlog of applications (this is low priority work for cash strapped councils). We hope given that the Winnaway is an imprortant cycle link we may be able to ‘jump the queue’.

As we have mentioned before a footpath is not the same as a footway. The Winnaway is a footpath and only the landowner can ask you stop cycling on their land and there is landowners permission to cycle on nearly all of the route.

Please slow down for horses and pedestrians when using the Winnaway.

Campus Cycle to Work Day – This Wednesday (26th April)!

Don’t forget the Cycle to Work day this Wednesday.

The weather is looking fine and bright, but a bit cooler than last week, ideal cycling weather!

If you can, please join in with the escorted rides from Abingdon, Didcot, Wantage or Grove. If not call in at the Harwell Pavilion, say hello and grab a bacon roll or vegetarian sauasage roll.

We will have some leaflets available about ‘cyclists and the law’ and ‘cycling with horses’ as well as Science Vale cycle maps.

Don’t forget to encourage you fellow colleagues to try cycling to work.

Cycle Campaign Event This Saturday – Please join us!

As part of its ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign, Cycling UK is holding a number of rides and events around the country this Saturday 22nd April.

In Oxford, there will be a gathering outside County Hall at 2pm.

Please join us if you can.

Join one of the groups riding in from towns around Oxfordshire (eg Wantage).  Or join at one of Oxford’s Park & Rides.  Or just turn up at County Hall, before 2pm.  You don’t even need to bring your bike!  All the details of rides are here:

The event will give candidates in the forthcoming local elections the chance to show their support for cycling to the assembled cyclists and media.  Further information here:

Guy W


Campus Cycle to Work Day – Wednesday 26th April 2017

The Campus Cycle to Work day is two weeks away. Last year we had a record number of participants. Lets see if we can beat that this year. If you are a regular cyclist please pop in at the breakfast and say hello. It would be even better if you could join in with one of the escorted rides.

Please download the poster for the event and display it on your organisation’s notice board: Cycle to Work Poster 2017

Please download the word document and publish on your organisation’s intranet / newsletter / email: Cycle to Work Text

The Cycle to Work Day will be held on Wednesday 26th April. Cyclists breakfasts will be served at the Harwell Pavilion, Thomson Entrance between 07:30 to 09:00. Free to any Campus staff who cycle to work on the Cycle to Work Day. Vegetarian option available.

There will be free Science Vale cycle maps and other information available.

If you have never cycled to work before or are getting back in the saddle then join one of our easy paced escorted rides to the Campus, suitable for all fitness levels. Just turn up before the departure time detailed below:

  • Didcot Parkway, Brompton hire lockers – Depart 07:50
  • Abingdon, Old County Hall – Depart 07:40
  • Wantage, Nelson Pub – Depart 07:45
  • Grove, Millbrook Square – Depart 07:30


  • If you are joining the escorted rides, please ensure your cycle is road worthy.
  • Cycle helmets are not mandatory on escorted rides but are recommended.
  • Ride leaders for the escorted rides will be wearing HarBUG fluorescent jackets.
  • We cannot connect the Didcot ride with trains from Oxford and Reading due to restrictions carrying cycles on some trains and timetable changes.
  • Free breakfasts will be available whilst stocks last.
  • Please contact if you have any questions.

Also don’t forget the Oxfordshire Space for Cycling Campaign Event  on Saturday 22nd April. Please join in and support cycling in Oxfordshire.





Campus Cycle to Work Day – 26th April

On Wednesday 26th April we will be holding a Campus Cycle to Work Day.

We will be encouraging all campus employees to try cycling to work with escorted rides into the campus from Didcot, Wantage / Grove and Abingdon. If you already cycle to work please come along to the Harwell Pavilion between 07:30 and 09:00 to join fellow cyclists and support the best way of commuting to work. We will be offering a free breakfast for everybody who cycles to work. Last year we had a record number of cyclists participating, hopefully we can top this this year.

If you have had a break from cycling over the Winter or your new years resolutions have not gone to plan, this is an ideal opportunity to get back cycling and get on  track.

One of the main reasons for the Cycle to Work Days is to allow new cyclists to try cycle commuting and running the escorted rides in is key to this. We need some members to help run the escorted rides by acting as Ride Leaders. If you can help out with the event by being a Ride Leader please could you contact Thanks.

This years Cycle to Work Day breakfasts are sponsored by Diamond Light Source:

Dates for diaries:

Saturday 22nd April – Oxfordshire Space for Cycling Campaign Event.

Wednesday 26th April – Campus Cycle To Work Day.

Oxfordshire Cycling Network – Strategic Cycle Network

Oxfordshire Cycling Network today has today launched it’s vision for a countywide strategic cycle network.

More information can be found here:

There is a new Twitter account for Oxfordshire Cycling: @OxonCyclingNet #OxonCycleNet

The Oxfordshire Cycling Network (OCN) is an umbrella group to provide a unified vision and voice for cyclists in Oxfordshire at a county level. It is made up from representitives of cycling organisations in the county and HarBUG is an active member. OCN is represented on the County Council’s active travel steering group and the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s transport steering group.

Please note the date of  Sunday 22nd April when there will be a gathering of cyclists at County Hall in Oxford at 2pm to promote the proposal and to get support from County councillors. It would be great if HarBUG members could join in and show support. More details closer to the date.

OCN will be asking County Council candidates to support Space for Cycling, to Plan, Invest and Build a network like this.

The OCN proposal, is based on a sound economic basis.  The benefits in health and travel time would be many times the investment.  London, Cambridge, Bristol and most recently Cheshire have all seen these benefits and are investing to gain them


Didcot Garden Town Consultation

The consultation for the Didcot Garden Town proposals had been extended till Tuesday 28th February.

Please have a look at the proposals and email your comments to

Transport information, including cycling, can be found here:

More detailed information about transport can be downloaded here: presentation Part 2 Housing and Infrastructurepptx.pdf  Information about cycling is best shown on page 31, 41 and 42, although transport in general starts on page 16.

Please send in a comment to support cycling in the Garden Town proposals. A one line email stating your support is fine. Even if you don’t live in Didcot, please send in your support as any good practice / examples can be used to support schemes elsewhere.