Wallingford is the largest town in Oxfordshire with as yet little in the way of organised cycling activity, despite having some wonderful cycling country on the doorstep. To address this ‘gap’, CTC Oxfordshire is organising a series of 5 leisure rides from Wallingford over the summer.
The rides are open to all and mostly in the popular format of 25 to 40 miles on a Sunday afternoon with a stop for tea and cake about half-way. The rides will follow the quieter country lanes through the Vale and on occasion up into the Chilterns. We’ll keep to a sociable pace, not a sporty one, about 11-13 mph on the road. The rides will be led by experienced leaders, and follow CTC guidelines to be safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Rides will start from Wallingford Market Place, outside the Town Information Centre, at 1:30pm on the first Sunday of each month, starting this Sunday 5 May. (The nearby Goldsmiths Lane car park is currently free on Sundays.) Rides will normally arrive back at 4:30 to 5pm. The exception will be 7 July, which will be a ‘picnic ride’ starting at 9:30am to coincide with the Benson Veteran Cycle Club Rally, and returning mid-afternoon.
If you’d like to join us on Sunday, we’ll be heading westwards to the Wittenhams, Didcot and the Hagbournes with tea stop at Blewbury, a flattish ride of about 25 miles.
So if you live in or near Wallingford and would like to meet up with and ride with other local cyclists, and would be interested in forming a new cycling group, please get in touch with us or come along to one of the taster rides. What happens next will depend on the level of interest generated.
Please find below the contents of an email received from Sustrans.
Please support the Times’ petition to ‘Get Britain Cycling’ and the Sustrans’ survey:
Today saw the publication of two landmark reports on cycling and physical activity. Both provide a unique opportunity for the world of cycling and beyond to have a decisive impact on the way government thinks.
The Get Britain Cycling report, written by a group of MPs with substantial input from Sustrans, spells out in 19 recommendations to government how to get more people get on bikes – and the massive benefits that will result.
Designed to Move, produced by Nike with the support of Sustrans, helps demonstrate the importance of physical exercise and how walking and cycling can help overcome the inactivity crisis we currently face.
But we urgently need your help to make the most of this chance and put pressure on the government to act.
Just a few minutes of your time can help us convince politicians to get behind the vision of Sustrans and our allies of a healthier, happier society.
The scoping report is early in the planning stage and commenting on cycling provision may seem a bit premature. From previous experience getting in early is the best way forward as the planners will have our initial comments before they start producing their transport proposals.
If you would like to comment / add to the HarBUG response please reply to the post below or in the forums or contact: email@example.com
HarBUG are running a Cycle to Work day on Wednesday 17th April.
If you have not been cycling during this (very) long Winter then this is an ideal opportunity to get back into the saddle.
We will be running accompanied rides from the local towns (see attached poster for details).
We need ride leaders for the Abingdon, Wantage and Grove rides. So if you would like to help out please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join in with the accompanied rides, it gives new riders a sense that they are not alone and is a good chance to meet with other cyclists from the same town. The rides may be at a slower pace to what you are used to and may not be at the same time you normally travel but please make the effort. Thanks.
A cyclist’s breakfast will be served at the Harwell pavilion at the Thomson Avenue entrance from 07:30 to 09:00. The breakfast is free to all cycling in on that day.
One more thing, please could you display the attached poster on your organisations notice boards and if you have a intranet notice board, please contact me and I can send some ‘words’ about the cycle to work day.
Campus Spring Bike to Work Day – Wednesday 17th April. Details to follow. This is after Easter so get your bikes out of the shed , during the holiday and ready to start cycling again. (if you have not been cycling over the Winter). We are looking for ride leaders from Abingdon, Wantage and Grove
Science Vale Bike to Work Day – Wednesday 19th June.
If you have been cycling over the winter you will have noticed a degradation of the surfaces on the routes used to get to the campus.
The three main areas of concern are; the final 500m Western approach to the Campus from Wantage on route 44, route 44 East of the Campus from the A4185 crossing to Hagbourne Hill and the Winnaway. Please find below a summary for each area and what HarBUG is trying to get done about it. There are other bits of tracks that need to be looked at but these are the primary problem areas and have been for a while.
1) The final 500m Western approach to the Campus from Wantage on route 44. This stretch is badly overgrown and is now down to a rutted single wheel width in places. There is no way around it, this section needs to be re-surfaced. HarBUG are approaching Oxfordshire Countryside and Sustrans to get quotes for re-surfacing. Since this section is not used by farm vehicles it could be surfaced with Asphalt, similar to the old railway track from Didcot to Upton. OK getting quotes is one thing getting money is another and money for maintenance jobs is even more difficult. County councillors now have a budget they can use for small local jobs so we will approach this route and see if Harwell Oxford would also like to contribute. Any other ideas?
2) Route 44 East of the Campus from the A4185 crossing to Hagbourne Hill. This is used by heavy farm vehicles who have been moving a lot of ‘muck’ around recently and along with the Winter weather has resulted in the track being badly potholed and in places the potholes cannot be avoided. There is nothing we can do about the farm vehicles and usually the farmer does fill in the biggest potholes. What we are proposing for this section, as a trial, is to install a salt/grit bin filled with Limestone dust, a shovel, a surface tamper and possibly a fold-able wheelbarrow to repair holes ourselves before they get too large. At the moment the damage to the track is too great for this to make any difference but if the farmer does repair the track then we could give this a try, probably at the end of the track closest to the crossing which is the worst place for potholes. Questions to be asked:
Are HarBUG members happy to spend a few minutes to fill a hole or will it be left expecting other people to do it?
Would HarBUG members be interested in a Friday Afternoon pothole repair session every few weeks and spend 1/2 hour on their way home to help out?
Is it a silly idea and there any other ideas we should be looking at?
3) The Winnaway. The Winnaway has spent a lot of the winter under water. However we don’t want repairs or any maintenance on the Winnaway it needs to be completly drained, widened, upgraded, re-surfaced and extended down to the road crossing on the A4185. This is a capital expendidture project and we have consistently put this is the no.1 priority project for cycling infrastructure improvements for many years. Hopefully now with housing being built on the campus and the campus now being able to start it’s expansion, money for this will be made available. The Winnaway upgrade is as important as any other transport infrastructure or transport improvement project for the Science Vale and will deliver higher benefits to costs ratio than other proposed transport schemes.
If you do have any comments or suggestions please let us know.
There was a lot of reaction to the death of cyclist Paul Welch with calls for safety improvements etc. The letter was to point out that the roundabout is used daily by cyclists from Didcot getting to the campus without problems and any safety improvements usually don’t take into account the needs of cyclists.
There is already plans to build an off-road cycle path along the Wantage Road to Great Western park, which we are trying to get changed. The path will be no use to anybody who wants to use a cycle for transport or sport and probably make things worse.
We will have to see if there is any reaction to the letter. On the front page of the same edition of the Didcot Herald was the revelation that a report to be published soon will call for more sustainable transport in Didcot so the letter is very topical.
There is a documentary program about the ‘conflict’ between drivers and cyclists on roads tonight on BBC1 at 9:00pm.
By all accounts it does not give a balanced view towards cyclists but I guess it needs to be watched and individual opinions formed.
If you do have a car driver in your office / works who is always going on about cyclists always being in the way, shouldn’t be on the roads etc. then you may want to check out a couple of links to articles about the program on our Twitter page or look at the Twitter feed on our website at the bottom right of any page: www.harbug.org.uk. These should give you some background / context to the footage shown.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter or check the Twitter feed on the webpage as we do re-tweet messages with useful links.
Goodman, the Campus developers, have revealed plans for 120 houses to be built in the area North of Curie Avenue and South of the Icknield Way. This is the land where the Squash courts were and where the empty houses are standing. The housing scheme will include the Kids Unlimited Nursery.
There was a public consultation last Tuesday (13th Nov.) which HarBUG attended. HarBUG’s main concerns were the maintaining of the Icknield Way and the cycle path by the side of the A4185 from the crossing point to Curie Avenue, both of these are being safeguarded. You can view the display from the public consultation here.
If you have any comments about the development please let HarBUG know at email@example.com.
Please note these are houses are not part of the 400 new houses planned for the North of the Icknield Way around the existing North Drive houses.