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Using my Mountain bike has helped me become a lot fitter!

Winnaway Update

Just an update you on The Winnaway Cycle Improvement Project.

As you may recall, in 2015, the County Council rebuilt the Winnaway as a section of a Didcot to Harwell Campus premium cycle route in line with the Science Vale Cycling Strategy.

An action within the Winnaway Cycle Improvement Project was to re-classify the path from a footpath to a bridleway. Unfortunately the Council could not get agreement from all the landowners within the project time frame.

Today ,13th November 2019, HarBUG has sent an application for a definitive map modification order (DDMO) to Oxfordshire Countryside Records for the Winnaway.

The application is for a change of status from footpath to bridleway so that cyclists can legitimately use the Winnaway to access the Harwell Campus.

We have sent 29 user evidence statements from both cyclists and horse riders in the village as well as cycle commuters and other recreational cyclists. We have included Strava data which shows 9,575 cycle trips by 739 people.

We have also received and submitted letters of support for our application from Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Harwell Campus Joint Venture Partners (UKAEA, UKRI-STFC and Harwell Campus).

In addition, letters have been sent to all landowners, by HarBUG, informing them of our application. This is a requirement of the application process.

As the Winnaway Cycle Improvement Project was a County Council strategic aim we have asked that the application is prioritised. The DMMO process can take some time, up to 10 years if our application is not given a high priority.

 

Peep-o-Day Lane Closure

If you cycle in from Abingdon, we have received notification from the County Council of proposed cycle route improvements on a section of Peep-O-Day Lane, due to start in mid-October this year.

The works will be carried out on Peep-O-Day Lane between the access points to Thames Water Sewage Works and the Quarry. The works will include trimming back vegetation, re-surfacing the existing damaged path and installing luminescent/reflective discs along the edge of the path to provide low level lighting.

The duration of works will be approximately three weeks and this section of Peep-O-Day Lane will remain closed with signed diversion routes in place for equestrians/cyclists and pedestrians. Please see attached location and diversion plan for details (201120-SKA-TTM-RT3-DR-CH-0004-S0-Z0).

Campus Bike Rental

Harwell Campus have launched a Campus Bike scheme, where you can borrow a cycle, for free, to get around the Campus. The bike scheme is run by Bainton Bikes in Oxford through the Donkey Republic App.

You will need to download the Donkey Republic App and sign in with a credit / debit card although you won’t be charged for using the Campus Bikes for a period up to 48 hours.

Find out more here: Campus Bike Rental

Find out more about Donkey Republic here: Donkey Republic

HarBUG are pleased that this scheme has been launched, we have been asking for Campus cycles to be introduced for a while. This is also useful for users of the Science facilities on the Campus who have asked us in the past about cycle hire.

 

Wantage – Campus New Cycle Path

Update 2nd September – Please click here for the HarBUG response to Icknield Way Access Restrictions: HarBUG Response

Details of the consultation and maps can be found here: Icknield Way Access Restrictions (closes 13th September)

Don’t forget the Oxfordshire Cycle Survey 2019 consultation (closes 6th September).


As part of the new Wantage – Harwell Campus new cycle route, the County Council are proposing that on a section of the new route, motorised vehicles are prohibited.

The section in question is the Icknield Way from Newbury Road (from East Hendred) down to Ginge Brook Bridge and across to where it connects with the track to Ardington.

Details of the consultation and maps can be found here: Icknield Way Access Restrictions (closes 13th September)

The proposal for the new path is that this section is re-built with a compacted Limestone surface. We know from other routes in the area that this is fine to cycle on but is damaged by motorised vehicles use. Farm vehicles will still have access but recreational use will be banned e.g. motocross, 4 x 4 use.

Please respond to this consultation with your support as in a previous informal consultation there were many objections to the proposal. Please also don’t forget the Oxfordshire Cycle Survey 2019 consultation (closes 6th September)

Hit & Run on Campus

On Thursday 18th July there was a hit and run incident on the campus involving a  cyclist. A 17 year old female cyclist was cycling along Fermi Avenue at around 17:35 in-between the Little Stars Nursery and the beginning of the cycle path, which she was aiming to get on. A black Ford Fiesta overtook her, clipped her front wheel and knocked her off. The car did not stop.

Fortunately, the cyclists was not seriously injured, a wrenched shoulder, but is shook up. The incident has been reported to the Police.

If you saw this incident or know somebody who witnessed the incident please let HarBUG know at chair@harbug.org.uk

It may be a one off but if you have had problems with a Black Fiesta driving aggressively towards cyclists on Campus or to and from work please also let us know – even better with a number plate.

We need to stick together to make sure this kind of driving is stopped.


Report of Aggressive Cyclist

HarBUG has also received a report about an aggressive cyclist in Steventon. A driver was overtaking the cyclists at around 08:25, giving plenty of space (according to the driver), before even starting to overtake the cyclist was shaking his fist and sounding a loud air horn.

We only have the drivers point of view so we cannot make a call if either or both were ‘out of order’ and we don’t know whether the cyclists was on his way to the Campus or a HarBUG member.

We all have encountered bad drivers with close passes and sometimes it justified to let the motorist know you are not happy but we should make sure we only do this when it is necessary.

Let’s keep cycling as the happy mode of transport.

Didcot Cycle Review

On the 1st June, a group of cyclists biked around Didcot and ‘Greater Didcot’ to review the current cycle infrastructure and proposals / ideas for the future. The ride, organised by HarBUG, include the County’s Cycling Champion, the Didcot Garden Project Manager and the County’s Active Travel Officer who is currently compiling a Local Cycling and Wlaking Infrastructure Plan for Didcot.

You can download a copy of the report from the Cycle Review here:     Didcot Cycle Review 2019

A copy of the review will be sent to all Town, District and County Councillors for Didcot and immediate surroundings e.g. Harwell, Milton etc.

Winnaway – Unfinished Driveway Surfacing

HarBUG has put a FixMyStreet report in concerning the unfinished works on the Winnaway i.e. rebuild and resurface of the five driveways at the top of the hill.

We contacted the County Council and they advised that this was the best way to get small works completed. We pointed out that this is unfinished project work not maintenance and there is budget available for it.

You can view the report here: Winnaway – Unfinished Cycle Improvement Project.

Thames Travel Drivers

We have had a couple of issues with bus drivers, on Campus roads, over the past two weeks.

In one incident the bus driver was aggressively beeping his horn and then lent out of the window and told the cyclist he should be on the cycle path.

In a second incident the bus driver was gesturing for the cyclist to get off the road.

The first incident has been reported to Thames Travel but we would like to know if any other cyclists have had recent issues with Thames Travel bus drivers either on Campus roads or on their journey to and from work.

Please can you let HarBUG know either by posting a reply to this item or emailing chair@harbug.org.uk.

If this is proving to be an ongoing issue we will contact Thames Travel.

Local Cycle Events

There are some local cycle events coming up over the next few weeks, so if you fancy challenging yourself or a family ride sign up and join in.


Farcycles – Folly Park Fundraising Event – Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th May

Starting this weekend, Farcycles are holding are number of cycling theme events in Faringdon to raise funds for a cycle training facility in Folly Park.

For more details: Folly Cycle Park – Farcycles


Bike Oxford – Sunday 19th May

Now a staple of the Oxford cycling event calendar, there are 25, 50 or 80 mile route options through the Oxfordshire countryside.

For more details: BikeOxford 2019


Uptonogood – Saturday 15th June

Back after a year off this local mountain bike event has events for all the family as well as serious off-roaders and a party tent for afterwards. starting in Upton it is a good way to discover some of the off-road cycle routes in the North Wessex Downs.

For more details: Uptonogood 2019

Housing Development Links

We have pointed out in the past issues with new housing developments and their cycle (and pedestrian) connections to existing parts of towns or villages. We have seen cycle paths, that were on plans, disappear at Crab Hill, Wantage and now we have a shared use path appearing in the Southern section of Great Western Park in Didcot.

The path runs through the width of the south part of GWP connecting other paths along the way and is a useful piece of cycling infrastructure. Not at Dutch or Danish standards but OK for lower UK expectations. The path finishes at a junction with Wantage Road an this is where the problems are.

The junction with Wantage Road has no paths to connect to, it just stops at the highway boundary, it doesn’t even stop at the roadside. It looks like the developer has deliberately stopped the path at the highway boundary so that it is the County Council’s problem and not theirs. There is no crossing on the busy road and just a grass verge on the other side of the road. The path is hidden by trees and bushes either side, it cannot be seen by motorists.

The path stops at the highway boundary not the kerbside
View from service road alongside Wantage Road

The crazy thing is that HarBUG has been talking with the County Council about hybrid cycle lanes along Wantage Road, which the developers are paying for and designing. This path does not appear on the plans and the planned cycle lanes do not extend far enough along Wantage Road to connect to the new path. HarBUG tried to get the cycle lanes extended in consultations, if we knew that this new path was being built we would have a stronger argument to get the lanes extended.

HarBUG has written to the County Council, the local County and District councillors (although the district councillors have now changed) to try and get this issue resolved before there is an accident.