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.

Science Vale Cycle Network 2019

HarBUG has submitted a proposal for naming Science Vale cycle routes. We first put forward the idea of naming routes after famous Oxford scientists for the Oxfordshire Local Transport Plan in 2009. We have revised this with updated routes and new planned infrastructure e.g. the Science Bridge in Didcot and new A34 bridge at Milton Heights.

You can download our proposal here: HarBUG proposal for Science Vale Cycle Network Naming Convention

The routes are all named after Oxford Scientists with a surname beginning with the letter ‘H’. This gives the names a second common theme and the Scientists most people can name are the ones chosen.

Bike Oxford – Sun 19th May

You are invited to Bike Oxford – the city’s biggest one-day cycling sportive, on Sunday 19 May.  Previous editions have seen over a thousand riders take to Oxfordshire’s roads, and 2019 promises to be its biggest year yet.  The hugely popular event offers a choice of three way-marked routes, with feed stops and support, of 25, 50 or 80 miles.  This year we are showcasing the beautiful countryside South East of the city.  Routes can be viewed at http://www.bikeoxford.co.uk/ with the 25 mile route designed be accessible for newcomers to the sport, while the 50 and 80 routes have been designed to be challenging for experienced riders.  Entry is £36 per rider for the 80 and 50-mile rides or £26 for the 25-mile ride.  Discounted entry is available for under 16s and charity riders. 

Campus Cycle to Work Day Wednesday 3rd April

It doesn’t take a genius to realise the benefits of cycling to work – Join in

We have a Campus Cycle to Work Day which is a great way to try cycling to work with one of our easy paced escorted rides to the campus from Didcot, Wantage or Grove, suitable for all fitness levels. Just turn up before the departure time detailed below:

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

If you already cycle to work, it is great event to meet other cyclists who commute to the campus.

There will be a free breakfast for cyclists, sponsored by Ricardo, for any Campus staff who cycle to work on the Cycle to Work Day. Vegetarian option available. Breakfast will be served at the Harwell Pavilion, Thomson Entrance between 07:30 to 09:00.


Media

Please download the poster for the event and display it on your organisation’s notice board: Cycle to Work Day Poster – April 2019

Please download the word document and publish on your organisation’s intranet / newsletter / email: Cycle to Work Day – April 2019


Notes for Cycle to Work Day:

  • 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 chair@harbug.org.uk if you have any questions.

Campus Wide 20 mph Speed Limit

From the 18th February (a bit of late news) the Harwell Campus has a maximum speed limit of 20mph. Some areas of the Campus, like RAL, have had a 20mph limit for sometime, now it is Campus wide.

This is good news for cyclists and a positive step forward, whether motorists respect the speed limit is another matter. We don’t know whether there are plans to monitor the speed of vehicles or to do anything other than put up signs and paint the road. As the Campus Bicycle Users Group we should monitor the affects of the 20mph limit and feedback to the Campus management. If you have any observations / comments good or bad, about the speed limit, please contact us at: web@harbug.org.uk

Improving Transport for Didcot and the Surrounding Area

UPDATE; Please find a draft of the HarBUG response to the County Council’s proposals here: HarBUG Didcot Transport 2018

If you have any comments on the proposals please contact HarBUG at chair@harbug.org.uk


The County Council has a consultation open for improving transport for Didcot and the surrounding area.

You can download the proposed package of improvements and comment here: Didcot Transport Proposals

The consultation closes on the 25th November and there is a public exhibition on Saturday 17th November in the Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot.

The proposals are all road schemes with cycle paths running alongside. Details are a still missing on the cycle paths so at the moment these are intentions. On the cycling side, it will bring a direct cycle path from Didcot to Culham, which is good.

Are building new roads the answer to traffic problems? Evidence suggests not and the proposals seem to fly in the face of the County Council’s own stated policy of reducing car use. If your stuck queuing to get across Clifton Hampden bridge every day these plans will seem like a godsend, but for how long and are the queues just going to be moved to the next pinch point?

As a cycling group, HarBUG will send a response to the proposals mainly concerned about the planned cycle paths. We most likely won’t comment on whether the road proposals are the best way forward.

Please feel free to comment directly to the consultation at the OCC website.

Oxfordshire County Council Cycling Motion

A motion to call for the County Council to take more action on cycling is being put forward on the 6th November. Please contact your County Councillor asking them to support the motion and get cycling taken seriously as a transport option or even to get OCC to follow it’s own published documents..

You can find and contact your County Councillor here:      Oxfordshire County Councillors.

If you don’t live in Oxfordshire, please email the County Councillor for Harwell and Hendreds, which covers the Harwell Campus.

The motion reads as follows:

This Council recognises our ambition to achieve economic growth whilst improving the health and wellbeing of communities in Oxfordshire. Active travel provides an effective mechanism to achieve such goals, with potential to co-deliver multiple social, environmental and economic benefits. This council has recognised in LTP4 the importance of investment in sustainable transport and shares the Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy ambition to double cycling by 2025. Cognizant of Andrew Gilligan’s recent recommendations to the National Infrastructure Commission, it now wishes to accelerate progress towards this goal. This Council therefore calls upon the Cabinet Member for Environment to:

i) Apply Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) to agree a prioritised and costed Strategic Active Travel Network (SATN), building on work of the Oxfordshire Cycle Network.

ii) Actively seek capital and revenue funding for SATN delivery through local and national sources. 

iii) Assess what co-benefits could be gained by allocating a fraction of local transport funds to active travel infrastructure (e.g. 5 or 10%) following best practice examples.

iv)Use and enforce planning powers and influence more proactively and effectively to achieve beneficial active travel outcomes.

v) Establish a framework to oversee quality control of all active travel infrastructure projects in accordance with the Oxfordshire Cycling Design Standards, from inception through planning to implementation, ensuring all proposals are audited for safety and encouragement of active travel.

iv)Use innovative data sources and technologies to identify active travel patterns and latent demand, and to monitor and increase effectiveness of interventions.

Promoting commuter cycling to the Harwell Campus