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.

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.


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

Promoting commuter cycling to the Harwell Campus