Is this one of the worst fails for a barrier on a cycle path?
It has already been noted that the barriers installed on the Mill Springs shared Cycle/Pedestrian path cannot be used by a number of users, yet they still remain.
The chicane restrictions are an accessibility nightmare for cycles using a trailer or a family tagalong. They could also restrict work bikes, tandems, hand cycles and tricycles, and that’s before the needs of mobility scooters are considered. Double buggies are also likely to be hindered. The question is being asked – was an Equalities Impact Assessment undertaken? Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council as the planning authority should be able to provide that.
But another problem is occurring especially at the western end near the sports changing rooms. The installation is also restricting access to maintenance vehicles for the three sports pitches. While there are two bollards that can be unlocked to allow access, maintenance vehicles are then confronted with the staggered barriers across the path. These vehicles are taking to the surrounding grassed areas, completely destroying it and creating a stony bare unsightly eyesore – and when it rains stones and mud get washed down into the road below.
The area is currently under the management of Mill Springs developer David Wilson Homes, but will soon pass into the ownership and responsibility of the Whitchurch Town Council. Let us hope that before the site is handed into public ownership this issue is resolved or future costs may fall on local residents.
The solution is a simple one; remove the superfluous staggered barriers both here and at the other end; make access to all legitimate users possible; comply with requirements of the 2010 Equality Act, and remove the need for maintenance vehicles to churn up the grass. Sorted. Except it isn’t, at least not yet.
New cycle parking has been installed at the White Hart in the centre of Whitchurch.
Cycling levels have increased considerably recently, with Whitchurch becoming a popular destination. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, gentle lanes and river valleys and with a selection of shops and cafés, it has hit the cyclists radar as can be seen by the numbers who visit. Research has shown that investment in cycling facilities can increase revenue considerably resulting in forward looking businesses supporting the activity. See: CYCLING CAN INCREASE TRADE
Owned by family brewers Arkell’s, the White Hart provides excellent food, drinks, and accommodation, with a very friendly welcome and is highly recommended. Dedicated cycle parking is low in the town after the Town Council removed parking provision from the centre although it is looking to relocate it elsewhere. That exercise is believed to be ongoing.
An important requirement by those who cycle is that parking should be very close to and convenient to where they are visiting. The White Hart achieves this with the parking incorporated into its new outdoor area. A visit to the White Hart should not be missed.
There has been a good result to the lobbying for allowing cyclists to use the Hampshire Waste Recycling Centres from which they were previously excluded. As from Monday 19th July those on cycles can make a booking like anyone in another vehicle.
Hampshire County Council say: “Cyclists wishing to visit the recycling centre from 19 July 2021 can do so through the booking system, by selecting a convenient time slot in the same way as a vehicle user. When booking please enter “BIKE” in the registration field.“
Pedestrian and Mobility scooter access is still restricted. However trials are commencing at three centres to determine whether it may be possible. Details are here: PEDESTRIAN/MOBILITY SCOOTER ACCESS TRIAL
Hampshire County Council has launched a new grant scheme, to encourage organisations and businesses, to promote cycling as an alternative and environmentally friendly way to get to work.
THIS COULD BE GOOD FOR WHITCHURCH
The Workplace Cycle Parking Grant and E-Bike (Electric Bike) Loan scheme enables organisations and businesses to apply for a grant to install safe and sheltered workplace parking or an E-Bike loan that employees can make use of.
The deadline for applications is 13th August 2021 and organisations can apply online.
£150,000 has been allocated for the grant scheme which has come from the Department for Transport’s £3.28 million Active Travel Fund.
Organisations that will be able apply for a Workplace Cycle Grant or E-bike loan are:
• Individual organisations; • Groups of two or more organisations e.g., a retail park; • NHS and other health care providers; • Schools, colleges, and other educational providers; • Charities and community interest companies; • Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises; and • Limited companies.
Opportunity to visit Historic Hampshire Churches throughout the area.
On Ride & Stride day whether you are on your own or with a group, or with your family and friends this is a wonderful opportunity to explore unique and unusual historic churches.
At the present time both All Hallows and the Baptist Church are listed as two of the participants in Whitchurch. Many in the local villages and countryside are also taking part and the event is based on visiting as many as you wish.
You will see beautiful countryside while being able to get some exercise travelling between the churches whether you are on foot or on a bike at the same time as raising money for church restorations.
Ride and Stride happens only once a year on the second Saturday in September. This year it will be on 11th September 2021.
It gives you the opportunity to go inside as many churches as possible, chat with church representatives and learn more about the history and heritage of each individual church.
The sponsorship money you raise will be used for repairs and restoration to the churches and chapels of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for you and the next generation to enjoy. Here is the Cycling Page: RIDE & STRIDE CYCLING
Micheldever Road and its junction with Winchester Road is a notorious junction in Whitchurch, being an access point for both the local Primary and Secondary Schools. It is subject to heavy use by traffic and suffers from road break up, potholes and pavement driving.
Complaints over the road markings have in part been listened to by Hampshire County Council. Exiting Micheldever Road has been hazardous as the Give Way markings had all but been worn away, and with the cracks in the road it had become difficult to see where to pull up to give way. With difficult sightlines especially for those turning right, there had been some near misses.
The lines have now been replaced although the poor broken surface remains which is a particular hazard for those cycling. It would have been good too, if Hampshire County Council had repainted the 20mph roundels at the same time. Maybe they ran out of paint.
And a pothole: Now all it needs is for Hampshire to sort out the recurring nearby pot hole and the blocked drain that is becoming a part of Whitchurch history. This has been ‘fixed’ so many times over the years that it is becoming part of Whitchurch’s folklore. Expect grass and weeds to emerge soon as happens most years. Some say it should be ‘Listed’.
A petition calling the Government to address the increasing amount of aggression that cyclists are receiving has been launched. It asks the Government to:
Run a public awareness campaign to address driver aggression toward cyclists
In 2019, 16,884 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents, including 4,433 who were killed or seriously injured. These figures only include cyclists killed or injured in road accidents that were reported to the police. Many cyclist casualties are not reported to the police.
Driver aggression towards cyclists feels to be increasing & we are calling on the Department of Transport to run a national public awareness campaign to educate motorists about dangerous behaviours.
Whitchurch Town Council has started a review of the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Whitchurch Neighbourhood Development Plan (WNDP) was passed by local Referendum in 2017 and adopted by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council. It includes policies, aims and proposals for development in the town that take place to 2029. It is now being reviewed.
Whilst the main focus of the Review is on setting locations for future housing development it also sets recommendations and policies for other strategic issues. These include sustainable travel and environmental concerns, which of course includes cycling, walking and also climate change.
There could be opportunities to set new or strengthen policies that enhance the cycling and walking experience in the town and local area. These may include provision of safe routes and facilities which would local improve safety, access, health, the economy and the environment.
A team is being set up which includes sustainable travel as one of its main considerations. Details are available via Whitchurch Town Council.
Details of the Pedal With Alice 2021 event have been announced. It is to be held at Thruxton on Sunday 12th September, 11.00am – 3.00pm Alice was a wonderful young lady who’s life changed in 2013, when after feeling unwell diagnosis led to being a rare cancer, and after a series of intensive chemotherapy treatments and operations, the cancer spread and Alice wrote her bucket list.
Amazing Alice’s charity mission is to help other families of children who have been treated on the Southampton’s paediatric oncology unit create long lasting memories. Our mission is to provide special times for families doing the things their children enjoy doing.
The date has been confirmed for the Andover Cycling Festival for 2021 – it being held on Sunday 11th June. All rides for this excellent day start at Andover Guildhall. Three sportive rides out into the local countryside are planned as well as a closed circuit Children’s Ride in the town centre.
Start times for the rides are:
80 miles – 8.30am 50 miles – 9.00am 15 miles – 9.30am Childrens Ride – Town Centre closed circuit 10.00am