EVENT: Ride & Stride – 11th September

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:

NEWS: Micheldever Road markings

Markings worn away.

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 new road markings but the poor surface remains.

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.

New markings.

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’.

NEWS: Call to halt Aggression

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.

The Petition is here:
Run a public awareness campaign to address driver aggression toward cyclists

PLEASE SIGN to help remove the unnecessary aggression on our roads.

NEWS: Neighbourhood Plan and Cycling

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.

EVENT: Pedal With Alice

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.

Full details are here: WWW.AMAZINGALICE.ORG

The Pedal With Alice cycling event celebrates the wonderful nature of Alice and helps raise those much needed funds to help others who suffer.

EVENT: Andover Cycling Festival ’21

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

Full details and entry conditions are available here:

NEWS: Barriers to both Cycling and the ‘Less Able’

Has anyone used the new Shared Cycle/Pedestrian path at Mill Springs in Whitchurch?

‘Chicane’ barriers have been erected at each end that are making it difficult for a number of users.
(click on pics to enlarge)

Micheldever Road ‘chicane’ barriers.

Staggered ‘chicane’ railings have been placed on the David Wilson Homes development that are causing access issues making the route less convenient and appealing to those it is supposed to cater for.

These are especially awkward for those with pushchairs, prams, wheelchairs or using mobility scooters, as well as for larger cycles such as tandems, tricycles, cargo bikes or those with the popular family trailers and tagalongs. For some the barriers make it impassable.
While there has not been a legal case they may also be breaking the requirements of the 2010 Equality Act.

The picture at the Micheldever Road end shows that some people are avoiding the barriers by going around them. That of course is not possible for some with mobility scooters or with less manoeuverable cycles. There has even been an attempt to block this desire line, with installation of a ‘bollard bodge’.

Mill Spring ‘chicane’ barriers.

Meanwhile at the other end of the path, by the new changing rooms, there are also barriers and bollards, again with similar access issues. Here there are two removable bollards which are fine for controlling access by motor vehicles, but then another ‘chicane’ barrier. The result is that maintenance vehicles have been churning up the grass to go around the staggered barriers.
Why was this placed here? It would be useful to hear the thinking!

Such chicane barriers are being removed in parts of the country – yet here in Whitchurch they are installed.
Whitchurch should, and can, do better.

NEWS: One month – a cone appears

It is one month since the growing pothole that could kill or seriously injure a cyclist, or cause damage and loss of control of a car, had been reported to Hampshire County Council.

The large hole in Winchester Road, right at the town boundary and 40mph sign has this weekend received a cone … yes, a cone that drivers have been seen swerving around as they see it nearly too late.

When are Hampshire County Council going to take the responsibility for the road surfaces seriously – those responsibilities that we pay ever increasing Council taxes for?

There is an election for local Hampshire County Councillors on May 6th.
Maybe the candidates should be asked.

Previous article is here:

NEWS: Cycle Parking Survey– Whitchurch

Whitchurch Town Council has launched a survey to find out where cycle parking could be provided in the town.
If you visit Whitchurch, even if only occasionally, you can help.

Do you visit the cafés, shops, parks, businesses, local services? Where would help you?

Early in 2020 the Town Council had installed parking racks in the centre to help prevent leaning on windows and to provide facilities for cyclists wanting to call into the cafés and shops.
A number of local businesses along with some residents lobbied the Council and the decision was overturned and the racks removed.
Where do these cycle parking racks now go? There are 8 available.

It is noticeable that cycling has massively increased and with the easing in lockdown and the better weather it is likely to grow further.

Cycles are already starting to be leant against walls and windows in the centre as cyclists like to park close to where they are visiting. Cyclists bring trade, as well as easing road space, reducing NHS costs and helping Climate Change aims so we should be encouraging it even more.

The Town Council’s Survey is here and runs until 26th April 2020:

NEWS: Cyclists banned at Recycling Centres

Hampshire County Council is currently stopping cyclists from using the Household Waste and Recycling Centres that they operate around the County.

At a time when Recycling and Climate Change are to the forefront of environmental issues, it just does not make sense.

Hampshire have failed to give any credible reasons for their discriminatory practice. One recent email claims that it is a ban presently in place because of social distancing issues, yet they have failed to explain why they believe drivers can social distance, but not those arriving by cycle.

The ban on dropping off unwanted items and waste for recycling …

  • … is anti-cycling and anti-active travel.
  • … is discriminatory against the 50% of the population who don’t own a car and against people who can’t fit a time slot.
  • … is against the declared HWRC policy to boost recycling and reduce fly-tipping.
  • … is against the declared HCC climate change policies.
  • … is financially unfair to those who do not drive and who are still paying Council Tax for this service, yet cannot use the facility.

But there is a glimmer of hope.
Hampshire County Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Roy Humby, has said there will be a “full and proper trial … as soon as we are able to do so.”

That sounds suspiciously like kicking the issue into the long grass.
It doesn’t need a trial, just some simple common sense.

Time to contact local Councillors.