No More Investment in Cycling – Write to your MP now

The Times reported   that despite the fact that David Cameron has confirmed that he is “huge cycling fan” and says that he wants to “go further” and “realise our ambition to make the UK a true cycling nation,” echoing the calls he made in 2013 for a “cycling revolution.” the November Spending Review seems to spell an end for cycling infrastructure spending.

I have shamelessly plagiarised Matt Turner to come up with the effort below. via

It would be useful if Tania and Zac were in receipt of more variants.

Dear Tania Mathias,

I’m writing to you about the report in The Times   that investment in
cycling is due to be cut in the November spending review .

I’m dismayed at this news if it is indeed true as it contradicts the
Prime Minister's stated intention to " make the UK a true cycling

 We must keep investing in cycling, not for cyclists, but so that
everyone has the freedom to ride a bike. Helping to revitalise our
neighborhoods by reducing congestion, noise and making them nicer
places to spend time. To give our children the freedom to travel
independently, to reduce the burden on our health service, to begin to
tackle climate change and especially poor air quality ( in which London
is exceeding EU health limits ), and fundamentally, to give people a
the choice to move about without relying on a car.
I understand that a big focus of this review will be on transport
infrastructure, but cycling seems to be missing out. Back in March the
government published research into the benefit cost ratio (BCR) of
cycling investment compared to other transport investment, it showed
completely that the BCR was far higher for cycling than for any other
form of transport. I simply can’t understand why cycling investment
wouldn’t be a key part of infrastructure investment in the UK.

Yours sincerely,

Rides for Explorers – Surrey Woodlands to Polseden Lacy

Sunday 4th October

Meet at Twickenham Riverside 10.00. We head out across Bushy Park and through Thames Ditton to Littleworth Common and Ardbrook Common to reach Cobham. Crossing the Mole we follow lanes to Bookham Common and up to to NT cafe outside of Polsden Lacy. On the way home we add Oxshott Common and Claygate woods.

37 miles mostly away from the traffic.


Of the seven people who had signed up four of us met on the Riverside and one more joined at Polesden Lacy. (The remaining 2 cycled to Polesden Lacy but didn’t identify our group). It was sunny all day and the scenery was marvellous.  With a dry surface in the commons and well-matched riders we made good time and were back in Twickenham by 3pm.


Contact Paul : .-

Ride for Explorers – Burnham Beeches – Sunday 1st November

P1010957aMeet Twickenham Station before 10.05 to catch the 10.15 to Staines.(arr 10.30) We cycle through Staines Moor then via Colnbrook , through Langley Park and past Black Park to quiet Fulmer and finally the woodlands of Burnham Beeches in their autumnal splendour. After lunch in a woodland cafe  we head down to the Jubilee River path which takes us to Datchet and so back to Staines. About 30 miles mostly tarmac with some smooth gravel paths. Quite scenic / hilly.


Only 4 of us were at Twickenham but another 14 joined at Staines. The day was foggy but the sun peeked through at lunchtime. After a misty ride along the Jubilee River It was quite  a shock to hit the traffic back in Staines. The route was commended by all participants.


Ranelagh Drive – Isleworth Prom crossover.


Ranelagh Drive crossoverThere is a marked cycle route providing a quiet way from Richmond to Isleworth and on via  Sion Park to Brentford. In order to get from Ranelagh Drive to the shared use Isleworth Prom you need to cross the footway. A dropped kerb has been provided but this is unmarked and is usually obstructed by parked vehicles. At a similar location in LB Hounslow the crossover is marked by bollards in the road encouraging motorists to leave a gap here.

2015-07-16 13.11.00I have asked Richmond’s  new Cycling Officer about the possibility and she is sympathetic but needs evidence of public demand. Anyone disabled would count double ! Does anyone have experiences here that can be used for persuasion ?

Rides for Explorers – Surrey 50

Sunday 16th August

Half the distance of the Surrey 100 – and probably under half the pace – it is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so might as well look at it. As we can’t get the roads closed for us we will aim for quieter alternatives where possible.  It is quite hilly.


Five of us met in Bushy Park fountain car park 10.00. Use back roads to Brooklands for coffee then put up with some main road to Byfleet before turning off for Pyrford and quiet lanes before the North Downs. (If you think that Box Hill is a climb!)  After an interesting descent Lunch at the Compasses Inn at Gomshall . (Ho Hum another Surrey Pub has headed up-market ; but the pricey food is good )

2015-08-16 13.43.15The main road into Dorking isn’t too trafficky and we soon get to Box Hill from where we take my favourite switchback descent to Kingston and so home.

2015-08-16 15.17.35Decent weather ,  great scenery and good company made an enjoyable ride.

Good Practice and Bad

crane park 001The Cyclists Please Dismount signs that have just appeared are, at least, polite but the London Cycling Design Guide frowns on Cyclists Dismount signs.

In this location it isn’t even desirable behaviour -  a cyclist walking with a bike would fully block the route for some time. A sensible cyclist would ride up to the turn, stop ,wait for any walkers under the bridge, and when clear ride through quickly. There is already a pedestrian priority sign but maybe “Cyclists stop and look out for walkers” would be more explicit.

A pity that unimaginative planers see “Cyclists Dismount” as the solution to all problems – strange that you never see “Drivers push your vehicles”.

On the Good side Hounslow have finally joined the Heath Path to the Hanworth Road

2015-07-16 13.11.00The use of bollards to mark the dropped kerb and keep it free from parking is something that Richmond could adapt in Ranelagh  Rd where the access to Isleworth Prom is usually parked over.

Ride for Everyone – Bushy Park – Walton

Saturday 26th September

Meet Bushy Park Fountain car park 10.30.


Walton Bridge has shared paths for cyclists and pedestrians. Photo by Get Surrey

Walton Bridge has shared paths for cyclists and pedestrians. Photo by Get Surrey

We cross Hampton Court Bridge and head west along NCR4 beside the Thames. At Walton bridge we stop for coffee , cross and return along reasonably quiet roads on the north side.

Eight of us enjoyed sunny weather for this ride with an unscheduled view of the Royal Barge. The cafe at the bridge is not yet open (dispute between county and local councils ) but the temporary replacement served hot coffee. More traffic than is comfortable on the lower Sunbury Rd.








Contact Paul : .-

Rides for Explorers – Off Road in Surrey to Norbury Park – 5th July

Meet Twickenham Riverside 10.15.

Norbury 023

We head South via Kingston and Tolworth before heading away from the traffic along the Hogsmill and then through Horton Country Park and Ashstead Common. Emerging in Leatherhead we pass through the Mole gap before climbing to Norbury Park – Southern England’s best approximation to an alpine meadow. A Track takes us to Brockets Farm for lunch and our return journey features a foot/cycle bridge across the Mole , Oxstead Common and Claygate woods. 37 miles with a serious hill. This has been done on a fixer but not-over-narrow tyres would be comfortable.


Just 2 of us again. Ok there had been a sprinkling of rain but we enjoyed decent weather that became sunny by lunch time. With the dry weather the trails were mud-free is a bit bumpy but we certainly got away from traffic and enjoyed lots of greenery.