WOKING CYCLE USERS GROUP
Annual General Meeting 5 June 2013
Norman Johns (Chair) Carole Frost Richard MacCutchan
George James Val Wye Annette Covey
Barbara Rossouw Roy Benson
Apologies were received from: Peter Spreckley, Chris Jeggo, Robin Hamilton, Simon Perkins, Sandra Lee, Julia Warner, Sue Robinson, Jane Seymour.
Norman opened the meeting by thanking the few present for making the effort to attend. He also welcomed Richard MacCutchan who had rejoined the group, and kindly taken over the Treasurer’s role from Jane Seymour.
Minutes of last Year’s AGM and Matters arising
There were no matters arising. The previous year’s minutes were approved.
When preparing these notes I become aware of how many things the group members have been involved in during 2012.
A highlight for 2012 was the achievement of Carole and Cllr Ann-Marie Barker when they achieved a climb down by the Council and a change in the design of the Bedser Bridge over the Canal to the Brewery Road car park and the WWF site.
Helen and Ian Wright have sold up but are still keeping friends updated with their long boat travels.
The Welsh Cycle challenge last September was supported by Barbara and myself.
8 cyclists supported Chris with his aim to raise money for the Maudsley Hospital where his son had been treated.
Over the 4 day trip we cycled from Holyhead to Chepstow, some 240 miles climbing approximately 5,000 meters raising over £7,000.
The Evans Cycle Weekend Challenge, starting and finishing in Chobham saw Barbara, George James and myself being challenged. The Saturday saw Barbara and George on the off road route, and all three of us on a long road trip on the Sunday.
Our Christmas party in Woking was well supported by a good crowd at the restaurant arranged by Barbara.
Sunday Cycle Rides were run monthly for 9 months in the year by Carole and Jane with support by Robin, Sandra, Alan and myself.
The Tour series 2012 saw a return of the community races and the excitement of a Women’s and Men’s Races. Carole ran our stall and I did stewarding. With good weather it was a fun day.
The 20’s plenty challenge achieved what we wanted, which was to get details of all the community groups that we intend to involve in the petitioning of the Councils and Councillors. We have also received support from the Horsell Residents Association.
Jane Seymour and I have a spread sheet now awaiting action. Alas the Godalming group failed to get the Council to consider the wisdom of introducing speed restraint in residential streets. Having failed to find other like minded groups in Surrey we are wary of putting our proverbial “head on the block” again after we lost fight to keep cycling through the Woking Town Square.
The Parvis Road Cycle and pedestrian route from West Byfleet to Byfleet is now in use, all credit to our Cycle Group. Sadly the route was built to a less than ideal standard. Steve Millard has given advice to the SCC which the engineers decided to modify. I am hoping to get Will Forster, our Councillor friend on the Local Committee, to get the necessary improvements to the design introduced this year.
Steve and Bobby are now in Bulgaria with their son. Steve has been designing a week’s fun cycle for any of us who would like to take up the offer in September (please see Barbara for details). Barbara and I are hoping to take up the offer.
The re-launch of the Woking Bikeathon run by Rotary saw over 1,000 cyclists on the road in May. Carole and I worked as Stewards on a fine day with loads of happy cyclists taking part. The Bikeathon will be run again next year on 11 May.
Finally I am very happy to ask Carole to tell us of the Progress on the Muddy Lane challenge to get the route from Byfleet to Wisley village reopened.
Carole reported the following details of the campaign to revert (or preserve) the Bridleway status of Muddy Lane. Full details are included in the membership report.
George James spent time and effort collecting information on the history of usage.
Changes were made around 1986 during work on the M25 motorway.
In 2000 SCC had gates added in order to prevent the passage of motorcycles and cars. This was opposed by Byfleet Angling Association, to no avail.
A local resident has consistently opposed the use by cyclists, having purchased more land in 2010.
The campaign has collected and submitted various pieces of evidence to the council about previous and current usage to get it re-designated.
Notices have been posted on public places, and sent to all landowners, to advise of the campaign.
Support has been received from a number of residents.
Presentation and Approval of Accounts
Members were given a copy of the account for the year ended 31 March 2012
The accounts are more or less self explanatory. A number of people have paid for a five year membership rather than the annual £5.00, so it is likely that our income for the current year will be around £150 and remain at that sort of level for the immediate future. This and the balance we have in the bank will enable us to continue to pay the internet service fee, hall hire for the AGM and CTC affiliation fee that gives us insurance for rides.
It may be that we can produce a brief leaflet in lieu of the magazine for those members not on the internet and there will be costs associated with that. If we are to go ahead with the 20 mph campaign we will need to use some of our funds to cover printing of leaflets and postage.
Membership Secretary’s Report
This year we have 54 paid up memberships which represent 124 people including partners and children. We have had 12 new memberships since the last AGM.
We delivered letters to all those who have not paid since 2009/2010. I haven’t actually taken them off the e-mail list but will remove them from our spreadsheet and will not be delivering letters to them if we don’t have an e-mail for them. We sent emails or letters to those who lapsed after that 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Our rides attract about 8 to 15. I want to thank Norman, Robin Hamilton, Sandra Lee and Alan Bishop who have been very good in assisting on the rides. We have lost Jane as an assistant rides leader. Norman has been especially willing to lead rides.
One member asked if we could hold 2 rides a month in the summer. Our problem is getting rides leaders. Norman suggested we send out an e-mail to see if there is anyone else who might like to lead rides.
The Saga of Muddy Lane
A committee of 4, Norman Johns, George James from Elmbridge Cycle Club and Roy Benson have been working on this project. The problem is footpath 566 and 129 which run from the end of Sanway Road in Byfleet to Wisley Lane via Muddy Lane. It forms a very useful safe link from Byfleet to Wisley and the alternative is the dreaded Parvis Road.
It was designated a footpath in 1965 on the definitive map of Surrey more or less by default. The route was changed a little in 1986 when the M25 was built. There is a tunnel under the motorway now. People had been driving cars, riding horses, walking and cycling through there up until about 2000 when Surrey county council placed gates across the entrance because people were driving stolen cars under the motorway bridge and setting them on fire and this was causing damage to the bridge. You could still cycle through though. Byfleet Angling Club challenged the gates since up till then they had used the lane to park their cars during their winter competitions. The result was the offer of a key to the gates which they could use for the club. The foot and mouth disease outbreak closed many footpaths soon after that and they gave up but we do have 9 of their evidence forms which we have included with our submission. At some point the gates the council had put up were vandalized so new metal gates were installed.
The resident who lives in Bayan Cottage at the end of Muddy Lane purchased his property in 2006. In 2010 he purchased the lane with the right of way over it; this ran from Wisley Lane to the motorway bridge. He is the man who objects to cyclists using that Right of Way. Since then he has installed kissing gates and shouts at any cyclist he sees using the footpath. He is within his rights since it is a footpath on the definitive map. The only way we can re-establish this route so cyclists can go down it is to apply for a modification of the definitive map and ask for it to be upgraded to a bridleway. To do this we have to show that the footpath was used as other than a footpath for a period of 20 years. The fact that it is a good idea to have this route open to cyclists has no validity in law the only way we can get a change it is to prove that it used to be permissible to cycle down it.
In February the four of us had a meeting with Daniel Williams the Countryside Access Officer to clarify a few points, and decided what we had to do to present our petition. George had been to the Surrey History Society and read the file that pertained to this area so we then asked for a copy to be sent to us to put with our submission. We had been sending the evidence forms to people who contacted us via our web site, George’s website and CTC via Roy’s e-mails as the right to ride rep for Woking. So far we have collected 44 evidence forms. George also sent off to the Land registry office to get the names of all the people who owned land over which this footpath ran. Part of the application required us to notify all of the land owners that we had applied for a Map modification Order. On 1 June 2013, we sent them letters by recorded delivery saying we were going to ask for the footpath to be upgraded to a bridleway. On 3 June, I delivered the folder with our submission to Daniel Williams at the Countryside Access office in Guildford. We also have to post a notice of our intent on the one parcel of land which was not registered. This was done on Saturday 1 June but had been removed by 2 June; the sign went up again on 3 June. We have to show that at least we tried to notify the landowners for a period of 6 weeks. George said the signs were still there this morning. Daniel explained that there are about 25 Application 14’s (the official name for a Map Modification Order) and they get through about 8 a year; so we are in the queue but nothing is likely to happen any time soon.
I should also say that we have made the application in the name of WCUG with me as the contact and the Elmbridge cycle Group with George as the contact.
Election of Officers
Norman Johns was re-elected as new Chairman, Richard MacCutchan was elected Treasurer, other officers remain as before. Barbara Rossouw has taken over responsibility for the group’s website.
In his accepting remarks Norman said he had found it very dispiriting that the council had limited cycling through Commercial Way between 10 am and 4 pm, particularly in view of the work that had been put in to galvanise local cyclists into opposing that proposal. He wants to build the group so that it does not fall apart in the face of the Council’s attitude. He feels it would be sensible to form sub committees to deal with certain campaigns, such as the 20 mph zones.
Current and future issues
Muddy Lane UpdateSee Membership Secretary’s report.
20 is Plenty Campaign UpdateSee Chairman’s report
Assistance with the two Stalls at pre Cycle Events this summer.A decision on whether to attend was deferred, although it was felt that the official line on Health & Safety and Risk Assessment meant that members were reluctant to be involved.
Sunday Cycle ridesthe question of 2 rides a month is still open but requires more volunteer leaders.
Websites and Communication with MembersRichard asked why we were paying over £150 for our internet web site hosting when there are so many sites that offer it for well under half that amount. He, and Barbara, agreed to look into the possibility of alternate locations.
Any Other Business
We now have a WCUG group on Facebook which may help to promote our activities.
A campaign to get a cycle route opened between Ripley and Wisley along the old A3 may be considered for the future.
It was suggested that a Life Membership be offered to Ian Wright for his hard work and support over the past few years.
In reply to a question Norman offered to contact Will Forster about the status of the Woking Cycle Forum.
There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 21:40.