WCUG AGM 2020
We were not able to have an AGM during lockdown so we have written up the reports from the different members and attached the treasurers report.
Chairman’s report (Norman Johns)
As part of the Manifesto Commitment to Improve Facilities for Cyclist in Woking after the election of May 2019, I wrote a letter to Ann-Marie Barker in July regarding matters. A copy of the letter is in the blog for August 2019. One good result was that Surrey County Council has now got a new cycling coordinator (Jeff Wilson)
In Jan. attended the access group meeting to see if I could get them to rescind the ban on town cycling between 10 and 4. I asked for specific cases of accident complaints between the disabled and cyclists and did not get any true evidence that there had been problems. I proposed a motion that “we should encourage people to leave cars at home and use cycles and public transport. Stop making school children break the law to cycle home from school and practice shared space.” When it was put to the vote. Three voted to continue the ban and the rest abstained. Next stop was the Local Committee on 4 March to ask them to rescind the 2011 decision. I posed the question and there were some positive and negative comments from the counsellors but I thought progress has been made. Will Forster proposed that a cycling task group be set up and I requested that someone from the WCUG be on the task force. It was noted that the cycle network within the Town Centre should be reviewed before the Victoria Arch works are finalized.
I have also been speaking to the police regarding thefts of cycles and CCTV coverage.
Before the end of our year, 31 May, I had a request from Ann-Marie Barker to propose quick cycle improvements in answer to the government’s request to encourage cycling during the pandemic. I sent a list of suggestions I had received from our members, including rescinding the ban of cycling between 10-4! [See the list under ‘Campaigns’]
The Chobham and Woking cycle route is still progressing.
I have pruned back the vegetation on the Byfleet to Chobham route and all is well there.
Membership report (Carole Frost)
We have 24 paid up members representing 33 people and children.
I sent out the Dues are due email. Since we are no longer meeting on rides or at the Pub you can pay in the following ways. By cheque or cash in an envelope sent to my address or by money transfer if you let me know and I will send you the bank detail’s information. I will send you your membership card or drop it of on a permitted cycle ride!
We have made our Pub nights virtual by Zoom meetings.
Sunday afternoon rides 2019 (Carole Frost)
We ran rides on the third Sunday of the month from March to October 2019.
We usually had 5 to 8 people participating. Our long afternoon ride was to the Medicine Gardens in Chobham. Unfortunately, our long all-day ride at the end of September which was to be led by Barbara and George had to be cancelled due to bad weather. Karen led us on a quiz ride in September which was a lot of fun. Of course this year we were able to have our first ride in March but then the dreaded pandemic hit and “lockdown” occurred and we have been unable to have organized rides since. I want to thank all those who led the rides.
Muddy Lane – Episode VI – The Empire Strikes Back (George James)
Recap. This time last year, which seems like a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, we were awaiting the results of the public enquiry.
The public enquiry concluded on 20th March 2019. The Inspector, Mark Yeats, returned his verdict on 22nd July 2019. He confirmed it in favour of Surrey County Council meaning that Muddy Lane can officially be recognised as a bridleway.
Surrey County Council published notices on 9th August 2019 to this effect. From this time cyclists have the right to use Muddy Lane without let or hindrance.
This however is not quite the end of the story. There is a right of appeal to the High Court within six weeks of the notice publication. Not unexpectedly, Paul Garland and Haroun Salaman submitted an appeal on 19th September 2019 (reference CO/3695/2019). Their appeal was supported by a Statement of Grounds that ran to 18 pages and contained 87 separate points.
The appeal was heard on 3rd December 2019 and the Judge apparently expressed a desire to publish his ruling before Christmas. Seven months later the ruling has not yet been published.
In the mean time Muddy Lane is open to cyclists. At the end of last year it had become very overgrown and there was hardly room to squeeze through between the brambles. However, in the spring the brambles were cut back (either by Surrey County Council or Byfleet Residents Association, we are not quite sure) and the path is now wide enough to use comfortably. There are still kissing gates at either end which require a little bit of effort to negotiate with a bicycle, but they are necessary to prevent motor-bikes and other vehicles from accessing the lane.
On a fair day a good number of cyclists can be seen using the lane, which confirms its importance as a strategic route out of Byfleet to Wisley and beyond.
Junction 10 (Keith Cresswell)
Nothing much has happened since the Non-statutory consultation finished in February this year but see the following for the latest designs.
There were several improvements from the original designs shared with us at a workshop a couple of years back but the opportunity to use the original Byfleet Road leading up to the Painshill Roundabout appears not to have been taken, cycle and pedestrian access across the slip road from the London Bound Carriageway onto this junction and crossing from Seven Hills Road North to opposite side of Byfleet Road still seems problematic. Some of our issues at the Wisley Lane and Ockham Road junctions have been ironed out so that is good. The cycle tracks alongside the A3 will also be improved considerably which is very useful even though for much of the route it will be a bit too exposed to traffic noise and related air pollution.
For cross country riders, the extra bridleways, bridges and connections to existing paths looks like a godsend.
Due to COVID19, the inspection by the National Infrastructure Inspectorate has been delayed and its completion is now scheduled for July 12th
Website (Robin Hamilton)
I wasn’t able to upload anything (minutes, photos) to the website for a few months but that has now been sorted and we thank George for hosting the site.