April's Bike Ride

April's bike ride will be this Sunday 18th at 11:00am. We'll start from outside the Hand and Spear at Weybridge Station as usual. The route will be south along the Basingstoke canal towards Woking and then back along the A320 towards Chertsey. It'll be the usual format, ride for an hour or two, stop for lunch at a pub and then ride another hour or so before returning to Weybridge Station. 10-15 miles, 3-4 hours. If you want to come along just turn up on Sunday at 11:00am outside the Hand and Spear.

Royal Mail to ban bicycles

The Guardian writes about the Post Office planning to abandon the use of bicycles: In a letter to the Labour peer Lord Berkeley – which was read out in a House of Lords debate on 29 March – the outgoing chief executive said that bicycles "posed a wider safety risk associated with British street networks where the rider is exposed to greater risks than other vehicle users."

Seven Hills Road - Easter Closure

Seven Hills Road will be closed to motor vehicles from 29th March until 11th April. It will however remain open to cyclists during this period.

There will be no special provisions or signage and cyclists may have to dismount and use the footway from time to time along the route.

The right turn from Byfleet Road into Seven Hills Road will be problematic and cylists are advised to turn left into Seven Hills Road South, perform a U-turn and then cross Byfleet Road using the traffic lights.

While there is no motor traffic on Seven Hills Road it's a delightful ride, well worth enjoying at it best.

Councillor Ian Lake has provided the following information:

"The road will be open to cyclists at all time. The carriageway will be closed for lengths at a time so this will only be achieved by use of the footway and so at those times cyclists will have to dismount and push their bicycles until there is unobstructed carriageway for them to use to continue their ride.

It is not intended to provide specific signs for cyclists about access. It may be beneficial to provide signs telling cyclists to dismount where necessary, at the extremities of the works site and I will be discussing option this with Southern Gas Networks. The use of this standard sign will allow it to be repositioned each time the site location changes.

Cycling will not be permitted on the footways. There will be gaps in the barriers at certain locations but these are not intended to be for cyclists alone. The traffic management must be robust to prevent vehicles getting into Seven Hills Road. As the footway will always be open, I trust cyclists will use their own judgement about how and when to access the footway.

I am aware that it may not be clear how cyclists will access Seven Hills Road from the Byfleet Road if approaching from Painshill. I believe there are two possible options, one by turning into Seven Hills Road South and then using the traffic signals to cross the road, the other by dismounting and crossing the road on foot pushing the bicycle when considered safe to do so.

I must stress whatever manoeuvres cyclists take is entirely at their risk assessment of the traffic and conditions. Surrey County Council cannot be held responsible on how to direct cyclists at the junction.

Cyclists coming from Byfleet will just have to dismount and push their bicycles along the footway into Seven Hills Road."

Burhill Golf and Leisure Limited have given consent to cyclists to use Convent Lane, subject to the usual caveats. They have issued the following statement, although it is not clear whether SCC have provided the requested indemnifications:

"In principle, Burhill Golf and Leisure Limited is prepared to grant consent for cyclists to use Convent Lane during the periods of closure of the Seven Hills Road, subject to the following conditions:

1. Anyone using Covent Lane does so at their own risk and Burhill Golf and Leisure Limited nor Notre Dame School will not take any responsibility for any injury to themselves or others or damage to any belongings suffered by anyone using Convent Lane. Burhill Golf and Leisure Limited and Notre Dame School will require written confirmation that Surrey County Council will indemnify both companies against any claims that arise.

2. Anyone using Convent Lane must not stray from the tarmaccadam road surface.

3. That this temporary consent does not construe any other right whatsoever to those using Convent Lane and does not permit or create any permanent right of way of any sort and the right of use can be terminated at anytime by Burhill Golf and Leisure Limited without the need for the service of a notice.

4. Consent is only granted for those days that Seven Hills Road is actually closed."

February Bike Ride

February's bike ride will be this Sunday 21st at 11:00am. Despite the depressing weather today it looks like Sunday could be reasonably nice. We'll start from outside the Hand and Spear at Weybridge Station as usual. The route will be north across the Thames through Shepperton and then towards Lower Sunbury and Hampton Court. It'll be the usual format, ride for an hour or two, stop for lunch at a pub and then another hour or so returning to Weybridge Station. 10-15 miles, 3-4 hours. We'll be crossing the Thames using the Shepperton ferry so please make sure you have £2 in your pocket to pay for it. If you want to come along just turn up on Sunday at 11:00am outside the Hand and Spear.

Oatlands Cubs clean up Route 4

On Saturday 6th February, 18 Cub Scouts from Oatlands Scout Group attended their first Sustrans Ranger event along the River Thames. The Cub pack, which has its headquarters in Oatlands Village near Weybridge, have teamed up with the charity Sustrans. Their aim is to keep the part of National Cycle Route 4 that runs along the Thames FootPath between Walton Bridge and Weybridge in good condition. Their responsibilities include litter collection, foliage cutting, path repairs & general good order.

Oatlands is the first Scout troop to link-up with Sustrans in the UK - they are a pilot Cub Pack which all the Cubs think is great!

One of the Oatland Cub Assistant Leaders, Simon Davey, is a strong supporter of the Sustrans charity which is responsible for a national network of 12,000 miles of mainly traffic free cycle routes across the UK.

Simon met with George James, who is the local Sustrans Liaison Ranger and Julie Tublin from Sustrans in November 2009 to agree what role the Cub pack could perform. Saturday 6 February was the first meeting of the Oatlands Cubs with supporting parents. The group filled 18 rubbish sacks from between Walton Bridge and Weybridge in just over two hours. Luckily it was a fine, dry day and all the Cubs had a great time.

All of the Cubs were prepared with leather gloves, good foot wear & parents attending to minimise the risks and maximise their efforts! This work will contribute towards the Cubs Community Challenge Badge, their Promise Challenge Badge and their Global Conservation Badge but above all, its a great opportunity for these young people to give something back to their neighbourhood.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to Oatlands Scouts to help pay for a new hut floor should send donations payable to Oatlands Scour Group and send to Oatlands Scout Group, Pantile Road, Oatlands Park, Weybridge. Surrey KT13 9PY.

Following are some photgraphs of the cubs hard at work:

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