CTC West Surrey Group

Annual Report 2008

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CTC West Surrey Group is the local representative body of the CTC and has 1,191 CTC members allocated by post code within its boundary (1179 in 2007).  The Group organises weekly morning or all-day rides (on road) suitable for different abilities ranging from the fit and experienced cyclist to those seeking light exercise and an opportunity to explore Surrey’s scenic lanes and byways.

The DA’s affairs are managed by an elected committee comprising the following persons:-

        Rico Signore
Peter Callaghan
Jeffrey Banks
Tim Bar
Bob McLeod
Chris Jeggo
Rides Secretary

Additional valuable services are provided by Geoff Smith (magazine editor), Phil Hamilton (magazine and runs lists distribution), David Jupe (DA website manager), Chris Jeggo (DA history author), Keith Chesterton (Guildford Cycle Forum), Peter Clint (DA representative on Right to Ride), Peter Clint (auditor of accounts 2007/08).

Annually, the members elect individuals to the honorary position of Vice President in recognition of their long support and services to the interests of the DA.  In 2007/08, these positions were held by Roy Banks, Harold Coleman, Chris Jeggo and Clive Richardson.

Some of the principal activities in 2007-08 :-

Rides Groups:  Cycle rides are organised every Wednesday and Sunday.  These operate from different venues in an effort to accommodate cyclists living in different areas of west Surrey although the largest organised group operates from Woking and comprises different sections covering all ages and cycling abilities.

The DA continues to be indebted to the organising, dedication, constancy and rides leadership of:-

    Geoff Smith (Jnr)   Sunday Riders.  The Sunday Riders have again cycled most of the roads in the local area as well as visiting the Isle of Wight and the New Forest and a mini pub crawl organized by Ballard’s Brewery.  Attendance is normally 4/5 riders occasionally reaching double figures when joined by other members from elsewhere in the West Surrey Group who always prove themselves more than capable.
    Paul Harris   Woking Wayfarers take half-day Sunday trips out of Woking catering for those preferring a more leisurely pace whilst still reaching the regular coffee stops.  Paul says, “these rides on a Sunday morning still remain popular and numbers lately have increased (up to ten lately).  They are a useful way for people to get back into cycling after having not cycled for some time and to see if they enjoy it”.
    Rico Signore   Midweek Wayfarers and Sunday Intermediates.  Rico says: “a fairly constant average attendance can be reported for the 2007/08 Midweek Wayfarers season:  maximum = 27 riders and minimum 0 (on a monsoon day), average = 16 riders.
A while ago leaders were rather worried about the high number of participants as many coffee stops and pubs have limited accommodation.  Those fears have now proved premature as some riders return home after coffee and the remainder split up into two or three groups depending on preference, speed, ability, weather conditions and favoured leader and/or watering hole.
I am also pleased to report that we now have some very competent new leaders who have injected new routes and ideas (and speed) into the group.
After a slow start the Paragon Pub meets are now fairly regularly attended and we hope this trend will continue as there is some likelihood of meeting up with fellow cyclists and friends.
Average attendance for the Sunday Intermediates was around 6 riders.  Since we started publishing the coffee stops in the runs list the Easy Riders often join the Intermediates as does the occasional individual from other groups”.
    Peter Fennemore   Guildford and Godalming Wayfarers run half-day fortnightly Sunday rides at a leisurely pace from Farncombe or Guildford Library and some occasional all-day rides.  Typically, a range of up to 10 people join in for Peter’s half-day and full-day rides.
    Liz Palethorpe   Farnham Wayfarers.  Farnham has had a very successful year.  2nd Sunday of the month rides average 12 cyclists whilst 4th Sundays average 8 cyclists.  New for 2008 were two off-road rides which we hope to continue in 2009.  1st Wednesday of the month rides continue to be popular and in addition two Wednesday rides later in the month (one from Brockenhurst and the other from Alresford) were greatly enjoyed.
A Saturday morning Cycle Maintainance Course was held and - surprise, surprise - all participants were ladies.
    Chris Jeggo   All-day Intermediates Group have continued to fill the speed gap between the Wayfarers and the Sunday Riders on two Sundays per month throughout the year.  Members have also enjoyed a five-day trip to Normandy.
    Worth a mention .... Derek and Anne Tanner’s May Day weekend on Exmoor was a success.  Members have also attended the Welsh Festival of Cycling, the CTC Birthday Rides and the Dieppe Raid.

West Surrey DA annual award of trophies

The Benstead Challenge Cup, awarded for all-round attendance, support and riding performance at DA events for 2007/2008, goes to Clive Richardson.

The events that contribute to the Benstead Challenge Trophy are as follows:-

Event Date
Scorathon 1st June
Bicycle Icycle (previously Surrey Hills Saunter 60+km)    30th March
50 mile Reliability 20th April
Stonehenge/Danebury/Elstead 18th May
Tour of the Hills / Greensand 17th August
30, 50, 75 & 100 mile reliability rides 7th September
Tricyclathon 21st September

Entries for competitive events - Scorathon and Tricyclathon - were very low.  The Tricyclathon was abandoned due to insufficient entries.  The Scorathon will not run next year unless we have a new volunteer to do the organizing.  The number of entries for the September Reliability Rides was disappointing and this event might not run in 2009.

Remaining events throughout the year remained as popular as ever but the Benstead Cup is at risk without a competitive event as this fulfils the spirit of the Cup and is the most effective way of avoiding a draw on points.

On the plus side, volunteers to assist with events increased.  There were, for example, 20 volunteer marshals on the Tour of the Hills.  This latter event is one of the most important of its kind in the South-East of England and is a huge credit to its organiser, Tim Bar.  Out of all those who provided Tim with welcome support, Pauline McLeod and Elizabeth Callaghan are, once again, particularly remembered for their mammoth contribution to the catering needs of around 200 people on the day and the cheerful mood they maintained from the early morning until the final sweepings in the afternoon.  Many thanks to both of them.

All events are hoped to be in the programme again next year.

The annual awards of the West Surrey DA Trophies for 2007/2008 are as follows:-

Benstead Challenge Cup Clive Richardson
Junior Benstead Cup - (18-) Not awarded
Ladies Benstead Shield Roberta Shore
Bernard Howell Trophy - Veterans Benstead Cup (55+) Don Jones
Keith Parfitt Memorial Cup - Organisers and Marshals Mark Waters
Bill Inder Trophy - Sunday Attendance Clive Richardson
George Alesbury Tankard - Midweek Wayfarers Attendance John Murdoch
The Bert Bartholomew Trophy - Oldest DA rider in 100 mile event Geoff Smith (senior)
The Wooden Crank - awarded for amusing blunder Geoff Smith (senior)

Campaigning:    Right to Ride - Peter Clint

(See attached report)

Changes afoot

This year’s Annual General Meeting will see a new face on the West Surrey DA.  First, the words “District Association” and “DA” will cease to be used.  The club will in future be referred to as a “Group” and its new name will be “CTC West Surrey Group”.  These changes will come about through the adoption by the AGM of the new Rules written to reflect the introduction of the CTC Handbook published by the CTC in 2008.

Second, two of the best known personalities in the West Surrey Group, Rico Signore and Bob McLeod, are stepping down from the West Surrey Committee.  As Chairman and Rides Secretary, respectively, Rico and Bob have collectively served the club for a total of 10 years or more.  (Rico has been on the Committee more than once.)  Rico has been participating in rides for around 18 years and, apart from organizing some memorable group trips on the Continent, has imprinted his quiet and unassuming (but authoritative) style on mid-week and Sunday rides for at least 6 years to my own knowledge.

Bob McLeod took over from Tom Hargreaves the task of coordinating and publishing the rides groups in 2006 and I remember some people speaking of Tom Hargreaves as a one-man compendium of organizing skills who many thought would take several people to replace.  Bob has since proved himself an equal to Tom and, hence, a major cog in keeping West Surrey’s wheels turning round the highways and byways of the county.

Your secretary is also taking a rest after the AGM and I take this opportunity to wish the new hands at the helm fair weather and a calm passage.

Jeff Banks
18 October 2008

Right to Ride

Peter Clint - Annual Report

Frustration at the lack of progress concerning seven planned projects formulated more than three years ago caused me to write a letter of complaint to Surrey County Council early this year.

As a result a senior member of Council staff attended the January meeting of the Woking Cycle Forum, and assurances were received that six of these projects would be completed by the end of this year.  To date only one has been successful, the remainder having little chance of being completed within the time scale.

It is clear that both Woking B.C.'s and Surrey C.C.'s time appears to have been taken up with their commendable desire for Woking to achieve Cycle Development Town status;  however, this has been to the exclusion of all other matters.  Fortunately they have been successful in their bid, and as a result Woking will receive £1.82m from Cycle England, this figure to be matched by Surrey C.C.  The result will be that with funds already earmarked by Woking for cycling, there will be accumulated funds amounting to £4m available over the next three years.

We should naturally be pleased, as we hopefully look forward to an improvement in cycling infrastructure.  I am however concerned that in the past each time a scheme is approved, it is relegated in favour of the next grandiose project, often without any tangible results being achieved.  I would prefer to see one project completed, rather than a number of proposed schemes never reaching fruition.  Hopefully this time it may be different, since the required funds are now available.

Taking a positive view, Woking Council have let it be known that it is their intention that the Basingstoke Canal Path be developed as a principal cycle route across Woking, with access points being improved and added to over its length.  The plan is that over a period of three years a continuous link will be made from Pirbright in the west to the point where the Basingstoke Canal joins the Wey Navigation canal in the east.  Ultimately it is hoped that this cycle route can be extended along the Wey Canal as far as New Haw station and West Byfleet.

The necessary work, costing an estimated total in excess of £1m, will take place in a number of phases, the first part of which from Kiln Bridge to Hermitage Bridge was recently completed.  Two further phases from Sheerwater Road to the Wey Navigation canal and from Hermitage Bridge to Pirbright should be finished in 2009.  Before the entire route can be completed, design work and planning permission have first to be finalised.

Within the same time scale a number of further projects are planned, which include some of those referred to in the first two paragraphs of this article.  To mention but a few it is intended to sign and make improvements to the surface of Route 9 (White Rose Lane to Old Woking).  Some £60,000 is to be spent on improving cycle parking within Woking town centre by March 2009, particularly aroung the station by adding or providing parking, in Oriental Road and Commercial Way.  Perhaps most importantly a cycle route will be created through the town centre.

There are a number of other projects planned for Woking, far too numerous to mention here.  However, should you wish to view these, they can be accessed through <www.surreycountycouncil/ A-Z / Committee Papers / Woking Local Committee / 2008 / 9/16/08 / Cycle Town>.

Additionally I have also been engaged with:-

  1. Elmbridge B.C. in putting together their Core Strategy as part of their Local Development Framework.  Part of this refers to climate change and the possible benefits of cycling within their Transport Plan.  It was clear to me that Elmbridge, like so many other borough councils, deal with cycling in a fragmented fashion.  They appear unable to appreciate that before cycling can take off, thought has to be given to setting up an integrated safe cycle network, linking appropriate sites both within and across borough boundaries, before they will become widely used.  I put this to them, but feel this has fallen upon deaf ears.
  2. I have rebutted some ridiculous assertions made in The Resident, a magazine circulated to the residents of Byfleet, West Byfleet and Pyrford, which sought to campaign against the proposed cycle route between Woking and Byfleet on the grounds it would be dangerous for the writer’s child of three years to use the route alone.  I am hopeful I may have put the child back in the cradle!
  3. I have been corresponding with South West Trains as part of a campaign to persuade them not to reduce the number of reservable spaces for cycles on their new Voyager trains.

Finally, the C.T.C. recently sought my views, as well as those of others, concerning the best way of utilising the talents of Right 2 Ride Representatives.  My suggestion was that there should be two levels of representative.  Firstly, those like me who are interested in local issues, and secondly those who are very keen and are also interested in national campaigning.

If there are any of you who would be interested in fulfilling either of these rôles, please contact me.      Peter Clint

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