The Saturday just gone, Witney Bike Users Group kicked off Bike Week 2014 with a cycling infrastructure safari. Leaving from Cogges at 1pm-ish, we meandered round the Cogges, Madley Park and Hailey Road estates, looking at cycling provision and what could be done better.
It was nice seeing familiar areas of the town through new eyes, especially at a genial pace and on such a sunny day. Somewhat less nice was the quality of the provision out there—the Cogges cycle racks hidden in bushes, the blocking metal gates and bollards that prevent any non-standard-size cycle or use of cycle trailers—but it was still cheering to start to see how cycling was starting to tie up across east Witney: from the bottom of Church Lane, there’s a continuous (if road-crossing) cycle track all the way up Madley Brook to join up with the Woodstock pavement path, which some of us hadn’t really appreciated before. Also, almost incidentally, our guide Kevin introduced us to a remarkable cafe: easy to get to, but hidden in deepest, darkest Elmfield….
All in all it was a great afternoon out, much more fun than you’d imagine from looking at cycling provision – plus we’ll get some great, useful information out of it to present to the council(s) and hopefully improve such future trips, both for idle flâneurs like ourselves but also for people simply wanting to get places.