Wednesday, 10 July 2013

My response to the HSE Environmental Statment

I approach this response from the point of view of a casual cyclist seeing continuous improvement in cycling friendly infrastructure. We should encourage people to cycle to work and cycle for shopping.

Although the residents call Wendover a village it is a market town and this should be correctly described in section 2.1.3.

A guiding principle (9.2.1) should be that when possible, land should be put to use to the benefit of the public. For example the roof of the tunnel next to Wendover (2.2.9) could be used as a park or for allotments. In both cases provision should be made for electricity and water.

Along those lines, we have been seeking to purchase a couple of acres for the purpose of growing plants and trees to support our garden design business ( but non are available as the only agricultural land for sale is sold in bulk to speculative developers. Perhaps part of the land requisitioned for the works could be made available to people with similar requirements and ourselves.


I was disappointed not to find a reference to cycling routs and paths in the overview of the area. Sections 2.1.7, 2.3.23, 5.4.9 & 5.5.6 should have at least mentioned the ‘Chiltern Cycle way’ and ‘Sustrans Regional Route 30’ (see &

The road upgrades and new roads should, by default, include a separate & dedicated cycle path. Especially the Road upgrades to Small Dean Lane and the access road to Grove Farm and the permanent link road between Beacombe Lane and Ellesborough Road listed in section 2.2.8 & 2.2.9. See also 2.3.21 & 5.5.6.

Perhaps the temporary diversion listed in 2.6.23 could be turned into a cycle way once it is no longer needed.

It is unclear what is the relevance of the 120 people per day cut off mentioned in 12.4.5. If this is some kind of thumb rule then it also should be applied to  the discussion in 5.5.5 of the cricket club. To my mind this makes no sense – this is a rural environment and the usage is seasonal and peeks during holidays. Thus daily averages is an inappropriate measure. Perhaps peek usage is more relevant.

The evaluation of impact in general and specifically in 12.5.15 is relevant to motorised transport but does not consider cyclist where slightly longer routs or changed gradients might pose a psychological or increased physical challenge – worsening significantly the conditions.

12.6.2 states Bacombe Lane will be permanently closed. Perhaps a shorter cycle link to Wendover could be provided  as part of the mitigation.





Thursday, 14 February 2013

Positive campaigning for a change

Good news! Marion Clayton will be stepping down making way for fresh candidates to stand in the coming Bucks County Council elections. I suppose all parties will put at the centre of their campaigns their (local) opposition to HS2 and the local development plans, pandering to the NIBYism that is prevailing – safe and boring. 

Several people have suggested to me that this time round the Conservatives are not that strong in their Wendover seat since all the HS2 objectors will protest vote and not support the three main parties. That is a worry as this will mean that not voting will directly translated into support for the nasties such as the BNP and UKIP. This makes my decision as to whom to vote for a tough one; especially as I have a lot of time for Steve Bowles although he is standing for the wrong party – l’ll wait to see who the LibDems, my favorite party, put up and whether there are any non-partisan candidates. 

There are several local issues that merit (positive) attention by the candidates: 

  1. Pledge to promote cycling – a good cycling network and places to lock the bicycle will ease the pressure on parking (leaving more spaces for customers) and promote tourism (such as to the Wendover woods). 
    1. Bucks County council has scrapped the dedicated cycling team that was behind the Aylesbury cycling show town – a move in the wrong direction.
    2. The existing cycle paths are in bad shape and many are not marked or signed clearly – leaving them unused.
    3. Switching off the highway lights deters cyclists who are concerned about falling in a pothole. 
    4. The cycling network in Wendover is sparse and unconnected – joining it up will make it more attractive. Get Wendover Cycling ( has worked a proposal you can see for now in Google maps  (blue marks existing paths and the red the suggested links). 
    5. Elegant and good quality cycle locking facilities should be peppered along the cycling network. Especially at the Wendover Manor Waste and the Train Station. 
  2. Public transport should be significantly improved. 
    1. The frequency of the buses should be increased - including in weekends. 
    2. Halton should be served. 
    3. A link should be created between the Wendover Train station and Tring Train Station. 
    4. A recent joint announcement of the John Colet School and the Wendover Swimming Association  said that it is highly likely that the swimming pool at the John Colet School will not reopen. I hope the candidates standing for the BCC election will work to find a solution where the pool is saved – perhaps the Wendover Parish Council could take it over – all it takes is some good will and adequate precepting (budgeting). 
I hope that the candidates concentrate on local issues. My personal (not evidence based) prediction is that the good people of the Wendover Ward will not change their voting pattern significantly. 

Voting is an obligation as it is a right