John Buckley, a resident of Whitchurch and a nationally accredited cycling instructor invited local councillors and the MP to ride round to identify opportunities for making cycling safer. Sir George was joined by town councillors and a district councillor, and they met outside Whitchurch Town Hall. John Buckley explained that Whitchurch was campaigning to be made a 20mph town, with a 20 mph sign replacing the 30 mph signs. "I welcome this as a pilot scheme, using the new powers which have been given to Highway Authorities to use their discretion in the interest of road safety."
The journey on two wheels went round the town to the junction with the A34, where there are real difficulties for cyclists who want to turn right to Tufton. John Buckley identified a number of solutions which would make the right turn safer. He also pointed out sites where improved parking facilities could be made available to cyclists, as well as manholes which had dropped to well below the road surface. "Going round the town, there are clearly issues in streets with a large number of parked cars, which are potentially hazardous for cyclists."
At the end of the tour, Sir George congratulated John Buckley on his initiative, and said he would be interested in following up any proposals which would make it easier and safer to cycle in and around Whitchurch.
With thanks to Andrew Reeves-Hall for the photos
Invitation from John Buckley below
CYCLING IN WHITCHURCH AREA
Thank you so much for agreeing to attend a short cycle ride around Whitchurch to look at some of the issues that affect cyclists in the area. I envisage it being around an hour moving from site to site, followed by perhaps a cuppa to mull over some of the findings, maybe in the White Hart. The route will be very easy - gentle and no big hills! There will be around 6 of us taking part.
.I hope this 'fact finding' exercise will then be followed up at a later date with a wider public forum in the town to cover aspects relating to all vulnerable road users as was discussed briefly at the Whitchurch Town Council meeting.