Wokingham Kidical Mass
The inaugural Wokingham Kidical Mass took place on Saturday 13 August at the peak of the August heatwave with temperatures hitting around 35 degrees.
Around 25 riders plus 6 safety marshals still braved the conditions for a ride around the town taking a roughly 2.5km circular route from Elms Field through the town centre and including a stretch down Denmark Street past the town hall.
We were very lucky to be supported by the Wokingham Today paper, who sent a photographer and gave us some great coverage in the paper, so thanks to them for their support. We were also incredibly grateful to the Earley Panda for making the trip down from Earley and cycling the route on one of the hottest days of the year.
The ride finished at Elms Field, where ramps and a small bicycle obstacle course had been set up and were enjoyed by some brave children. Ice lollies and plenty of water were also provided to mitigate some of the effects of the heat.
Overall, it was a very successful first event and thanks to everyone who came along to ride or help-out. Going forward a Kidical Mass Reading and Wokingham group has now been formed with the aim of putting on monthly rides alternately between Reading and Wokingham, but with collaboration in resources which should enable the rides to grow.
The group has been established by Kat Heath from Reading, who brought the Kidical mass idea down with her when she moved down from Inverness, so well done to Kat.
We look forward to many fun Kidical mass rides in the future which will hopefully inspire the next generation and convince those making transport decisions to realise we need to support cycling in our towns and cities.
Tanhouse Bridge Petition
Cyclists and pedestrians, and anyone not driving in Wokingham, have always had issues with a safe direct route from north to south through the town centre.
The only direct roads are over the level crossing at Barkham Road or over the roundabout at the bottom of Denmark Street and then past the Tesco Superstore and under the railway bridge.
Both these routes are far from ideal, as they are also the only motor routes through the town and are therefore very busy with traffic, and both contain several junctions with increasing vulnerability for cyclists.
The core issue is that Wokingham has a rail line that divides the north and south, limiting the chances to cross. However it has been identified that there is solution to this problem and this is an improvement of the Tanhouse Bridge.
The Tanhouse Bridge is a ‘pedestrian bridge’ which crosses the railway from south of the new Carnival Leisure centre site in the north and takes those happy to use it to the top corner of the Ormonde Road allotment.
At present the crossing is two steep scaffold bridges that are virtually impossible to cross with a bike unless you are strong and fit and certainly inaccessible for those with limited mobility or anyone pushing a pram.
WATCH Wokingham and other town groups are pushing for a consensus, and some joined-up thinking between the Council and Network Rail to design a bridge that could be used by everyone and would provide a safe easy pedestrian route right through the town centre.
A petition has been set up and can be found at https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/tanhousebridge. We will continue to liaise with the Council and Network Rail with the aim of improving access to the town and centre for those who don’t want to or can’t drive.
Other Wokingham News
The Woodley cycle scheme consultation has now closed. The scheme unfortunately seems to have become a bit of a political football – see separate article for details.
The LCWIP consultation is almost complete and hopefully a draft LCWIP will be available soon for public viewing. This is a significant step forward and credit to the current councillors especially councillor Paul Fishwick and his council officers for pushing this forward.
WoBC Campaigner for RCC