Surrey pro-cycling petition gaining momentum

Counter-petition to 'Stop Surrey being a cycle track' campaign

by John Stevenson   October 14, 2013  

Surrey residents fume as closed roads trap them during RideLondon 100 (image Prudential RideLondon)

A petition has been set up in favour of cycling events in Surrey such as the Ride London 100, and also calling on Surrey County Council to better communicate with those affected by organised rides in the area.

Created by Keith McRae (known hereabouts as GKam84), the petition is a direct counter to Ian Huggins’ ‘Stop Surrey being turned into a cycle track’ campaign.

One of the most-heard local complaints about the RideLondon 100 was a lack of consultation and notification. Keith McRae writes: “Residents should be informed and brought into discussions about routes and road closures that may come into effect during such high profile events.”

In the comments of Ian Huggins’ petition, many people claim that cyclists don’t pay road tax - one even refers to it as ‘Road Fund Licence’, an official term that disappeared in 1937. Keith McRae takes the opportunity to point out that “the people of Surrey seem to think that their tax is solely spent on the roads of their county for the sole purpose of using their cars to get about” and of course that there is no such thing as road tax.

Mr McRae then dissects Mr Huggins’ original petition point by point, in particular explaining that the RideLondon 100 was not a race, but a challenge event; that all roads are suitable for cycling except motorways; and that a full road closure is the only way to safely run such a large event.

If you want to add your voice to Mr McRae’s and the 1600 people who have already signed up, the petition is on change.org.

25 user comments

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Thanks Road.cc, we can easily beat Huggins to the 5000 barrier, all it takes is a minority of the Ride London participants to register?

Perhaps someone should ask the organisers to email this years entrants list?

(also a typo in the title...)

posted by georgee [133 posts]
14th October 2013 - 14:10

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Isn't it a little unfortunate that it is Mr. McRae (who I believe lives in Scotland) who is the one telling the people of Surrey what they should and shouldn't allow on their roads? I'm not saying I don't agree with the points he makes, but it would be like me extolling the virtues of the Etape Caledonia without even the intention to ride it.

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posted by Low Speed Wobble [137 posts]
14th October 2013 - 14:19

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Well done to Keith for taking the lead on this. As for the argument over 'him from Scotland' doing it...well, I dont see too many Surrey-domiciled people fighting to get there ahead of him.

We're all cyclists and care about the access to our roads for either competitive or leisure cycling, irrespective of where we live.

posted by Sim1 [57 posts]
14th October 2013 - 14:34

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Oh no, not that bloody Mr McRae again....

I do live in Scotland, but I am also in the ballot to ride the sportive and have others in Surrey on my 2014 list.

So as no-one else seemed to be taking any action against Mr Huggins petition, I took it upon myself.

There are those who sit back and tut at things, without ever lifting a finger to help. Then there are those who are willing to get stuck into things that may or may not effect them.

If this reaches the required signatures. I will be doing all the leg work, going down and meeting with Surrey county council to hand in the petition, along with ALL the comments.

I have a few other things planned, but will wait till it hits the total. I had it set at 5000, which I was quite happy I would reach, with the extra publicity and seeing the Mr Huggins has upped his total. Lets get to the 7500.

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posted by Gkam84 [8645 posts]
14th October 2013 - 14:47

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I signed, takes two minutes, and it makes sense! Get your signature down people.... Big Grin

posted by UnflappableEd [11 posts]
14th October 2013 - 15:07

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All I will say is how about those of us who live in Surrey and like myself HAVE to go to work on that day. I have checked my shift pattern by the way.

Am I supposed to take holiday or unpaid leave?

If it is unpaid leave will you be prepared to pay the shortfall in my salary?

I really do not see why I should be out of pocket.

Just asking.

posted by freespirit1 [138 posts]
14th October 2013 - 19:50

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freespirit1 wrote:
All I will say is how about those of us who live in Surrey and like myself HAVE to go to work on that day. I have checked my shift pattern by the way.

Am I supposed to take holiday or unpaid leave?

If it is unpaid leave will you be prepared to pay the shortfall in my salary?

I really do not see why I should be out of pocket.

Just asking.

My wife is working that day too, like she was this year, and we will make plans to minimize the inconvenience.

You've got a year's notice, plan ahead and stop whining.

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [583 posts]
14th October 2013 - 21:50

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Fair enough.

Forthwith *all* sporting and cultural events will be banned from using closed roads. All 'car clubs' and the like will be heavily regulated to ensure they don't hold up shift workers on Sunday mornings with their needless parades.

When you purchased your house and took your job, you were told you had a 'right' to use your motor vehicle to travel between them, correct? Your 'drivers licence' is different to the rest of us - you actually have a 'right' to use your car on your roads, unlike the rest of us, who do so at the pleasure of the Crown after fulfilling a number of stringent and expensive requirements.

I look forward to living in this new, even more car-centric, long-distance-commuting society.

(one wonders why, being a member of a cycling website, you haven't considered, I dunno...*riding a bike to work that day*?)

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [432 posts]
15th October 2013 - 7:46

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That will be a no then!!

Even if I did cycle to work, I would still be unable to use the roads.

posted by freespirit1 [138 posts]
15th October 2013 - 10:15

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I just wonder if it's too late to give the thing a good proof-read...

Although I don't live in Surrey (and have never lived there), I did the Palace to Palace a few weeks ago, which I loved (but wish I'd done more time on the saddle beforehand)...

posted by congokid [106 posts]
15th October 2013 - 10:41

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freespirit1 wrote:
That will be a no then!!

Even if I did cycle to work, I would still be unable to use the roads.

Where do you have to get from/to? I'm more than willing to help you find an alternative route. Not every road is going to be shut you know.

posted by Lifer [17 posts]
15th October 2013 - 10:45

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KiwiMike wrote:
(one wonders why, being a member of a cycling website, you haven't considered, I dunno...*riding a bike to work that day*?)

Freespirit only comes on here to post anti-cycling nonsense because this years Surrey 100 put his nose massively out of joint.

Most of it is self-pitying drivel to be honest, best off ignored.

posted by farrell [1247 posts]
15th October 2013 - 11:08

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freespirit1 wrote:
Am I supposed to take holiday or unpaid leave?

I live *inside* the Ride100/Olympic RR route at one of it's narrower points in surrey - Walton/Esher. Admittedly the main route out of it is via the A3, but it's not impossible by any stretch of the imagination. There's also several interconnecting rail lines not just radial ones, that allow movement separate to the roads. Whether that helps in your case is another matter, but certainly Woking (where you appear to be) is well placed to get out to Reading or Dorking (etc) via Guildford or Weybridge to Staines, and you have a fast service into Clapham anyway - which is exactly what I have to do when we get the slightest bit of snow and my rail route via Weybridge to Egham gets shut down !

freespirit1 wrote:

Even if I did cycle to work, I would still be unable to use the roads.

I'm curious as to where you're trying to get to from Woking...

Only the roads of the actual route are closed, certainly before/after the sportive had passed there was no problem with using crossing points as a pedestrian or cyclist. Admittedly there may have been more of an issue during the sportive itself.
Plus it's the weekend, you can put your bike on the train without restriction.

posted by JonD [175 posts]
15th October 2013 - 11:53

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JonD wrote:
I'm curious as to where you're trying to get to from Woking...

Only the roads of the actual route are closed, certainly before/after the sportive had passed there was no problem with using crossing points as a pedestrian or cyclist.

Going from memory, so forgive me if I get this wrong or if I have confused him with someone else, Freespirit's problem was actually with one of the marshalls at a crossing point, it appears it was that point he spat his dummy and started making wibbling noises and blamed all the cyclists, ever.

The work thing appears to be a new tactic as I am sure he originally tried to insinuate that he was a carer or that a member of his family required a carer who absolutely needed unrestricted motor vehicle access at all times.

posted by farrell [1247 posts]
15th October 2013 - 12:09

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Farrell

Carers were indeed unable to get to my mother in laws on the day. If you had read the original postings I did also state I had a necesity to get to or from work on a Sunday, depending upon which shift I am on. Other people picked it up you did not.

Jon D

I have to start at 07:00 the first train on a Sunday is at 06:36 check it out if you must. This arrives at Waterloo at 07:30 with a start time of 7 that is as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

posted by freespirit1 [138 posts]
15th October 2013 - 12:26

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Is there only one road in and out of Surrey.

posted by kobacom [81 posts]
15th October 2013 - 13:08

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freespirit1 wrote:
Farrell

Carers were indeed unable to get to my mother in laws on the day. If you had read the original postings I did also state I had a necesity to get to or from work on a Sunday, depending upon which shift I am on. Other people picked it up you did not.

Jon D

I have to start at 07:00 the first train on a Sunday is at 06:36 check it out if you must. This arrives at Waterloo at 07:30 with a start time of 7 that is as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

Thanks, but some more clarity, please - otherwise I can only assume you're complaining for the sake of it and not trying very hard (some inaccuracies in your previous postings would point to the latter, but I'd rather have the facts rather than make assumptions.)

a) where is your M-I-L located ?
b) where are you travelling to/from ?


I should add, if you have a reasonable enough argument people will have a bit more sympathy - if you don't provide that then it's easy to dismiss your complaints as having little substance..which leads on to Huggins' petition..

Apart from Huggins'petition coming over as a rant, I think I know pretty accurately where he lives, and the shooting locations are:

Willinghurst Row Lane Winterfold Farley Green Surrey.GU5 0SU
North Surrey Gun Club Horsley Road Cobham Surrey KT11 3JX
Hours: Saturdays only North Surrey Gun Club
Hours: Saturdays and Wednesdays Willinghurst

a) If he'd parked mebbe 50yards down the road just off the route he would have had **very** easy access via the A3 at Esher or Cobham.

b) the Shamley Green site is well outside the ride area, and you'd travel down the A3 anyway.

c) the Cobham site appears to be is easily accessible via the Ockham common junction of the A3 on the southbound side, tho' I expect he'd normally travel direct via the centre of Cobham. Even travelling north on the A3 you'd simply turn at the A3/M25 junction - it's literally a few minutes away

So apart from his petition being a bit of a p*ss-poor rant, of all people he's probably got less to complain about !

posted by JonD [175 posts]
15th October 2013 - 13:18

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kobacom wrote:
Is there only one road in and out of Surrey.

Applause

No, but map-reading seems to be a lost skill !

posted by JonD [175 posts]
15th October 2013 - 13:20

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M I L lives in Mowbray Avenue Byfleet.

Me I'll be travelling from Woking to Liverpool Street. Have to go to Guildford to join the A3 (10 mile detour) each way. The detours in London only add about 1 mile it is the stuff further out that can cause problems as there are fewer alternatives.

Mr Huggins quite frankly has not done any favours and has come across as bit a tosser to be honest.

As for parking down the road, he may have an insurance problem with his car as I do with my motorcycle, being that if it is stolen or damaged from within 400 metres of my home address and not in the garage the excess is doubled.

Many thanks for your time and I hope I have proved map reading is not a lost art. Just not very easy on a moving motorcycle!!

posted by freespirit1 [138 posts]
15th October 2013 - 14:36

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freespirit1 wrote:
Farrell

Carers were indeed unable to get to my mother in laws on the day. If you had read the original postings I did also state I had a necesity to get to or from work on a Sunday, depending upon which shift I am on. Other people picked it up you did not.

To be honest with you, if this had genuinely put such a stranglehold on access to my property so that a member of my family was denied care then my ability to confirm or change a shift at work on a Sunday over a year in advance would be so far down my list of priorities it would be ridiculous.

Add this in with your other anti-cycling sniping and it leads me to the conclusion that you're making this up.

posted by farrell [1247 posts]
15th October 2013 - 14:45

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signed. And why not?

posted by hanuman [12 posts]
15th October 2013 - 16:09

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farrell wrote:
Add this in with your other anti-cycling sniping and it leads me to the conclusion that you're making this up.

To be fair, I don't think he(she?) is - that bit of Byfleet (ie M-I-L) does appear to be cut off - but that said, you've got to be pretty damn unlucky to be in that position - most places are pretty porous.

*edit*
'ang-on - for the last few years the roads have ground to a halt with snow and ice for at least a few days - what happens then ? By comparison, the local train line (Weybridge>Staines) I use to work is the first to close down - and I *have* to cycle the 9miles each way - that's several days a year.

As to the travelling into London - I occasionally cycle Egham>Woking>Guildford, it may be 10 miles/half an hour for me, but that's probably a whole 15 minutes out of the way on a m/c- it ain't exactly *that* troublesome and you can filter. It's 4.7 miles from my house (Walton) to my local gym (Thames Ditton), that's buggerall even on pedal power Wink

Re vehicle insurance - that's more of a m/c thing (I have a m/c licence myself), it's not usually so restrictive for cars, unless you want to completely stuff yourself from parking anywhere else. That said, if Huggins were that desperate I'm sure it's be possible to get a day's waiver - it's not exactly crime-zone-central around (t)here Smile

posted by JonD [175 posts]
15th October 2013 - 16:45

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That's the 2000 barrier smashed, only 900 behind Huggins now, spread the word...

posted by georgee [133 posts]
15th October 2013 - 16:59

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Best get and sign it!

posted by Mostyn [400 posts]
16th October 2013 - 14:04

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It's one day a year, with a year's (or more) notice. It's not an insurmountable problem.

posted by SNS1938 [1 posts]
17th October 2013 - 17:09

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