On Sunday 17th March club president Mike Hutchinson celebrated his 80th birthday by holding an afternoon tea party for around fifty of the present CTC Lancaster and South Lakes membership. There was a club run before the event, with coffee at The Apple Store, Scorton, after which the riders made their way by various routes to Barton Road Community Centre, where many other members were waiting to greet Mike.
However there were more surprises as he had no idea that sons Tom, Neil, Ian and Tom’s partner Ciara were waiting to see him! This was quite a shock, and very welcome surprise! Club digital images were running as attendees partook of the splendid afternoon tea. A good time was had by all.
Thanks must go to Anne and Pauline for organising the event and members too numerous to mention who helped on the day putting out the tables and chairs, acting as bar persons, washing up, tidying the room etc. We can thoroughly recommend the community centre as a venue for any future club activities.
Matt Hodges, Lancaster and Lakes, Cycling UK member and our local, nationally recognised, ‘Right to Ride Representative has been in contact with Lancaster’s MP Cat Smith about the City Council’s plan to close the cycle path in order to build a flood defence wall alongside the River Lune from Skerton Bridge to the M6 Motorway. He pointed out that the wall could be constructed with access from the car parks and other hard standings of the various business premisses without closing the cycle path.
Matt emphasized, to the MP, the value of the route for commuting, leisure cycling and its use by family groups. He argued against the diversion onto the busy Caton Road and its unsuitability for use by ‘vulnerable users’ including children and family groups, the disabled etc. He pointed out, even experienced cyclists, would find the suggested Caton Road alternative daunting. Matt also questioned the funding of the scheme.
The main points of Cat Smith’s reply to Matt are :-
“While I understand your concerns about the project, I am pleased that the City Council has worked with a variety of partners and are taking firm action to prevent flooding like we saw in 2015”
“In terms of the funding, the Council have confirmed that they have secured £3.85 million from the European Union, assuming the contracts are signed within 2 days of the UK leaving the European Union. Local businesses have also pledged funding for the project.”
The news that the funding could be forthcoming makes the plan, passed at the Planning Committee meeting on 12th November 2018, more likely to happen. Cat says “the City Council has worked with a variety of partners” They certainly haven’t worked with the path users. We still await the promised meeting between the planners and cycling groups to consider their proposal for a safe and reasonable alternative to the cycle path whilst the work takes place.
Having stressed how unsuitable Caton Road is, as an alternative to the Lune Cyclepath it does not seem prudent to lead a large group along the present route. I have decided that my ride on Thursday 21st November will, as planned, leave Kellet Crossroad at 9-15 for Bentham and Ingleton.
I attended the Planning Meeting on Monday 12th November in support of Tim, who spoke on our behalf; Matt who spoke as a National Right to Ride representative, together with spoken contributions from Dick Follows (Dynamo) and John Butler (Lune RCC). The value of the route for commuting, leisure cycling and the use by family groups etc, was stressed. They argued against the diversion onto the busy Caton Road. A common theme of their contributions was that the main (only ?) beneficiaries were the industrial units on Caton Road and therefore a wall might be built on their land. This could mean access by the contractors was not via the cycle path. However the lead planner must have missed this input as it was totally ignored.
Questions by a couple of sympathetic councillors seemed to be pushed into the long grass but a suggestion that dog poo bins were needed, presumably to save the long grass, was welcomed. A contribution from another councillor led to an admission that cyclists had not been consulted about the diversion. The legal advisor left his seat to chat to the planner and this led to the only positive outcome of the meeting.
Condition 4 had stated that ‘Scheme for alternative cycle route to be provided during the construction period’ This was changed to ‘BEFORE the construction period’ Although I am waiting for conformation I’m sure it was agreed that interested parties (cyclists) should be consulted/involved in this aspect. The County Highways Dept. had been very forceful in their criticism of the use of Caton Road as a safe alternative and their involvement is crucial.
So, pending funding (European money ?) the scheme may go ahead and we might, even now, have a say in securing a safe route. But don’t hold your breath.
In the late 1970s a group of us, who were YHA members and cyclists, started Cumbria Cycling Club. We agreed that much of the, then present, writing about our sport had the appeal of a stale scone. So our magazine ‘Cumbrian Cyclist’ had to be different. We were also in the Rough Stuff Fellowship and their journal was a focus of our interest. ‘Rough Stuff Routes – no 93’ was a parody of a fairly typical contribution.
Rough Stuff Routes no 93 – cont
Ethel eventually lit the third Primus stove and put on the stew. This was going to be the ‘drum up’ to end them all. Bert looked up from the back wheel he was rebuilding and smiled. He pushed the last spoke through one of the extra holes he had thoughtfully drilled in the cogs on his block. “I knew it would work,” he said and trued the wheel in a trice. Harold and Alice arrived and said Harry was having trouble with his bottom bracket and he would soon be with us.
We all settled down just inside the tree-line on the sheltered side of the pass. The idyllic scene stretched into the distance. The scurrying clouds and shafts of golden sunlight vied for our attention. Ethel passed round the bowls of ‘hunter’s stew’ and mugs of steaming tea. Alice said she was feeling old. Harold kept quiet. George asked about the gearing on Bert's bike. The crack continued as it only can amongst Rough Stuffers. Gears, spokes, frame angles and Alice’s age.
The wind blew up the valley and we decided to set off. We soon packed up and pressed on. Just before we reached the road one of Bert’s rear cogs broke – then another – then another. “Perhaps that’s with drilling those extra holes” he said thoughtfully. With a cheery wave we left him to walk the 33 miles home.
At the top of the next rise we could see the golden sun setting. We turned and looked back at our ‘drum up’ spot. At first we thought the red and yellow flashes amongst the trees were stray lights from the dying sun. The pall of smoke seemed out of place and then Ethel remembered that she had left one of her Primus stoves just inside the tree-line. * To be continued in the next issue.
There is a planning application before Lancaster City Council for the “Erection of flood defence walls, security fences, lighting columns, alterations to footpaths and demolition of former pumping station and storage tanks | Land Along The East Bank Of The River Lune Between The A683 Viaduct And Skerton Bridge” Planning ref 18/00751/FUL This would involve closing the cycle path for a year from the motorway to Skerton Bridge. The proposal is to divert the cycle/foot path onto Caton Road.
We have objected, see below. Dynamo, Matt Hodges and others have also objected. These can be seen on the internet. [Lancaster City Planning – View applications and decisions – search 18/00751/FUL – Related Documents – scroll down for Matt etc]
Cycling UK, Lancaster and South Lakes Group Brian Greenwood Campaign Coordinator
Lancaster City Council - Planning Application 18/00751/FUL Erection of flood defence walls along River Lune.
The importance of the riverside cycle path to locals and visitors has been well argued by Dynamo Cycle Campaign, M Hodges (Right to Ride), S Holden, J Hardiman etc. We re-emphasize their comments.
We also totally oppose the plan to divert the cycle path along the main motor route from the M6 into the city. Caton Road would only offer a dangerous alternative. It would also put the cycle route out of bounds for many family groups, recreation and utility users. It is almost inconceivable that the City Council could consider going ahead with the proposed diversion whilst the work is carried out. Lancaster City Council have a proud record of supporting cycling and the benefits it brings as a healthy, non-polluting means of accessing our rural areas and helping to reduce traffic on busy roads.
We hope that the City Council can suggest a safer diversionary route or maintain a safe passage as the work continues.
You can object if you wish. Brian
Following a request from Len, I contacted North Yorks CC asking for them to consider providing a cycle lane alongside the A65, connecting the road from Rathmell (GR 806 625) to the turn onto Paley Lane – Giggleswick Station (GR 802 629). I pointed out this could be done with only the loss of the grass verge on the North bound side of this very busy road. I continued that a similar, but more expensive cycle lane, from Clapham to Auswick had proved very popular and is much safer for cyclists.
Although I did not extend the case, we all know, having a 2waycycle lane does not involve crossing the A65 to make the opposite journey.
I copied my letter to Settle Town Council and Yorkshire SUSTRANS. I have had no reply from SUSTRANS nor directly from the County Council but this letter from Settle Town Council.
'Dear Brian Settle Town Council supported your proposal and sent it to the NYCC area5 depot at Skipton. We also sent the letter to the Parish Council at Giggleswick as it falls within their parish boundary. This is the response we received from NYCC Highways Officer
“Thank you for your email and the letters I agree with the value of your proposal. However, we have previously investigated a scheme for the creation of a cycleway facility alongside the A65 between Rathmell Road and Giggleswick Station (including the introduction of pedestrian refuge between Rathmell Road and Gildersleets)
The cost estimate was £110,000 and the score in our system was only 11.4 This made the proposal too expensive at the time and I’m afraid this proposal still has too high a cost and too low a score, with little prospect of 3rd party funding. In addition we have not had a suitable budget for such improvements for several years (the vast majority of funding is spent on maintenance works, not improvements)
Highways North Yorkshire”
I will be relaying this response to the Town Council next Wednesday 1st August for any further comment.
Clerk to Settle Town Council'
So, perhaps, as we may have expected, council cutbacks will make many improvements we might like to see, somewhat unlikely. But, every credit to Settle Town Council for trying. I will contact SUSTRANS Yorkshire again to see if I can get a response from them. They were involved with the Clapham – Auswick cycle path.
Coffee will now be at Knott End Cafe in order to catch the 11.45am ferry to Fleetwood
Thursday ride 24th May –two choices.
Thursday's ride starts at Millennium Bridge at 9:15, the Gentle ride going, via Middleton and Heysham, to Bay View cafe at Bolton le Sands for coffee.
This Gentle ride will then continue to Bentham, going via Wray and Wennington. It will return via Millhouses to Wray for tea.
For those who wish for a harder ride, Neil has kindly offered to lead the following additional , Harder ride:
Again starting at 9:15 from Millenium Bridge.:
Coffee Bay View ( to link with gentle ride) Lunch Casterton Golf Club Tea Bridge House Wray (optional).
Neil's route to Bay View will be through Halton, (Arrow Lane) to Nether Kellet, Over Kellet, Warton, Bolton Le Sands.
The route to Casterton will include Nether Kellet, Over Kellet, Capernwray, Docker, Newton, Whittington, K.L., Casterton.
Return via Roman Road, Overtown, Tunstall, Wrayton, Wennington, Wray.
Hope to see you there! Mike Codd - Rides co-ordinator (and Gentle ride leader).
Here are a couple of photos of Dave Hugill modelling some Lancaster & South Lakes CTC cycling jerseys that were kindly donated by Dan Livermore, grandson to Eric Livermore who was a luminary of the club a few years bike. Eric was famous for riding a 'flying gate' and here Dave is posing with his own 'flying gate'.
Photos by Patience Cooper
Meet at The Boot and Shoe (if riding) at 10.45am or at Bridge 64 Cafe, Garstang at 11.45 am if using transport (check out the cafe's Facebook page).
Very reasonably priced, good quality lunches available (If we are there before midday we can still have the superb breakfast deals eg Sausage, bacon and egg bun £3.75!) followed by a one hour card making session organised by Anne (cost £3 to make three cards - examples below). The use of the cafe is on the understanding that we buy lunch there first.
Numbers will be limited to 10 due to the available space. All are welcome but it is essential to let Anne Hutchinson know if you are coming so that she can prepare for the class - numbers are limited to 10 so book with her now!
I'm planning to run a series of evening social rides, ending at a pub. These will take place on the first Friday of each month over the summer period when we will be able to ride in daylight for most of the time. Len and I will be leaving Halton Station on Friday 6th April at 5.30pm for the first evening ride of 2018. We will ride for approximately two hours, ending at the Hest Bank Inn, where we will have a bar meal. If you would like to join us, please come along to Halton Station. If you would like to eat at the pub, can you let Patience know as soon as possible, so that I can book a table?
If there is sufficient interest we may be able to do these evening rides more than one a month, but will see what interest there is before committing ourselves. I look forward to hearing from you.
Patience Cooper, your Social Secretary, is organising a series of taster sessions for off-the-bike activities. Coming up are:
Mountain biking, Grizedale Forest, 11th April, Meet at the visitor centre at 10.30am - bike hire and food available - or bring your own sandwiches.
Tennis (and bowls) with Sue Lucas, 25th April, From 2pm at the Lancaster Tennis Club, 17 Lune Road LA1 5QU (off St Georges Quay)
If you've got an idea for a Wednesday 'taster' session of something different, do get in touch with Patience.
As of 29th March there are now, no more places left for this year's Club holiday, riding in Northumberland and based in farm cottages at Shilbottle. There's room for one woman sharing and a room for two people (a couple, or two men, or two women sharing). If you are interested in joining this holiday please contact Anne Hutchinson by email by 31st March.
I am proposing to introduce some social sessions for our members who want to try something different. The plan is to find activities that are not necessarily cycling-based, but generally involve outdoor fitness-based fun.
I propose that for the first session we go to Grizedale Forest to try one (or more) of the mountain biking trails. We can hire a range of bikes here and may be able to negotiate group discount rates. Some of you already have your own mountain or trail bikes and experience of riding off-road and it would be great if you were prepared to advise the less experienced members.
The intended date for this session is Wednesday 11th April and I would suggest that we make a day of it and take packed lunches. There is a café at Grizedale which we can patronise at some point.
Please let me know if you would like to come along, if you are bringing your own bike or would like to hire one, and if you are experienced would be prepared to help the beginners.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you
You are invited to join Len and I on a short break away in April, spending two nights in Hawes on the nights of 18 and 19 April. The plan is to cycle to Hawes via Wharfedale on the Wednesday and back via Sedbergh on the Friday. Hopefully on the middle day we can explore Swaledale area.
Len and I are booked into the Youth Hostel on a self-catering basis, but may decide to eat out on at least one night. It is entirely up to others to choose the standard of accommodation that suits them best. The advantage of a place like Hawes is there is plenty of choice. Do let me know via this email address or by texting me on 07792 280542 if you wish to come. The link to YHA Hawes is below.
‘Beyond the Green Belt’ might sound like a leafy wander through the Home Counties but Cycling UK’s campaign briefing document has a more serious message. It is looking at aspects of cycling in the rural environment. The CTC has led the way in gaining rights for cyclists from the use of Royal Parks in 1885 to the right to cycle on bridleways and some long distance country trails in 1968. But, currently only a fifth of public rights of way in England and Wales are available for cycling.
The document says, ‘Look at a map and you’re bound to find paths morphing from bridleway to footpath simply because they’ve crossed the boundary into another county, or other jurisdiction.’
Three local examples –
CASTERTON, bridleway (bw) from 625 785 changes to footpath (fp) at county boundary 625 779
COCKERHAM, bw from 464 522 changes to fp over Berries Head at 474 533
HEST BANK, bw from 472 657 changes to fp at railway 463 654
Any path not recorded on a local authority definitive map by 1 January 2026 will be legally lost to the public. Although this seems a long time in the future we have no idea how long the highway authorities will take to process our submissions and hopefully act on them. Equally we might feel we don’t use off-road routes very often but future generations may be grateful of our efforts as cycling and interests change.
It would be helpful if members could volunteer to spend an evening or two by the fire and search their OS maps (other mapping systems exist) and find other ‘morphing points’ we can forward. The areas we could cover include Lancashire to the Wyre and Bowland, South Lakes towards Kendal and Grange and North Yorks ie Ingleton and Dent. If you are interested drop me an email.
Brian Greenwood Campaign Co-ordinator
A blast from the past! Here is the front page from what was to become 'Saddlebag', the way that Lancaster CTC shared news in the 1980s. We will have an occasional series of pages from Saddlebag - watch this space.
Here are some photos of Mike and of his fabulous commemorative plate celebrating 300,000miles and 21 years as secretary of Lancaster & South Lakes CTC. Thanks to Kathy and Baz at Bentham Pottery for the photos and son Lee for making and designing the plate .