French Horn Lane cycle path; is it safe? The WGC town centre scheme and a ride to Wheathampstead. (July News)

By | 29th June 2018

July ride UPDATED: Wheathampstead Village Day, Sunday 8th (not 15th) July 2018 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Come with us for an easy ride along the Ayot Greenway to Wheathampstead Village Day. Apart from a short section on road through Ayot Green, the ride is entirely on traffic free tracks, so is very suitable for children. At the Village Day there are lots of stalls to visit, a full programme of entertainment to watch in the arena, a fun fair and of course the carnival procession. 

We will be departing Campus West Car Park as usual at 11:00, which should give us plenty of time to get to Wheathampstead, have a bite to eat and watch the Carnival at 13:00. We will probably leave Wheathampstead around 15:30, but you can stay and enjoy the event as long as you wish.

The ride to Wheathampstead is only around 5 miles and the route is mainly along the formation of the old Luton railway. (There are a few short hills, but nothing too challenging. And you can walk these if you wish). 

Don’t forget to bring a lock for your bike.

Welwyn Garden City town centre pedestrianisation (and cycling) scheme

If you visited the town centre during the trial on your bike, do please tell us what you think.  You can also still comment on the scheme by following the link above.

The trial undersold the benefits of the planned north bound cycle lane along Fretherne Road and Stonehills, which we think will be useful, if there’s a way out to the north over Hunters Bridge or past WHBC HQ and Oaklands College.  Joining these key locations to the station and the town centre has to be a good idea for WGC residents, don’t you think?  We’ll keep campaigning, especially given the news from London below.


Mini-Hollands in London a success

Evidence from the University of Westminster shows the mini-Holland schemes in Kingston, Waltham Forest and Enfield “are having a measurable and early impact on active travel behaviour and perceptions of the local cycling environment.”  Unsurprisingly, people are walking and cycling more in the areas where work has been done to provide safe walking and cycling routes and reduce traffic.   The full paper is here at (please ask me if you cannot access it)


A question for county councillors:  When is a cycle path no longer safe?

French Horn Lane hedge

French Horn Lane in Hatfield has a 3 metre width shared use pavement for pedestrians and cyclists heading to and from the railway station.  Walking and cycling to the station is the way the majority of people access it according to the 2017 station travel plan.  It’s also a walking route to Onslow School.  This pavement is now no more than 1.5m wide at the west (town centre) end and at its narrowest, where vegetation sticks out, a mere 80 cm (measured on 28.6.18 at 08:15).


The path is used in both directions particularly in the morning rush hour by pedestrians and cyclists who have to pass in this narrow gap.  Yet Hertfordshire tell me this is safe (reference 201013652653) and it will be “added to future works”.   It would be great to know when these works will actually happen.


One of our members tells us she now cycles in the road to avoid this cycle path, putting herself at risk and delaying traffic on French Horn Lane.  I’d like to be able to tell her when she can get back on the safe cycle route.  Please can a county councillor tell me what the criteria are for judging safety of an obstructed pavement and how narrow a cycle path has to be before action has to be taken?  And how does this compare with standards for roads?

Enjoy cycling (where you can)!

Adam Edwards

Chair  – WelHatCycling

Category: Uncategorised

About Adam Edwards

Adam Edwards is the current chair of WelHatCycling. As a parent of two what matters most to him is utility cycling: getting to school, work, the shops, etc. He is particularly keen on group rides which involve cake. With his youngest child, he's ridden all the way from Hatfield to Edinburgh on a tandem.

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