The French Horn Lane hedge saga continues, two rides and a pub meet, the value of cycling to the UK economy (August news)

By | 1st August 2018

A question for county district councillors:  When is a cycle path no longer safe? The saga continues…

Last month I wrote about the big hedge on French Horn Lane (see photo in last month’s news) which blocks half the width of cycle route from Hatfield town centre to the station.  We have some progress: Hertfordshire now say the hedge doesn’t belong to them after all and that it’s owned by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. HCC promised to pass this on to WHBC, but we logged the problem with WHBC just in case (Ref 111001186993).   The latest news is that the case has been referred to the Landscape & Ecology team as the hedge is made up of conifer trees.  We await further developments.   In the meantime, if anyone is having problems using this cycle path, do please tell WHBC to encourage them to fix it.   Comments from WHBC councillors on this issue and how quickly it might be resolved are welcomed.


August ride 1:  Sunday 5th August 2018 to the Colney Heath steam railway

This is our shortest ride and aimed at families with kids out of stabilisers.  Departing at 1pm, we ride from Hatfield to Colney Heath, a round trip of 6 miles (which is something they can all do when there’s rival riders).   The ride is nearly all off road or on quiet side streets.  We then will enjoy the sight and sound of little real steam engines and if you wish, ride behind them.  On site are loos and a basic café.  Please note the North London Society of Model Engineers charges for the rides.  You can either ride back with us or make your own way home.


An evening out:  Pub meet on 8th August 2018

We’ve always had out August meeting as an informal discussion in a local pub, so if you would like to join us, the WelHatCycling team will be in the Red Lion, Digswell Hill, AL6 9AJ from 7.15pm.  The team have even promised me no action points!


August ride 2:  Burnham Green Village Fete, 27th August 2018.

This will be a ride from Campus West, Welwyn Garden City, via country lanes.  Check our website for more information.


Planning a summer cycle ride?  Try

CycleStreets enables you to specify a start and an end and then it does the rest.  What is great is that it will often take you routes you’d never even thought of, although some of the very quietest routes do sometimes involve pushing along footpaths. The same site has features on Hatfield and WGC which we keep updated, lots of photos and it generates directions you can then print.


The Value of the Cycling Sector to the British Economy June 2018

Drawing on existing data, this report estimates that cycling currently contributes a minimum of £5.4 billion a year to the UK economy, with the larger share coming from wider impacts particularly loss of life, reduced pollution and congestion.  Cycling products bring in £0.76bn and tourism a further £0.5 billion.   64,000 jobs in the UK are cycle-related.

The cycling sector is three times larger than the steel industry and employs approximately twice as many people.  Every time a new bike is sold in the UK (every ten seconds or so), it averages a value of £1,800 to the economy.  So buying a new bike is your patriotic duty.  (Well that’s my excuse!)

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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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