All posts in Campaigning

Potholes are more than a nuisance, they can be a serious danger to cyclists and others. In the UK, there’s an average of one road defect for every 110 metres of road!

Local councils have a duty to maintain the roads, but they can only fill a pothole if they know about it. If you want it repaired, you have to report it

Link to Report or find a hazard

SPOKES have been promoting the Green Ring for several years with the aim of providing a safe circular route around the centre of Watford, linking the various access routes into the town centre

Hertfordshire County Council – Highways Authority, will be responsible for any improvements to roads that form part of the Green Ring in Watford

The Watford Council website has a useful page giving details of the plans for improving the eastern loop of the Green Ring. It also shows a strategy for future transport in the area with an emphasis on walking & cycling

Link to Walking and Cycling Schemes

The video below was created by Watford Council and shows a ‘cycle-through’ the proposed eastern loop of the Green Ring

Watford Green Ring leaflet

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SPOKES have produced a double-sided A5 leaflet describing the 7-mile walking and cycling route around Watford that has been formally adopted by Watford Borough Council

The leaflet is distributed to local shops, look out for it!


Water Lane in Watford Observer

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SPOKES campaign for improving the safety at the Water Lane/Lower High Street junction in Watford is on the front page of the currnt issue of the Watford Observer.

There is a summary on the front page and a full article on page 4 with the opening sentence: “Campaigners are celebrating as a dangerous junction is set to receive a share of £4.6 million fund for road safety improvements.”

The article, illustrated with two photographs, features an interview with SPOKES chairman Peter Jackson

Update on Water Lane junction

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See the article in Watford Observer entitled ‘Campaigners are celebrating as a “dangerous” junction is set to receive a share of a £4.6 million fund for safety improvements’ with a picture provided by SPOKES.

There is space for you to add comments where you may wish to press for police action on drivers ignoring the stop sign.

Water Lane/High Street update

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Watford High Street Cycle Lane Danger solution adopted by Herts County Council (HCC)

SPOKES have supported Hertfordshire County Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst in his efforts to get an already costed and approved plan, for reconstructing the dangerous junction of the Watford High Street Cycle Lane with Water Lane, actioned as a high priority. We know of at least 3 cyclists being hit by cars there and numerous near misses. We have observed that 90% of drivers turning from Water Lane to go up the High Street towards King Street do not stop at the stop line or look right before emerging.

We set up a petition on the HCC Website and publicised the urgent need to reduce the risk of a cyclist, wheelchair user or pedestrian being killed. We are pleased to report that HCC have agreed to include the necessary work in this financial year (2023/4) and Stephen is continuing pressure to ensure that happens.

The plan below shows the layout of the new junction. Key changes are moving the Cycle Lane out further into the High Street, to improve the Cyclists’ sight line, and reducing Water Lane to one lane of traffic with a more distinct turn so it is less easy for drivers to treat the right turn more like a bend than a road junction. It may not be a complete solution but will definitely be an improvement. It may be necessary to continue our so far unsuccessful efforts to get Police enforcement of the STOP Sign.

Water Lane/High Street Petition

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Watford Lower High Street Cycle Lane Danger for Cyclists and Wheelchair users

Corner of Water Lane and High Street by the Cotswold Store, the Blue Pyramid

Please sign our petition to Herts County Council for improvement of the dangerous junction with Water Lane and the Lower High Street contra flow cycle lane (Cotswold store “Blue Pyramid” corner).   Just click on the link below, register or login to Herts CC Webpage and “sign” the petition.  It is quick and easy.

We know by observation that 90% of drivers turning right into the High Street from Water Lane do not stop at the stop line and do not look right.  In the past 18 months two SPOKES Members have been knocked off their bikes at this junction, both involved Police attendance and Hospital treatment.  The major injury was to Mick Leonard this February, resulting in two hairline spine fractures, a wedge fracture in the spine, fractured wrist and now an elbow lump that potentially results from the accident is being investigated.

In a 20 minute observation of the junction in March, Mick Leonard observed 3 near misses including a powered wheelchair user who was nearly hit.

4 schemes have been submitted to HCC for funding from the Active Travel Fund, including a costed and approved design for this junction. We have registered a petition on HCC Website to make this junction an early priority before someone is killed.

If you live or work in the Watford locality, or use this cycle lane, please support this petition which can be found at: ePetition – Watford High St Cycle Lane danger ( Our response is urgent so we can submit it before  the decision on the 4 projects is made.

Peter Jackson – SPOKES S W Herts Chairperson

Proposed New Design

Ebury Way News March 2023

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The Ebury Way at Rickmansworth has become difficult to use, due to tree roots breaking up the surface and redevelopment on the adjacent site. The tree roots have raised the surface making it hazardous for people on wheels. The new tall building behind the high fence which was erected on part of the existing route, has made it hard to see or avoid obstructions on the surface. See the attached document for further details.


Transforming Travel in Watford

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SPOKES attended the Watford Cycle Forum on 15th September where the council presented, among other things, their plans for the Watford Green Ring, an idea conceived by SPOKES. The next step the council will take is to ‘derisk’ the eastern section, from the underpass below the ring road to the junction with Thomas Sawyer Way. The attached presentation shows some exciting improvements planned for the route as well as some ‘quick wins’ that they plan to implement in the next two years.

There are also details on other improvements planned.

SPOKES presented outline plans for the Cycle Gathering 2023, provisionally planned for second Saturday in June at end of National Bike Week.

See the attached 40 page presentation for more details