Published: 9 February 2012
Guide: Eddie Allen
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The town of Woking in Surrey was granted Cycling Town status in 2009, one of a total of 18 towns designated by Cycling England, and received substantial funding and support to develop its cycling infrastructure, with the aim of increasing cycling levels.
£1.82M of Cycling Town funding resulted in the creation of Cycle Woking, a joint venture between Surrey County Council and Woking Borough Council, including an online portal for cycling information and improvements in cycle routes and parking. Cycle Woking ran between 2008 and 2011 when project funding ended and Cycling England was abolished in widespread spending cuts. However, along with other Cycling Towns, work continues as councils and local authorities attempt to secure funding from the Local Sustainable Travel Fund. The Cycle Woking website remains active and carries regular updates on cycling provision, events and more.
Cycle route provision
Two National Cycle Network Routes cross in Woking; NCN 223 links Woking with Guildford to the south and Chertsey to the north. Meanwhile the Basingstoke Canal towpath forms the traffic-free NCN 221 which runs west to Farnborough. These national routes are complemented by a network of local routes known locally as the Planet routes. Route 1 runs east from Woking town centre between the Basingstoke Canal and the railway line on minor roads toward Byfleet, while a network of routes serve the suburbs to the west of the town.
The work of Cycle Woking also included resurfacing of the Basingstoke Canal and various signage improvements through the local cycling network.
A key part of the Cycle Woking programme was to case study shared-use of key routes across Woking town centre. An Experimental Order in 2009 permitted a pilot scheme of shared pedestrian/cyclist routes on key town centre streets, resulting in a 63 percent increase in town centre cycling and plans are in motion to make shared use routes in the town a permanent fixture.
In an effort to encourage residents to cycle into town for work or shopping, Cycle Woking enhanced the availability of dedicated cycle parking in the town centre. There are two parking stations outside the Peacocks Centre and a further two locations at Brewery Road Car Park (close to the Basingstoke Canal). A cluster of parking locations surround Woking Railway Station, enabling London commuters living in Woking to explore multi modal options to get into the capital. Further parking stations on Commercial Way, near the Town Square and the Civic Offices complete the picture. For a complete picture of cycle parking in the town click here to download Woking Borough Council’s cycle parking map. (PDF)
Cycling and trains
There is cycle parking close to Woking Railway Station allowing residents to combine cycling and rail travel. Services from Woking into London are primarily run by South West Trains, who restrict bike transport at peak periods. For details of South West Trains’ cycle policy go here.
There are two main cycle shops in Woking town centre. National chain Evans on Guildford Road and Action bikes on Christ Church Way, both offering sales and repair services.
Don’t leave home without...
...checking out OpenCycleMap, which shows the major National, Regional and Local cycling routes, together with further info on parking and bike shops.
Cycle Woking – the website for the Cycle Woking project, a joint venture between Surrey County Council and Woking Borough Council. The site contains lots of practical info on how to start cycling in Woking, news on infrastructure improvements and information on accessing cycle training in the town.
Woking Cycle Users Group – Woking’s independent cycle campaigning group, which meets regularly to discuss cycling issues in and around the town.
MORE SUPPORT FOR YOUR COMMUTE: Ride Membership offers bike commuters legal protection, insurance and discounts on essential commuting kit. Click here for more details