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Ingatestone Pedallers on their first ride at The Viper, Mill Green-April 2013

“Deathsville for cyclists: everyone has three cars, it’s the Ford Europe HQ and one of its (few) cycle paths leads to the A12”


Brentwood Borough Council area Brentwood is the Essex borough on the edge of Greater London (Havering) and is bisected by the main road system SW to NE by the A12 truck road from London to Gt Yarmouth and NW to SE by the A128 Ongar-Thurrock road. The main London-Norwich railway line follows the A12 with stations at Brentwood, Shenfield and Ingatestone, the Southend Victoria Line branching at Shenfield to Billericay. In addition, the Fenchurch Street line passes through the borough at West Horndon going east to Laindon/Basildon. Within the borough are Weald and Thorndon Country Parks, managed by Essex County Council, which provide safe off-road cycling with commercial MTB facilities at Thorndon. (Weald Park was originally identified as the mountain biking centre for London 2012 but Hadleigh Farm in SE Essex was eventually chosen as the best location). Within Brentwood itself lies a greater part of Writtle Ancient Forest which also provides off-road bridleway cycling and routes onroad around the area to the NE of Brentwood town itself, beyond Ingatestone & Fryerning and Blackmore. “Le Tour 2014” comes through Essex on Monday 7 July 2014 just beyond the borough at Roxwell, Willingale and Fyfield. Brentwood borough is probably the only in Essex not to have a designated cycle strategy or any dedicated cycle section on its website, which is strange considering that the area has a rich amount of cycling opportunities, as yet untapped. There is a lack of cycle pathways within the borough, an absence of cycle literature, guides, infrastructure and a general low profile of cycling with both borough and parish councils. Occasionally there are articles in the local press but on the whole the profile of cycling is low; very, very low!


From The Guardian magazine “Space” section: 28 September 2013


Barclays Bank map of Essex from 1968, marked with RWF’s cycle trips from Ingatestone

Ingatestone & Fryerning The parish is brilliantly situated both in terms of transport infrastructure and access to fine on-road cycling, mainly to the NE around Writtle Forest and also has some good off-road bridleway tracks in the Mill Green area and out towards Chelmsford. Sadly, there has been adverse comment from local councillors regarding cycle tracks in the past (in 2000/01 regarding the Shenfield section of the cycle way to Brentwood) and a strange difficulty in agreeing cycle parking today even when the equipment itself is available for free. The village has mainline station access from London and up to East Anglia and is often used at weekends and during the week by cyclists who come here as a base for journeys out into the countryside. The country out to Blackmore, and to Stock and Margaretting Tye is particularly fine cycling territory. Ingatestone & Fryerning – infrastructure and cycle parking

Residents’ cycle-parking in a joint ownership building off Ingatestone High Street-2013


New cycle parking at Ingatestone & Fryerning Community Association-2013

More cycle parking has been identified and is required in Ingatestone Market Place, and at Bellmead in the High Street and by Essex Libraries, Ingatestone:

Market Place, Ingatestone – 2013

Bellmead, High Street, Ingatestone – 2014


Essex Libraries, High Street, Ingatestone – 2014

Greater Anglia Railways undertook a survey of cycling provision in November 2013 and the facilities at Ingatestone Station could be improved:

Ingatestone Station – Platform 2 cycle parking-2014

Ingatestone Station- Platform 1 cycle parking-2014

Ingatestone & Fryerning has three schools: Ingatestone Infants, Juniors and the AES Ingatestone. All have cycle parking on site but thought has to be given to safe routes to and from the schools and to the railway station:


Approach to Ingatestone Infants School in Fryerning Lane-2014

Approach to Ingatestone Junior School in The Furlongs-2014

The AES Ingatestone entrance in Willow Green-2013


Blocked barrier at footpath to The Furlongs from Avenue Road, Ingatestone-2014

Route to the schools via Norton Road/The Meads-2014

Route to the Junior School via Norton Road/Meads Close-2014


Newly surfaced pathway to Ingatestone Station via Fairfield. An opportunity for a mixed use pathway for walkers and cyclists Signage to and from the railway station to the village centre and beyond is very bad. There is a BMX track for young riders at Seymour Field but this is almost neglected and needs urgent attention to add a good surface as it has been damaged in an attempt to “improve” rides. This matter was brought up at a Parish Council meeting a few years back but nothing has been done other than some pointless talk of extending and making the site more “interesting”. Better facilities exist on the common land at Mill Green Common near The Viper Inn which would not take too much effort to develop and link this in with bridleway tracks nearby through Stoneymore and Deerslade Woods:

BMX Cycle Track at Seymour Field, Ingatestone-2014

Interesting BMX area potential on Common Land near The Viper, Mill Green-2014


Improved bridleway surface near Ingatestone Road, Mill Green-2009

The Fryerning and Mill Green areas are increasingly popular with road riders and off-road MTB riders and road races are often held here with a circle taking in Blackmore, a ride of some 10 miles. Transferring footways to mixed use foot/cycle ways could be undertaken on paths alongside the B1002 to take in the road from Mountnessing (going on from the cycle path from Shenfield) out to Margaretting and there forward linking into the cycle paths which run up the old A12 to Hylands Park and into Chelmsford City Centre.

B1002 High Street, Ingatestone, leading out by Seymour Field towards Margaretting-2014

There is scope to alter footpaths to mixed-use paths as strategic routes to Brentwood, Billericay, Ongar and Chelmsford. The coming of Crossrail at Shenfield Station in 2017 also adds an opportunity to improve the cycle facilities in the borough especially if further planning sites are developed in Mountnessing, on the borders with Ingatestone & Fryerning. Further cycle proficiency course should be run at local schools to improve confidence in young riders. We should be seeking improvements in health, both mental and physical with further cycling and the reductions in road traffic that this will bring. The additional amount of cycle traffic should have a beneficial effect on the volume and speed of motor traffic. More needs to be done to publicise cycling and cycle routes both in libraries and council offices and by making map, guides and information available via the internet


Further reading/viewing: - Policy CP13 on Sustainable Transport - 2013 Essex County Council – Essex Cycling Strategy – August 2001 ‘Get Britain Cycling’ APPCG Inquiry – 2013 (“Why We Ride” – a film by and for Cambridge’s young cyclists-2013) “Ingatestone Pedallers” – “Ingatestone Cycle Rides” available via

Robert W Fletcher (Ingatestone Pedallers Social Cycle Group: Facebook: Ingatestone Pedallers/Twitter: IngatestonePedallers @IngePedallers 10 Cherry Trees The Meads INGATESTONE Essex CM4 0AP 01277 354431/07910 679397

27 January 2014


Ingatestone Pedallers - Submission for Brentwood Borough Cycling Strategy - January 2014  

Cycling strategy prepared for Essex Council Council Highways in January 2014 relating to Brentwood Borough Council area, and specifically In...

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