Sunday, 23 September 2018

Men cycle 820 miles to Spain for charity

ELEVEN men completed an 820-mile cycle ride from Benson to Santander to raise money for charity.

ELEVEN men completed an 820-mile cycle ride from Benson to Santander to raise money for charity.

Julian Vaccari, of Littleworth Road, Benson, organised the 10-day challenge.

The group cycled 100 miles on each of the final three days, including 103 miles through the Pyrenees on the penultimate day.

Mr Vaccari, 42, said: “It was incredible to know that our willpower was taking us through different landscapes, geography and even different climates.”

The BBC journalist planned the trip to say thank you to Oxford Children’s Hospital, where his youngest daughter, Rosa, now six, had open-heart surgery four years ago.

The men were also raising money for Cancer Research UK and Mr Vaccari said thinking about the charities helped keep their spirits up during the ride.

He said reaching their destination made the pain worth it.

“I am so proud to have achieved our goal with such a nice bunch of people,” he said. “There was a nice camaraderie and a good team effort.

“We all finished it on good terms and raised quite a lot of money.”

To make a donation, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/reddogriders

DRIVERS’ lives are being put at risk by the condition of the roads in Watlington, it was claimed this week.

Resurfacing work at the junction of Ingham Lane and Brook Street has still not been done, a year after it was first scheduled.

Oxfordshire County Council has delayed the repairs, even though parish councillors say the roads are crumbling. The white lines in the middle of the junction have long since disappeared.

Ian Hill, chairman of Watlington Parish Council, said: “The potential for an accident is quite high. It is an important junction and it is very dangerous in that the surface is falling to pieces.

“Quite often there is almost a pile of rubble on the junction as you come out of Ingham Lane and the road markings have disappeared.”

Roadworks were due to take place in May last year but the county council postponed them until the autumn due to fears that the foundations of a Grade II listed building in Brook Street could be affected. A new start date was set for February this year but the work had to be cancelled due to heavy snow.

The county council then had to review the works after the new financial year began in April but the plans were turned down.

The scheme was then approved after the council was given a multi-million pound grant for road repairs by the Government.

Now the council has repriced the repairs and says work will start at the end of next month or the beginning of November “subject to approval”.

The “Give way” road markings at the end of Spring Lane, which leads into Brook Street, have also vanished and Councillor Hill says this also poses an accident risk, particularly to drivers not familiar with the area.

He said: “People who don’t know the road could easily come down Spring Lane, assume it is their right of way and carry straight on because it is not very obvious that it is necessary to give way.”

Councillor Barry Adby, chairman of the parish council’s operations committee, said the long wait had been frustrating but added: “At least they are looking at it the right way as they are saving money.”

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman said: “Works are programmed for October 26 and 27 and November 2 and 3..

“These are weekend dates selected for when the road will be at its quietest.”

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