Plymouth Cycling Campaign

The Plymouth Cycling Campaign was formed in summer 2010, comprising as many as possible of the various bodies, clubs and individuals who are committed to cycling in and around Plymouth, South Devon and South-East Cornwall.

We hold meetings every couple of months. Click for our next meeting. Everyone is welcome. Let’s have a lively discussion and find out what issues matter to you.. All welcome – come and have your say or just come to listen and find out what is happening with cycling in Plymouth and surroundings. The minutes of the last meeting are here.

If you would like to get involved we have two levels of membership, basic, which is free, or enhanced which costs £5 annually and gives full voting rights and access to discounted benefits. More>>

Follow this link to see what we have achieved so far:

Our general aims are:

* to provide a stronger, more united voice for Plymouth cyclists

* to campaign and lobby to improve cycling facilities and infrastructure for the city of Plymouth eg working with the council to ensure that there are safe routes from outlying hubs to the city centre

* to petition for a dedicated cycling officer on Plymouth City Council so that we can feed our concerns to an interested and receptive individual with a mandate for change.

* to increase cycling participation rates within Plymouth. Better infrastructure as well as providing opportunities for non-cyclists to try cycling, providing opportunities for social rides

* to encourage healthier lifestyles eg regular exercise, sustainable transport, improving city centre environment

* to provide a network for cycling groups to air their views and decide collectively on cycling priorities in Plymouth

The Campaign is a recognised consultee by Plymouth City Council, which means we have a voice on all matters related to cycling, walking and sustainable transport in the City, as well as transport planning in general. We work closely with other local authorities, and support and cooperate with Sustrans, the charity for sustainable transport which designs and maintains the National Cycle Network.

In addition we organise events and cycling activities, particularly focussing on those groups who would like to cycle more but do not do so for various reasons.

The Plymouth Cycling Campaign is on Facebook. Visit our page, join the group and Like us! Tell us about your cycling experiences and activities.

  1. Two female cyclists from Dorset and Southampton Cycling Campaign groups are coming to the CTC conference at Plymouth Guildhall on Fri 14 (and Sat 15) March and wonder if any member could offer them either or both together a bed ideally for both nights.
    Dilys Gartside

  2. So called Drakes Trail is still incomplete. Forced to take to the road with a wheelchair to get around Clearbrook only to find the steepest hill around, we could not manage to climb it.
    Perhaps the objectors could make themselves available to push sometimes. Far better to improve this remote short section of the trail for the benefit of so many people. Get on with it.

  3. annette starkey

    hi Bill

    Thanks for replying I have left an Email with the relevant people at the council still waiting to here. If I do not here I will let you know.

    regards Annette

  4. annette starkey

    hi just wandering if anyone has come off there bike whist using tavistock rd cycling lane. I recently was riding along got forced over by another cyclist wanting the cycle path to himselfmy wheel caught the deviders and I ended up coming off breaking my arm

    regards
    annette

    • William Nicholson

      I suggest you contact the Council and alert them to the dangers associated with the dividers even though the main problem was the inconsiderate cyclist. If you don’t get a positive response please bring the issue before a PCyC meeting and it may well be followed up by the Campaign.

  5. Bill Nicholson

    At PCyC meetings a few cyclists mention the dangers they face from motorists. In an effort to ascertain the scale of the problem please give details here, or on our Facebook page, of instances of inconsiderate driving. Depending on the results we might decide to raise the issue with the Council or the particular sections of the motoring community concerned.

    • Hi Bill, please feel free to check out my YouTube channel ‘Search For Your Reg on YouTube’ for plenty of examples of inconsiderate and hazardous driving in our city. Hope you find some of the footage useful.

  6. Bill Nicholson

    Anyone interested in BMX is asked to see an update on our Facebook page regarding a proposed pump track and dirt jumps at Marsh Mills. A few hoops to be jumped through but at least a BMX facility is being actively considered.

  7. Bill Nicholson

    Make your feelings known on the National Trust planning application for Plymbridge Woods by visiting Plymouth City Council planning online ref: 12/01712/FUL. Looks like a greatly scaled back works but better than nothing. Serious cyclists will still have to go to Exeter or Tavistock. So much for Plymouth having City status!

  8. Bill Nicholson

    There is a post on our Facebook page concerning ‘Give Cyclists Space’ and I would urge you to look at it. If you are not a Facebook person now might be the time to get involved.

  9. Just returned from Marsh Mills. The area currently being used as a dirt jump site could be large enough to accommodate a regional level BMX track and actually the area has a lot of plus points with regard to this: there is a hotel and campsite just across the road and there is a park and ride car park which could be used for Sunday race events. On the down side, the current foot/ cycle path cuts the site in half and the area is unsecured which would result in vandalism of the track and/ or make the up-keep difficult. To run race events and a club from here the area would need to be secured and the current path re-directed.

    However, a far better site lies over the bridge across the railway line as you head towards Saltram, here there is a large, unused level compound which is fenced with barb-wire tops (the fence is broken down in one area at the moment but could easily be repaired). Does anyone know who owns this land?

  10. Re the propsed BMX track at Marsh Mills, I see that Simon wants the Plymouth Cycling Campaign to push for a “proper” track in Plymouth. And why not – we support cycling in all its forms. However, we are an entirely voluntary group with limited resources, although a recognised consultee by PCC. People like Bill Nicholson working away in his own time give impetus to the various issues we get involved with. If Simon or Rich would like to contact me on info@plymouthcyclingcampaign.co.uk (I’m the Chair) I will suggest they come to our next meeting on Tuesday November 6th and see how we can get involved.

  11. William Nicholson

    Hello Rich and Simon
    BMX riders. Are you ready!
    Have just this minute received an email from PCC giving me the name and contact details of a Project Manager in connection with the PROPOSED BMX track at Marsh Mills.
    I must make it clear I am not a Trustee of Saltram but simply an old bloke hoping to improve the facilities for BMXrs in Plymouth. One day might we see one of them riding in world class competitions. No reason why not. If Jay and Maddy are interested in what is below the Marsh Mills flyover at the moment then any improvement will be worthwhile. They are likely to get publicity in the Herald in connection with this venture.
    Don’t give up on the NT initiative. It is far from over.
    Surprised few know of what is happening at Saltram as it is online and the Herald have given it loads of coverage.
    I need to get in touch with both of you and others interested in this project in order that we can meet the Project manager.
    Try me on wnicholson@toucansurf.com
    Anyone who contemplates causing me a problem with me having given out this email address should think very carefully. You can take this as a threat!
    Best regards to the rest of you
    Bill

  12. Bill Nicholson

    Free Club Support Evenings.
    Active Devon are bringing their Club Support Workshops to UCP Marjon, Derriford Road, Plymouth PL6 8BH on 8 October 2012 – see http://www.activedevon.org/clubsupport
    This might be something Rich would be interested in attending but he would need to book a place. This group give information on programmes and funding available to support people in running clubs and growing membership.

  13. After the recent article in the herald about plymouth not having bmx racing track there has been many comments about it on the herald website. i was wondering if it would be possible to have a track and open a club. how would we go about this.
    Many thank
    rich

    • I am involved with the Saltram Stakeholder Forum and one of the matters under consideration is a BMX track under the Marsh Mills flyover. Youngsters who use that area are being consulted with regards to a track but as yet I have no details of how big the track will be or if it would accommodate a club and racing. Whatever happens it will be a start. This has been mentioned, I think, in some of the PCyC minutes.
      There should have been a meeting of the SSF on 26/9 but it had to be postponed and hopefully a meeting will now be taking place sometime in October. You can be assured I will be speaking up for a BMX track of the very best quality.
      Bill Nicholson

      • thanks for the reply bill. let me know how it goes. ill be ringing british cycling next week to see the best way of going about getting a track/club and what channels i need to go down.
        many thanks
        rich

      • Simon Spooner

        This is great news. I’m just not sure the area under the fly-over is big enough to build anything more than a BMX play track – http://www.bmxtrackbuilding.co.uk/options.htm
        As you say this is a start, but it probably would not allow for the development of a club, nor for racing. My concern is that the council would then veto the development of a race standard track, making the argument that a “track” already exists. Better to get it right in the first instance, in my opinion.

        I do appreciate your efforts though, Bill and look forward to hearing of further developments.

      • William Nicholson

        Youngsters have already ‘built’ some jumps etc and so this idea is simply to show that we care and are prepared to do something for them. I am not a BMX rider.
        I don’t know whether anyone else has tried to organize the building of a BMX track to racing standard with clubhouse facilities in Plymouth but if they have I haven’t heard anything about it.
        I know some racers belong to the Exeter Eagles and probably some of the other clubs in Devon and Cornwall.
        If the track under consideration is eventually classed as a ‘play track’ then I am certain Plymouth City Council would have no basis for vetoing a ‘proper’ track. If BMX riders in the area could get together and seek to obtain a track to be used for racing that would be a good thing. But is it required?
        Mike Bowden was able to get a speedway club up and running so maybe there is someone in the BMX world with the necessary drive to do the same for BMX.

      • Simon Spooner

        Bill,

        I think both Rich and I are willing to put the time in to develop a BMX club for the people of Plymouth, but at the moment its a bit of a catch 22 situation, without a track we cannot easily run a club, without a track or a club, we cannot hope to fully develop a culture of BMX racing in Plymouth. If only a proportion of those in and around the city currently involved in BMX freestyle and mountain-biking used the facility for dirt jump practise then I’m certain the facility would have a lot of patrons. Remember that the track could be used not just for BMX racing, but for 4X too.

        Our starting point was to attempt to tap into existing knowledge in developing an action plan and to raise funding to get a project off the ground, hence our contact with you. I have to say that I also wrote to British Cycling a few weeks ago and have been somewhat disappointed not to have even received an acknowledgment to my e-mail. Obviously, if there is a site already ear-marked for the building of a BMX track in Plymouth, then this is of interest to us as one of the first problems Rich and I were contemplating was finding a site. I’m sure we should be keen to be included in the planning and development of the track so that the best possible facility can be built on the ear-marked site. If not Rich or I, then I would sincerely hope that someone with some experience of BMX racing and track construction is being included in the consultation and planning process. If you have not already, perhaps it would be worth paying a visit to either Decoy or Exeter BMX clubs, Bill to look at the facilities they have? I’m not sure what level of funding you currently have available for the construction, but with your guidance I should be happy to apply for further funding / sponsorship. However, it is the guidance, from you folks at Plymouth Cycle Campaign which is what was initially sought and should be greatly appreciated in getting the club off the ground.

        Best wishes,
        Simon

      • William Nicholson

        Hello Simon and Rich
        Although I am a member of the PCyC the proposal to construct a BMX ‘track’ under the flyover is nothing to do with the PCyC. I showed an interest in the regeneration of the Saltram Countryside Park and was then invited to attend Stakeholder meetings the last of which was postponed and put off until 24 October 2012. I hasten to add I am far too old to ride a BMX bike but knew that some youngsters had built some jumps at Marsh Mills and so I thought it would be a great idea to give them something of a better standard. They will be consulted on what they want. Whether or not this will develope into a race quality track I do not know but whatever is decided I have no doubt whatsoever that its availability will not allow PCC to veto the building of a BMX track and clubhouse for racing elsewhere.
        I did post on 1 October that the Active Devon group were having a meeting in Plymouth. Did you or Rich manage to attend as they deal with setting up clubs and funding etc?
        Any funding for the BMX track at Marsh Mills will come from the same pot as is being used for the Saltram regeneration. I have mentioned to the Saltram Stakeholders Forum the name of Steve Jenks who is a local BMX Track Specialist. I would hope that he will be contacted but I am not in charge of this regeneration – just a cog in the wheel so to speak.
        Brett Nicolle of PCC/CTC is aware of what I am up to and I have given him the contact details of the project leader as I consider him ‘Mr Cycling’ in Plymouth at the moment.
        Sorry to hear you have not been contacted by British Cycling. I suggest you give them a nudge by email or telephone. I can assure you they do respond.
        If Marsh Mills does not fit the bill, and I doubt it will, you need to publicise that you want to build a track in Plymouth, get together with like minded people, lobby the PCC, find funding or sponsorship, locate a site, pick the brains of clubs such as Exeter Eagles and just keep plugging away. Mike Bowden managed to build a speedway track against a lot of opposition so a BMX track wouldn’t seem to be a major problem. The Herald is always interested in stories like this and as the Olympics have shown BMX is not only good to participate in but is a wonderful spectator sport. I would love to get involved but I think it is best left to those who are likely to use the facility.
        I will bring your interest to the attention of the Saltram Countryside Park Stakeholders Forum on 24/10.
        Maybe I will see you at the next PCyC meeting.
        I hope this makes my position clear.
        I will keep this site and the PCyC Facebook page updated.

      • Simon Spooner

        Thanks for your response, Bill. Unfortunately, due to a prior commitment I was unable to attend the club support workshop last night. I have been in contact today with Jay Horton, who has given me the name of a contact for British Cycling in the South West, so I will attempt to contact him directly in the near future. Out of interest, Jay said he and Maddy use the area under the fly-over too and would welcome a BMX / 4X facility in the city.

        Since the bike trail in Plymbridge Woods is unlikely to happen now, does anyone know what the National Trust are doing with the money they had set aside for that? I’m guessing the area under the Marsh Mills flyover is part of the Saltram Estate and is therefore owned by the National Trust too? Perhaps they could be convinced to help in the building of a regional level track at this site instead of their forest trail? I think they might be met with less opposition at this site…

        I appreciate that you are wearing two different hats here, Bill; that of the Cycle Campaign and that of a Saltram Trustee. Once again, thanks for your help to date. I look forward to using the developments at Marsh Mills, whatever they become- might pop down at the weekend to use the existing jumps. It seems to me that several people are looking for a similar thing and that if we all work together, we could make something really good here for the people of Plymouth. I guess what I am saying is that the Saltram Trust have one pot of money, but what if matched funding was applied for from the National Lottery et al. with view to creating a club at the Marsh Mills site? Could we build something more, with a pooling of resources than with the existing Saltram commitment in isolation? Jay Horton was completely unaware of the plans for the potential development under Marsh Mills. If he is unaware, I’m guessing other people are unaware too- the local bike shops, McDonald’s, Sainsbury’s etc. all of these could be potential sponsors for the development of the site…. but it’s not my site, and it’s not my gig. However, I do see an opportunity to share in the development of an area and wouldn’t want to see the opportunity lost!

        Best wishes,
        Simon

      • Simon Spooner

        Moreover, I guess what Rich and I are requesting is that in light of it’s general aims, as stated above, the Plymouth Cycling Campaign should move towards securing and developing a regional standard BMX race track for Plymouth.

  14. Bill Nicholson

    ‘Get a Grip’ works to create a safer environment for riders, mainly motorcyclists, but if you come across a dangerous manhole cover or a section of road that might constitute a danger then report it to http://www.getagripuk.org and they will endeavopur to have the problem rectified.

  15. Carole M Pluckrose

    Help! I am a disabled 58 year old female with a bike, knee, back and nerve damage but it doesn’t mean I am ‘useless’. I would love to be able to ride with someone else. Only one big issue – I never learnt to ride a bike as a child, so am very, very much a novice with some balance problems. I would prefer to be able to ride away from traffic and on a fairly flat track for those reasons. My bike is a 18-gear bike, so my husband tells me. Sadly Stephen had a stroke 10 years ago and cannot accompany me, although he’s an experienced bike rider. He is concerned for my safety and would be far happier if someone would be generous enough to be willing to ride with me sometimes. I live in Plymstock, Plymouth and my email address is kittensmummy@btinternet.com. Thank you for reading this and I hope to hear from someone soon.

  16. William Nicholson

    Simon Trevan has a few T-shirts emblazoned with the Plymouth Cycling Campaign logo etc should anyone care to buy one from him. The sum of £7-50 was mentioned. Great for wearing at events and when out for a ride but unfortunately they are not waterproof!
    Bill Nicholson

  17. Bill Nicholson

    I am a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow and wish to publicise these Fellowships which are open to British Citizens, the full details of which can be found at wcmt.org.uk
    Each year there are over 100 awards made for overseas travel of between 4 and 8 weeks. The Fellowship grant covers all travel, daily costs and insurance.
    The 2013 categories for study/research this year are arts and older people. business in society, communities that work, the creative industries, education, environment food and rural affairs, mediacl and health, prison and penal reform and science, engineering and technology. There is even an OPEN category.
    Applications are invited up until 2 October 2012.
    Best of luck

  18. William Nicholson

    I am endeavoring to obtain information on the following two issues and any response would be gratefully received.
    (A) I am told that in Kenya some form of registration red disc or triangle is attached to each bicycle. Can anyone throw light on this or similar arrangements in other countries?
    (B) I recently read an excellent article in a newspaper giving the pros and cons of taxing and insuring bicycles in the UK but cannot now trace it. Can anyone help me please? It may have been the Daily Telegraph.
    Bill Nicholson

  19. Bill Nicholson

    Hi Jean
    If you pay a visit to Natural Cycles in Devonport I am sure that they will help you to overcome yor nervousness when cycling. I think the assistance will be for free!
    Best of luck
    Bill Nicholson

  20. My name is EUGENIE—known as Jean.
    I love cycling, but at aged 73 does anyone consider me ‘to old’—I would love to meet up with others ,so can anyone point me in the right direction to get started, i am a nervouse at this stage.
    Mant thanks.
    Jean.

  21. I have a lovely new bike and want to start using it to travel to work, however, I live in Mutley and I work at DHSB, Paradise Road so the journey may save me on petrol and time but will not help with my fitness. I therefore thought if I took an extended journey home that would solve my problem. Apart from the cycle path map on the PCC website does anyone else have any suggestions on routes etc or can you sign post me to a publication, website? We also like to cycle as a family, 2 Adults, 10 year old and a 6 year old.

    Some of you may have used the MapmyRun website which provides previous runs people may have done, various standards, recommendations and the facility to measure your runs and plot them out beforehand, something similar would be of a great benefit to the ever growing cycling community. Anybody up for the challenge???

  22. Dear everyone,
    after a very successful day at Devonport Park, PCC are doing a stand at the Stonehouse Street party on union Street on the 25th of September which we would love to Plymouth cycling campaign and Sustrans join in with. It could effectively be a joint stand between Sustrans, Plymouth cycling campaign and Plymouth Council. We are also offering free cycle training, and on this occasion we can have a space allocated so it will be much more visible.
    If you are interested, could you get in touch with Linda.Greene@Plymouth.gov.uk She is available on 304585
    Cheers
    Jim

    The event runs from 12-4 on Union Street. If anyone is willing and able to man a stand for part of the day please could you let Linda Green know and me. I am unable to be there but I do still have a load of stuff from the Devonport Park day that I can pass on to you. I don’t know much more than this, but there is a webpage http://www.stonehouseaction.btck.co.uk/UnionStreetParty2011

    Cheers, Mike

  23. Hi,

    I am campaigning to support the new cycle trails proposed by the National Trust for Plymbridge in Plymouth. It doesn’t matter if you live near Plymouth or not, support from anywhere in the UK would make a huge difference!

    The National Trust has submitted plans to Plymouth Council to develop a new network of mountain bike tracks for all users, from the family beginner to the very experienced. However, some local residents have protested this amazing project with unfounded claims of destruction to the wildlife and noise and parking concerns. These claims are completely ridiculous – This is the National Trust after all – They protect wildlife, not endanger it. There are full planning details on the Plymouth Planning Commission website if anyone is interested. Please also see the news coverage of the whole debate on the Plymouth Herald website – links below. Most importantly, please sign our online petition and better still, join our facebook group to show your support for the project. Like i said, it doesn’t matter if your a Plymouth resident or not, if you feel as strongly as we do that these trails should be allowed to be built, then please support us. Just one look at the ridiculous statements of the nimby protestors will be enough to show you why we are so committed to supporting this project.

    Planning Application & Details: http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/planningdoc-2?appno=11-01254-FUL

    Plymouth Herald News Coverage:

    http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/Act-cycle-track-plan/story-13258426-detail/story.html
    http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/Cycle-route-plan-sparks-woodland-protest-row/story-13263982-detail/story.html
    http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/Hundreds-cyclists-support-new-trail/story-13287094-detail/story.html
    http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/War-words-bike-path-plan/story-13296310-detail/story.html

    Facebook Support Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/169377013139975/

    Support Online Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/CYCLEPB/

    Thanks for all your support!

  24. I second Andy’s enquiry!

  25. Thanku Jim Woffenden.
    I have put that phone number in my phone because I had no idea there was a free course which is wonderful news, not only for people who want to save/stop carbon emissions but those who want to get fit/fitter!
    Thanku for sharing that gem of information.
    Julie

  26. I am building up to cycling from Lee Mill into Plymouth city centre and would like to thank Graham Wilson, John Mission and Graham Reed for your kind offers to accompany me ( and help me to survive the roads on the way in!)
    I have been in touch with Graham W who I will arrange a time with soon.
    John’s email isn’t right but I do intend on giving you a call.
    I don’t know how to contact Graham R other that this message!
    I am not very fit and now think I should only cycle into town and catch the bus back home.
    I thought I should update John and Graham R about that.
    Looking forward to it.

    Julie

  27. ps that comments from me Andy. And i cant remember the name of that local club – tho i think they are all a bit over keen perhaps for the likes of me!

  28. Hello… does anyone know of any group cycle rides coming up that are not races or especially strenous but just for the fun of cycling with others… Plymouth area etc… be good to socialise with some other cyclists especially with cyclists who dont go too far or fast!

  29. Hi,
    I would like to cycle from Lee Mill into Plymouth City Centre but feel nervous and would like someone to help me improve my confidence on the roads. Is there anyone who can help me?
    thanks,

    julie

    • Hi Julie
      The Plymouth Cycling Campaign is looking into what can be provided in situations just like this. At the moment nothing formal exists, un fortunately. I will send an email to the 100 plus members to see if anyone can help and get back to you via email.
      Stuart.

    • John Misson

      Hello Julie

      I am here to help if I can. I am a member of the Plymouth Corinthian Cycling Club and am retired from work but spent all my working life in London and cycled daily from outer to inner London so know all about coping with commuter traffic. My e-mail address is john@missonjohn.wanadoo.co.uk if you would like to get in touch that way or my telephone number is Plymouth 403677. Best wishes

      John Misson

    • Julie,
      Cycling to plymouth from Lee Mill is no problem, contact me and arrange time and place
      Graham.

    • jim woffenden

      Julie,
      Plymouth City Council offers free cycle training which you can book by ringing 550729. I am sure this would be helpful – to complement the help you’re already getting
      Best regards
      Jim Woffenden

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