Minutes and agendas

The Plymouth Cycling Campaign (PCyC) meetings are open to all

  • Anyone who would like to get involved in our campaigns to improve cycling in Plymouth and to help raise the profile of sustainable transport is very welcome to attend these meetings. We need all the help we can get!
  • Or just come along to find out what we’re up to – you’ll be very welcome whatever type of cyclist you are, or even if you don’t cycle but would like to! And any comments you may have will be welcome too.
  • Minutes of last meeting below agenda

Date of next open meeting on Zoom: Thursday 4th March 2021, 6 – 7.30 pm
The link will be live from 5.45pm so participants can check their Zoom settings or seek advice if they are not familiar with Zoom.

The link to the next Zoom meeting will be sent out to those subscribed to our email list a few days before the meeting. If you are not yet subscribed please sign up to our email list now (it’s free) to ensure you are sent the link.

AGENDA

  1. Welcome – JA
  2. Apologies
  3. Minutes of last open meeting – view on PCyC website
  4. Matters arising from minutes
  5. John Green, Low Carbon City Officer,Plymouth City Council
    ‘Multi-modal mobility hubs’ and other topics’ 10-15min
  6. Questions on above – 15mins max.
  7. Brief updates on key campaigns, current infrastructure construction and PCyC meetings / communications with PCC and other bodies. – PCyC committee
  8. Open discussion on topics raised by members
  9. AOB
  10. Date of next open meeting

John Green’s talk will be about what the City Council are doing regarding the allocation of the Government’s Transforming Cities Funding in Plymouth, especially in relation to electrification and the provision of things like cycle parking and hire schemes. Please come along to hear what he has to say. You will have the oppotunity for questions from the floor.

We continue to campaign for various schemes throughout Plymouth (see our Campaigns page) and we will be updating the meeting on how these are progressing. Item 8 on the agenda offers you the chance to comment on what we do and make suggestions as to new campaigns or how we could do things differently.

——————————————

Minutes of last PCyC Open Meeting 10 December 2020

Present on Zoom : John Abraham (chair), James Cleeton (Sustrans England South Director), Caitlin Hellyer, Sue Jennings, Hilary Neve, Graham Wilson, Jon Stevens, Stuart Mee, Bernhard Haas, Hayley Harvey, Jason Luff (Cycling UK), Susanne Bearne, Cllr Jeremy Goslin, Jonathan Tutte, Louise Luckcraft, Mike Kelly, Clare Smith (joined at 7pm)

Apologies : Bill Nicholson, Dave Gibbs, Jim Woffenden (PCC), Rosie Starr (PCC), Cllr Mark Coker, Cllr Richard Hosking

  1. Introductions
  2. James Cleeton gave a presentation on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs).

PCC is planning for a pilot project in north Stonehouse. This followed on from an initial meeting facilitated by GW and SM between Gary Streeter MP, Paul Barnard from PCC and Sustrans. People kept in touch after this meeting and it has led to work around Ivybridge and in Plymouth.

The Stonehouse LTN project is funded by the DfT and run by Sustrans. Sustrans’ role is to get the project going and secure funding, but that will only come if PCC has a clear plan. The project began a couple months ago with money from the Active Travel Fund which was to support measures that could be implemented relatively quickly – LTNs were one such measure.

The idea of LTNs is to tackle rat-running, congestion, poor air quality which combine to make fearful places. Restricting traffic is a key way to address these issues. The traditional approach has been to apply a single filter to a road but that tends to lead to traffic just being displaced on to other roads and there is no shift in the mode of travel. London Borough of Waltham Forest has pioneered a new approach based around the idea that vehicle traffic uses main roads and people are encouraged to walk and cycle everywhere else. This changes neighbourhoods and leads to more social interactions as well as safer streets.

For the Stonehouse project planning starts by looking at lots of data on air quality, deprivation, observation of people’s movements around the area, etc. Covid may have had an impact on the baseline data as people’s travel patterns have changed. From this, the first step is to remove a through route in the project area while maintaining access to all homes / parts of the neighbourhood. Different tools exist to achieve this eg modal filter closing route to motor vehicles but not cyclists, bus gates, ANPR, one way streets, 4 way filter at a cross roads junction which creates a mini traffic free square. With all of these you need to consider the impact beyond the LTN, parking zones, loading etc.

Cllr Coker visited Waltham Forest and wants to create the same sort of thing in Plymouth. PCC is one of the first councils to act on this and are making a plan so that when funding is available they are ready to go. The Stonehouse area already has 16 sets of bollards so some work is already in place, the area has relatively few through routes and there has already been some community awareness making it a good place to start.

  1. Q&A

BH asked if there was a difference between LTNs and Plymouth’s Quiet Neighbourhoods Connected Communities. JC said the name often comes from local consultation giving local people ownership of schemes. The principles are the same.

BH asked if there had been any research into effects on through traffic and whether the volumes increased. JC – there may be an initial increase followed by ‘traffic evaporation’ where traffic seems to disappear, perhaps as people choose to just leave their car at home more often.

JA asked about impacts on house prices. JC referred to an area in Bristol where proposals were not progressed after ‘anti’ sentiment based on concerns about gentrification were whipped up. This needs to be managed. People will enjoy better living conditions so for Plymouth the next step is to work on urban design and visualisations of what the neighbourhood will look like. It’s also necessary to prove with data what the impact on congestion, air quality etc is.

SM asked if there is resistance from local people, politicians and whether a retail based environment (like Southside Street) would benefit from a similar approach. JC – where traffic levels drop, footfall increases. Cafes spill out into the street and people linger longer. There’s lots of evidence to show businesses benefit. We need to share that evidence in a simple way to make the case.

SJ referred to a report today saying pollution levels were greater now than pre-lockdown especially driven by more delivery vans and asked if these plans take account of the changes in people’s lives and the need for access to their homes. JC – agreed that online deliveries are not going to stop and LTNs must allow them to happen. The hope is that other vehicles will not get in the way of deliveries and there will be other solutions – eg creating delivery hubs a short walk away within the LTN and people collect from there. JG pointed out that LTNs favour the use of cargo bikes for deliveries. Seeing them more often will increase interest and more companies will adopt them.

MK asked about the scale and timescale of the changes made in Waltham Forest. JC thought the work had taken around 3 years from initial planning through various stages and the project covered the whole borough. Plymouth is running a smaller pilot and is hoping to get central gov’t funding available for ‘mini-Holland’ schemes.

JA asked how LTNs fit with home zones. JC – home zones don’t stop through traffic but introduce the idea of shared space to encourage slower traffic speeds.

JS asked about boroughs around Waltham Forest and whether the idea of LTNs was likely to spread. JC – Sustrans has been involved in redesigning 12 neighbourhoods through London where other councils had seen what had been done in Waltham Forest and wanted to do the same. Three of those schemes have been taken out but overall the number of schemes removed has been quite low although they have attracted headlines. Oxfordshire County Council has closed a rural lane to traffic so it’s not just an urban solution. JG said there has been consideration of closing Blunts Lane to traffic which would create a good route to Derriford.

SB asked about people who work in the Stonehouse area and needed to park at the end of their commute. JC said fewer short journeys by car should mean a reduction in overall traffic levels and make commuting easier for those who live further away.

JA thanked JC for an informative presentation and for answering questions.

More about Low Traffic Neighbourhoods from Sustrans.

  1. Overview of current and planned cycling developments
  • A386 Roborough to Yelverton route: PCC are now involved with WDBC and SHDC on investigating feasibility
  • Looe-Plymouth cycle route – now moving forward
  • Southway-Plymbridge – western half of the route from Southway to the George junction is under construction. Phase 2 (eastern half) is under planning with a consultation on a 30mph limit on the road to Wrigleys roundabout. Some limitations imposed by trying to maintain trees and green space.
  • Consultation on Lee Mill slip road. The route alongside the A38 is a key commuter route and much of it is traffic free but would like to see all of it traffic free. Discussions are ongoing. PL21 group would like to see a parallel crossing of Beech Rd in Lee Mill to give priority to walking and cycling. Consultation ends on Dec 18th.
  • Manadon Interchange consultation runs until Jan 4th. The roundabout and slip roads are busy and congested. The cycle route at present is indirect and not suitable for commuting cyclists. This is the beginning of a big project which will take time but need to get comments in at this stage. Here is a link to an overview of the project and one to the consultation itself which closes on January 4th Please take a look and comment constructively – don’t just wait and hope we get something better.
  • Communications with members – SM and CH are working on updating our comms. CH has taken on Twitter, CH and SM are working together on Facebook. A key task is to make clear which voices do and don’t represent PCyC. The website has been cleaned up with clutter removed and CH is continuing to work on that in order to build a better relationship with members.
  1. PCC / PCyC Strategic Liaison Group – meetings have been set up at 3 monthly intervals. This gives us a direct route to communicate with senior staff from PCC and the opportunity to put our views. We are working collaboratively where we agree. It will take some time to build an effective relationship. Minutes of the latest meeting were shared in a much more timely way and it’s been suggested that we deal directly with project managers on particular schemes.
  2. Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) and Active Travel Fund (ATF) – details of these schemes are on the PCC website https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/parkingandtravel/transportplansandprojects/transportplans/transformingcitiesfund

TCF tranche 1 is for £7.6m invested in relatively small schemes and TCF tranche 2 is for £51.2m. Originally a significant proportion of this funding had been allocated to a cycle bridge linking the station and city centre to Central park but this was later reallocated to a range of smaller projects including a route connecting St Budeaux and the dockyard to the city centre, more cargo bikes and e-bikes.

ATF  https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/walkingcyclingandpublictransport/cycling/cycleroutes/cyclerouteimprovements/plymouth%E2%80%99scoronaviruscovid19emergencyactivetravelfundprogramme  – tranche 1 was for £249 000 which paid for work to provide more secure cycle lockers, a segregated cycle route through Armada Way and removal of barriers on cycle routes. Tranche 2 schemes will be made public shortly – see https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/activetravelfund

SM reported that there had been lots of comments on these schemes on Facebook, mostly negative. JA pointed out that a previous consultation had suggested shared space solution was the best way forward in Armada Way. BH stated the need to get something positive to come from this as it does show that cyclists are entitled to be there. JC pointed out that no shared use schemes will be built with DfT money as they do not fit the LTN 1/20 “space to move” criteria. JG said that refurbishment of Armada Way is part of the TCF plan and experience with the temporary measures will help to inform those permanent plans. Feedback on what works, what doesn’t work and what would be better is part of that. ACTION – SM to make further post on Facebook seeking feedback and encouraging positive feedback too about what does work. MK pointed out it wasn’t just the Armada Way scheme – other things have been done as part of ATF as well.

AOB

  • JA commended PCC for improvements to the cycling links on their website. He has sent some further suggestions to PCC. See https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/parkingandtravel/plymotion/walkingcyclingandpublictransport/cycling
  • PCC have an event planned for Dec 14th to unveil new cargo bikes. There was a competition to decide the allocation of bikes. All 35 have been allocated.
  • LL asked about any progress on the Embankment route. PCC is aware of our views and some proposals are being considered currently linked in with flood protection scheme for the southern end. JG confirmed improvements were included in the TCF 2 bid but were not funded. There are a range of possibilities and various plans are in place (though not publicly available) to match various funding amounts.

Date of next meeting – Thursday 4th March 2021 6 – 7.30 pm:
Zoom link to be sent to all those on our email list a few days in advance – see below

The link to the Zoom meeting will be sent out to those subscribed to our email list a few days before the meeting. If you are not yet subscribed please sign up to our email list now (you can do this for free) to ensure you are sent the link. We will send the meeting link to the email address you provide when you join.

If you’d like to become a paid member of Plymouth Cycling Campaign with full voting rights, please visit our Join Us page for further information. The cost is £5 (annually by Standing Order). We’ll then add you to our mailing list so you hear about our meetings and other actions.

There’s never been a better time to campaign for cycling in Plymouth!


21 thoughts on “Minutes and agendas

  1. Hello, I just want to introduce myself to those who may not know me yet! My name is Erica Travies and I am the lead for ‘Access Bike’ based at Access Plymouth, Mayflower East Car Park (Shopmobility and Community Transport). We have recently taken delivery of two trikes and a bike courtesy of PCC, which we are hiring out to those less able to use a conventional bike. I hope to attend your next meeting on 6th February and meet some of you in person and talk a little bit about this new service. Meanwhile we are hoping to recruit volunteers interested in bikes generally to support new users. Please contact me with any questions!

  2. I just wondered how common it was for Employers to charge for secure cycle storage?
    Does anyone have any experience with this?
    I work for a company at Millbay, who received financial assistance to install cycle lockers and are featured on the Council website as supporting cycling to work, but they insist employees rent the lockers from them for a monthly fee and pay a deposit to use only their padlocks. Cars for employees are free to park in the staff car park on the same site. I find this a little odd but did not know if it was standard practice with other companies?

    • On the face of it, sounds like very poor management, technically they probably can do it. Dosen’t help promote cycling to work. Perhaps there are reasons such as stopping random non-employees using the lockers. May be worth posting on the facebook site, in order to raise awareness and discourage other companies from following suit.

  3. Hi All
    4 weeks ago I had a cycling accident on my commute home from work. I was crossing the road between cycle paths at Sandy Road Plympton to go down Glenn Road and was hit by a motorbike. The deep lane junction and traffic chaos at Chaddlewood roundabout played a part in this. Traffic was queuing from deep lane up past Eagle Road towards the industrial estate, the crossing point was left clear and the vehicles stopped. I looked before I crossed and was confident it was clear, however I never saw the motorbike that hit me at speed going down the outside of the stationary vehicles (as it was on the bend of the roundabout) I was hurt and have only just returned to work today. The motorcyclist left me laying in the road with my bike on top of me and left the scene without giving me his details. I have reported it to the police. I think this crossing point is currently a dangerous point to cross for cyclists and pedestrians while the road works are in place – I just want to make people AWARE!!

    Thank you

  4. Hi all

    I was wondering if anyone is aware of what (if any) infrastructure will be provided for cyclists on the replacement Merafield road bridge over the A38 near Stag Lodge, Plympton. Have looked online but can’t find any plans.

    • Highways England are responsible for this scheme. Sadly we weren’t consulted and the comment above is the first I’ve heard about it. As an aside the Plymouth Cycling Campaign is now being consulted when HE consider it relevant. I have emailed them asking if cycling infrastructure is included and stressing why it should be. Watch this space…..

  5. Hi Bryan. Thanks for your input and I agree with you about the pavement along the Embankment, and so do many others. We have brought this up on several occasions with the Council but the response has always been along the lines of “at least there’s a path, there are other more urgent priorities”! Anyway, the maintenance of the existing infrastructure is on the next agenda so we’ll mention this again. See you at the meeting perhaps?

  6. Hi, As a very keen cyclist (150 miles avg aweek) was very pleased to found this group. also a member of yogi cycling club.Is there a way of putting into your agenda the resurfacing of the Embankment cycle path It’s at a stage where I feel safer cycling on the road along the Embankment because of the condition of the path.
    Bryan

    • Hi all,

      Entirely agree with comments regarding cycleway along the Embankment;
      in particular I find the section from Sainsbury’s to Laira roundabout
      so bumpy that it shakes me to the very core. I have seen many cyclists
      recently preferring to use the road: that’s crazy! It’s high time PCC
      did something!

      Dave Hext

  7. May I clarify 2 items in the Minutes of the last meeting and add a new third item?

    Under “Sherford Expressway”, I referred to the policy of the Institute of Advanced Motorists for cycling infrastructure. The IAM policy dated May 2013 is not limited to London as it is for everywhere. Among many things it says ”
    • Infrastructure improvements which separate cyclists and heavy traffic should have the top priority for investment
    • Well maintained, smooth and pothole free roads, pavements and cycle lanes will assist in the encouragement of cycling
    • The IAM supports the use of 20mph zones in residential areas and where cycling and pedestrian flows merit it
    • Innovative shared space designs should be encouraged which create cycling friendly environments where it is clear that all road users have the same priority”

    Not mentioned in the Minutes, JW showed the meeting an extract from Sustrans Design Manual dated April 2014 titled “Handbook for Cycle Friendly Design”. In particular he showed page 15. I commend JW with showing this as it represents exactly what we as PCyC have been promoting for the Cycle Expressway for 2 years. I urge everyone to obtain a copy of this as it pulls together best practice as used.

    Finally may I draw everyone’s attention to a new cycling initiative from the Dept of Transport? It is “The Cycle Delivery Plan” dated September 2014. This wants all local authorities to create a cycling vision. There are opportunities for partnership with Government to help create fully integrated transport systems for which cycling is a major part. While not explicit in the Plan, I foresee new avenues of funding.

    My vision is for a policy of “No Ridiculous Car Journeys” as successfully undertaken at Malmo in Sweden, a maritime city comparable to Plymouth. It has always been my view that Plymouth has enormous opportunity for cycling and I see no reason that we cannot do what has been achieved not just in Malmo but many cities elsewhere where 25% of all journeys are by bike. It makes economic sense and is invaluable for people’s health

  8. At the last meeting Dave Wigmore requested thoughts/views re cycling in Plymouth, and all members are encouraged to contact their local councillors expressing their views/concerns, I have contacted mine (Moor View) expressing thoughts about shared pathways which are a danger to both cyclists and pedestrians, and do not allow cyclists to “make progress”. As stated at the meeting, it may make some non cycling councillors sit up and take note.
    =====================================================================================
    Hello
    As the councillors for Moor View, I am writing to you, as all members of Plymouth Cycle Campaign are being encouraged to do, re views/problems with cycling in Plymouth. Below are problems I regularly encounter, I appreciate the areas may not be in your ward, but perhaps you can speak to those whose wards the areas are in on my behalf.
    I regularly try to use shared paths from around the George Junction area towards Crownhill and on to Camels Head and basically they don’t work. They are dangerous to both cyclists and pedestrians for the following reasons.
    First example – Powisland Drive to Derriford roundabout – to narrow, very little room to pass/overtake each other. On Tuesdays, rubbish/wheelie bins causing obstructions, often parked vehicles doing the same, and as with all cycle paths, pedestrians/joggers often using iPods’ etc so they never hear you ring your bell. Because of these problems, cyclists like any other commuter who wish to “make progress” cannot do so, nor can club cyclists who often travel at 30 mph or more.
    St Budeaux by pass – while I appreciate the new section from the footbridge over the Parkway to Mowhay Road is quite wide therefore making it a little safer, its still as bad from Mowhay Road to Camels Head as the previous entry, very, very narrow, (especially near the sub station, about 2 feet wide) very little room to negotiate/pass/overtake, pedestrians/joggers, again often using iPods, other cyclists. Occasionally if there a groups they wont make it easy for you, even if you do the right thing and slow down to walking pace. So again you cannot make progress.
    I often also use the Embankment, this has all the problem already stated only worse, its busier so the problems occur more often, family groups, cycling or walking, dog walkers, joggers, people waiting at bus stops, all of which they have the perfect right to do.
    Even as a commuter I often travel at 25 mph or more, if I have to avoid any of the problems explained it’s necessary to use the road/highway otherwise I may as well walk.
    Could you along with other councillors see if there is a way forward to address these problems, i.e. – making where possible, pathways wider, moving street furniture etc to make cycling safer, not just for me, but also for less confident adults and children.

    Dave Gibbs

  9. Enjoyed the ride today, nice to see so many turn up. Well done Stuart, looking forward to the next one. Thanks to the helpers as well, appreciated by all.

  10. Plymouth Campaign has been growing and increasing its work since Dom Tucker and I set it up in the summer of 2010. We have achieved a lot together (see our website) and it is vital for the future of cycling in Plymouth that the Campaign continues its work. I have now been chairing for 4 years and I believe it’s time for a change, to bring new direction to the group and allow me to develop my other interests.

    At the last meeting of PCyC I stated my intention to resign as chair and that resignation will take effect from July 15th, the date of the next meeting. I am happy to help the new chair and take time to hand over. I won’t be leaving the campaign, but I am keen to make the change.

    We will need a new chair from the next meeting.

    The role of chair is to act as a focal point and figurehead rather than do all the work of the campaign. As the projects we are involved with have grown in number over the 4 years I have tried to ensure that other members take on defined roles, so that the task of the chair is now very much one of leading and facilitating. There is one meeting every 2 months and a small but steady flow of enquiries to deal with.

    So if you are a cyclist and want the Campaign to carry on pressing for improvements then this is your opportunity to step up. You could be one of the active members or perhaps someone who has not yet been actively involved but feels they have the leadership qualities and communication skills necessary to carry out the role of chair.

    If this is you, please contact me as soon as possible by replying to this message or simply come along to the next meeting on July 15th .

    The Plymouth Cycling Campaign is now respected and listened to by those authorities involved in cycling locally. We are pushing our high profile campaign for an expressway out to Elburton and beyond, improving driving behaviour (including talking to City Bus drivers), canvassing police support, and have a number of other issues under way.

    We have about 250 subscribers to these emails and about 300 people use our Facebook page. Our bi-monthly meetings are much smaller and more friendly than those large numbers suggest. Everyone has a chance to take an active part, so please come to the meetings, help select the new chair and find out how you could become involved.
    Best wishes
    Stuart.

    Stuart Mee
    Chair
    Plymouth Cycling Campaign (PCyC)

  11. Part of the route from clearbrook to plymbridge on ncn 27 has become quite overgrown with stinging nettles. Quite often I have to move over and brush the nettles with legs as to avoid possible collisions with others, leaving me with stingging itchy legs. Isnt it about time the path was cleared of nettles.

    • Steve we have brought this up with Sustrans and Devon County Council. We have been told they are aware and planning to bring in some motorised flails to do something about it. Unfortunately nobody will take responsibility for the section between Plym Bridge and Coypool so this is left to Sustrans volunteers to do their best.

    • The section of path from Coypool to Plymbridge is the responsibility of SUSTRANS and recently a group of SUSTRANS volunteers spent a very hot Saturday morning clearing much of this path of overhanging vegetation and stinging nettles. We desperately need more volunteers and so if anyone is interested please contact SUSTRANS HQ at Bristol who will put you in touch with the local group. Any problems with this section of path should be reported to SUSTRANS.

  12. Just extra point, Bikeability training which is available free of charge to all Plymouth residents is strongly recommended to improve the skills of even experienced cyclists in dealing with more difficult stretches of road. telephone 550729 or e-mail bikelinks@Plymouth.gov.uk to book a place

  13. Just one clarification: the Bikeability delivered to schoolchildren by the School Sports Partnership on behalf of Plymouth City Council is delivered by fully qualified national standard cycling instructors.

    The concerns regarding the section of road from Laira Bridge eastbound to the first roundabout are noted

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