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.

Date of next open meeting – Tuesday 19th November 7.00 pm , Room TBA The Babbage Building, Plymouth University Campus (Map)

__________________________________________________________________________________

MINUTES OF LAST MEETING

Minutes of the Plymouth Cycling Campaign (PCyC) meeting October 15th 2019. Venue: Room 003, Babbage Building, Plymouth University Campus (Map)

Present – Bill Nicholson, Sue Jennings, Tom Unwin, Cllr Neil Jory (WDBC), John Abraham, Graham Wilson, Justin Robbins, Melanie Birwe, Stuart Mee, Andy Jane, Cllr Lucy Wood (WDBC), Jim Woffenden (PCC), Iain Stewart (Sustrans), Cllr Jeremy Goslin (PCC), Dave Gibbs, Kevin Digby, Mike Kelly

Apologies – Cathy Griffin, Ceri Carter, Simon Trevan

Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising –

  • Following SM’s initial contact with Saltram re the one-way system a disappointing response was received. SJ reported that Dave Hext had contacted them and the NT had said cyclists could go against the traffic and drivers would have to accept it even though there is no indication that’s ok. JW had also had contact with Saltram and confirmed that they were happy with cyclists going against the flow of traffic. ACTION – SM and JW to follow up requesting clear signage to show contraflow for cyclists NOTE. Subsequent to the meeting following further representations from SM and JW Saltram has confirmed the addition of signage – this to be checked and reported on.
  • JW confirmed that 5 cycle stands have been installed at Ballard House for visitors

NCN development and improvement –

  • IS updated the meeting on progress with work on Route 2. Sustrans have been designated to spend some funds from Highways England that have been earmarked for work near the strategic road network and must be spent by March 2020. Work on NCN2 near Marsh Mills is a pilot project with the hope that more funding like this will follow. Plans have been submitted to resurface the path past the speedway track and to resurface and improve drainage on the sewage works path with an improved entrance from Marshall Road and a wider bridge over the stream. Paths will be widened to 3 metres for most of the length. Contractor has been appointed with work planned to start before Christmas and be completed in a 10 week timeframe. Original plan had been to include a boardwalk on sections of the path that are prone to flooding but having completed some drainage works which have improved the situation this is no longer part of the plan and it will just be resurfaced. Discussion and questions followed. IS said that there was no provision for lighting along the sewage works path at this stage due to difficulties this would cause with ecological assessments which would delay the scheme. IS does have a plan for low level lighting in the future. Other suggestions were lighting from the sewage works side of the fence and luminous line marking.
  • DG asked about the bridge over the River Plym at Longbridge Road. IS said that Sustrans are working with Imerys, Historic England, PCC and a contractor to find a way forward to deal with the unsafe bridge. Looking at the possibility of an independent bridge structure but it is a difficult problem with several constraints.
  • Coypool to Plym Bridge – would like to see improvements to this section of path (tree roots, surface degrading) and it has been included as part of the draft Transforming Cities Fund bid. A survey has been completed and some trees would be lost as a result of improvement works. Thinking about using oak sleepers to hold back canal bank. SJ asked about the entrance to the path from Plym Bridge carpark. ACTION – email Sustrans with a photo of the uneven lip and narrow entrance as this is a path maintenance issue.
  • NCN 2 east from Marsh Mills – working on proposals for the Ivybridge to Plympton section. Key questions are can the existing alignment of the route be improved and is there a better / additional alignment away from the A38? A report is being prepared – due by the end of November. Also considering issues and thinking about solutions for sections from South Brent into Plymouth – IS invited comments and information about issues along this section. Question about NCN 2 around St Mary’s Bridge in Plympton – IS confirmed this does feature in an earlier report prepared by a predecessor.
  • MB and KD raised the issue of Hooe Lake – not just the bridge but issues with the quality of the path around Hooe Lake making it difficult to use. GW suggested local councillors could be approached with a suggestion of using their ward budget to fund a feasibility study. IS suggested mapping the route, identifying the issues and suggesting small scale workable solutions to improve the route. MB would like to see information that has already been prepared as part of feasibility study by PCC but which has not been released. Agreement that the bridge is an ambitious project but the alternative route can be improved.

Campaign progress reports –

  • A386 route across Roborough Down. JA referred to the well attended public meeting, meetings with landowners and their representatives, and councillors. NJ supported this proposed route as a very important one for WDBC. It is a heavy commuter route and he expects this to increase with more house building under way in Tavistock. WDBC, SHDC and PCC have recognised in the Joint Local Plan that a cycle path is an important part of the development in this area. Plans to build a railway link from Tavi to Bere Alston are not going to happen for a long time as cost estimates are escalating. This makes improved cycle routes more deliverable and more likely as an alternative use of S106 money. DCC has looked at the scheme and suggested it is deliverable at a cost of £8-10million but it is not at the top of the list of cycle infrastructure schemes. NJ will continue to push the scheme with his strategic team at WDBC and thinks development at Woolwell could be a catalyst as could changes in gov’t policy (eg green growth in the greater SW), local authority action to tackle the climate emergency which all Devon LAs have accepted. Key thing is to convince DCC Highways.
  • Efford pathway to Marsh Mills – SM has contacted Cllr Brian Vincent again. The path is a good link but needs some TLC – signage issues, path surface maintenance, hedge cutting. JW said that it is included in the draft TCF bid but the bid concentrates on key corridors and whole routes rather than particular sections. IS suggested making a video to show what’s needed and make it easier to get councillors etc on board.

TCF bid and PCC update – JW said the draft bid had been submitted in June with submission of the final bid to take place in November. Funding will be allocated in March. PCC is bidding for £120million from the £1.2 bn fund. The key corridors that are included are NCN 2 from Langage into the city centre, Billacombe Rd to King George V playing field, Plym Valley trail, a flagship project to build a bridge linking the station to Central Park opening up a route northwards. ACTION – JW and infrastructure Group to meet in the next couple weeks.

SJ raised the issue of inadequate provision for cyclists and lack of diversionary routes in the Marsh Mills area with major roadworks ongoing. A similar situation exists on Hampton Street. These issues can be logged through PCC website roads and pavements https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/roadsandpavements (though it’s not always clear which tab to use), or fix my street https://www.fixmystreet.com/

At 9pm the meeting was adjourned to move on to the AGM with other items on the agenda to be discussed at the next meeting on November 19th.

AOB

  • PCC consultation on climate emergency closes tomorrow (Oct 16th)
  • Trevor Petley memorial ride to take place on Saturday 2nd November starting at Morrisons on Outland Road – meet 12:00 or 12:45 McDonalds Marsh mills then on to drake Memorial park (near Saltram Stag Lodge entrance) finishing at Saltram Café for refreshments.
  • John Green from the Low Carbon Team at Plymouth City Council will be speaking to the Newton and Noss Environment Group at Yealm Yacht Club on Wednesday 27th November 2019 8pm. Non members can attend.

AGM

Treasurer’s / Membership Secretary’s report – BN – Coop Bank had offered an upgraded business savings account. Not considered worth changing. Account balance has grown over the year to £493.43 with income from membership fees and donations from the Clearbrook Village Hall meeting about the A386 proposed route. There are currently 28 paid up members. Cycling UK affiliation is being renewed in November at a cost of £80. Accounts were authenticated by MK.

Co-chair’s report – CS reflected briefly on the actions taken and progress made on a range of issues some of which are reported in these minutes and the positive attitude of members and supporters.

Election of officers

Officer role Nominee Proposed by Seconded by
Treasurer BN SJ SM
Secretary MK BN DG
Membership Sec BN MK CS
Chair CS SJ SM
Vice-chair SJ MK DG
Communications officer SM MK BN

 

All officers were elected unanimously

The following committee members were endorsed to take particular responsibilities:

JA – infrastructure

DG – maintenance

GW – eastern corridor

Date of next open meeting – Tuesday 19th November 7.00 pm , Room TBA The Babbage Building, Plymouth University Campus (Map)

  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?

  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. Bryan Millings

    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

    • davidhext@aol.co.uk

      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. Thanks Dave – great turnout and I think it went really well. Hope to do another one in the Spring.

  10. 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.

  11. A thank you to Stuart for all your past hard work

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

    • Bill Nicholson

      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.

  14. 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

  15. 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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