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 (Zoom) meetingTHURSDAY JULY 30th 6 PM

If you’d like to join our Zoom meeting on July 30th, 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 member of Plymouth Cycling Campaign, please visit our Join Us page. You can either join for free, or pay £5 (annually by Standing Order) to be a full member with voting rights. 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!

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Minutes of the meeting of Plymouth Cycling Campaign (PCyC) (held on Zoom) 4.6.20

Present – Clare Smith (chair), Graham Wilson, Stuart Mee, John Abraham, Sue Jennings, Ricky Lowes, Delphine Holman, Hayley Smith, Dean Bowles, Jim Woffenden, Mike Kelly, Andy Jane, Becks Stunell

Reallocating road space and pop-up cycleways, including Hoe road closure (CS) – £249k has been allocated to Plymouth for schemes that meet gov’t criteria (must be allocated within 4 weeks to schemes that can be completed within 8 weeks). Council would then be eligible for another £1m. Road closures, 20 mph zones etc could be set up quickly. PCyC has backed a proposal from the Hoe Neighbourhood Forum for the temporary closure to most traffic on Hoe Road and Madeira Road. JW was able to confirm that proposals were being finalised for submission by the deadline of June 5th but not able to share what those proposals were. Concern expressed over lack of communication and clarity from Plymouth City Council (PCC) and frustration that progress seemed to be much slower in Plymouth than in other places. JW said representations from PCyC had been considered and comments on www.widenmypath.com had fed into the process. The bid would focus on schemes that met the criteria, ones that were most desirable and would be deliverable within the time span. JW said we should expect a press release about what’s included in the next week. Questions also raised about what is being funded in the Transforming Cities Fund bid, but no further information forthcoming.

Climate emergency report (MK) – PCC published its Climate Emergency Action Plan at the end of 2019. PCyC considered its contents and sought to engage positively with the process by holding an open workshop at the end of February. A draft report containing our suggestions for action has been prepared and will be forwarded to the Low Carbon City Team once any final revisions have been made. RL suggested we should look for further coordination between like minded groups and recommended seeing how our proposals fit with those in the Combustion Free Mobility Report from Climate Action Plymouth. GW has been invited to attend a webinar organised by Travel Watch SW.

A386 Path (JA) – background to the proposed route linking Yelverton and Roborough was outlined. Between 2011-16 this stretch of the A386 has seen a 31% increase in traffic and a 700% increase in cyclists. It is referred to in the Joint Local Plan of PCC, WDBC, SHDC with suggested funding from S106 from planned developments. The route can be divided into 3 sections with the trickiest section between Plessey roundabout and the Dartmoor Diner. There are a number of stakeholders including the main landowner (Maristow estate), DNP, commoners with grazing rights, as well as local authorities. Different route options have been put forward, the favoured route is on the east side of the A386 along a currently existing grass path. This route benefits from crossing only 2 side roads compared to 6 on the western side. If a major new development goes ahead at Woolwell this could provide funding. Local MPs are supportive. Geoffrey Cox has written to the Transport Secretary asking what funding would be available. Gary Streeter and Luke Pollard have also expressed support.

Other routes feeding in to Plymouth – GW pointed out that Sustrans have put in a bid to Highways England for upgrading NCN 2 to the east of Ivybridge, there is also fresh impetus for a route from Yealmpton, so with all these proposed routes into Plymouth there is a need for coordination with PCC so that routes link up in Plymouth.

New mapping tools (CS) – two new mapping tools have recently become available for public comment on where walking and cycle routes need improvement. www.widenmypath.com has been promoted by PCyC and other groups as it is up and running for the whole country. https://www.commonplace.is/ offers a more sophisticated platform with more detailed options / comment boxes that the public can contribute to. It would need to be initiated by PCC and is currently free. There are more data protection considerations with this platform. CS has been in contact with the organisation and they have mocked up what a Plymouth version would look like. It was agreed that both offered benefits and as www.widenmypath.com was already up and running and attracting comments we should continue to promote it and use the information to support and inform our campaigning. JW was happy to make the PCC Transport team aware of the commonplace platform as it may have more use in statutory consultations. ACTION – CS to forward details to JW

Report from Plymouth Climate Summit (CS) – positive to see events like this bringing groups together across Plymouth. The event involved keynote speakers including SW organiser for Friends of the Earth and the Shadow Environment Secretary. CS led a group discussion on transport issues. DB saw a key role in lobbying and holding politicians to account for promises made. JA emphasised the need for PCyC to keep to its core business of representing the views of cyclists and urged caution in aligning too closely with other groups which may risk alienating some members. CS and RL saw the value of cooperation where common interests lie and where the same outcomes are sought in a federation rather than a union of groups.

Membership issues (SM) – in the last couple weeks 5 Facebook members have paid for full membership. The numbers joining the Facebook group are growing every day and are now up to around 970. Many appear to be new or returning to cycling. Important to make these people feel welcome and encourage them to get more involved. ACTION – SM and HS to look into setting up an automatic welcome message for new joiners.

AOB

  • CS had been informed that a ‘cyclists dismount’ sign appeared on the Forder Valley link road site. She contacted the contractors who responded quickly and removed the signs. Positive response noted.
  • NCN 27 on the Barbican – part of the route was made one way in Oct / Nov. PCyC and Sustrans were not directly consulted. Contact with the council and ward councillors shows there is an intention to rectify the situation but the consultation process is on hold due to the Covid-19 situation. Suggested that temporary changes could form part of the emergency funding bid.
  • SJ reported that there are currently no Breeze or guided rides, following Corvid-19 guidance. British Cycling are reviewing whether they can start again on July 4th. SJ is reluctant at the moment with parts of the Plym Trail very busy and there are many new cyclists out and about, but social distancing is therefore impossible. HS pointed out that vegetation is getting overgrown on narrow parts between Coypool and Plym Bridge. Similar issue on NCN 2 between Ivybridge and Lee Mill. ACTION – SJ to contact Sustrans.
  • JA has posted PCyC’s objection to the proposed heliport at Cattedown. Submission was on behalf of PCyC but it is still logged as if it is a personal comment. JW suggested emailing planning dept at PCC to rectify this situation.

Date of next open (Zoom) meetingTHURSDAY JULY 30th 6 PM

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  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?

    • Seems crazy to allow cars to park for free but to charge cyclists, especially if they are receiving public funding for the cycle lockers . Why don’t you post your comment on the Plymouth cycling Campaign Facebook page and see what people think? It will get more exposure there. https://www.facebook.com/groups/PlymouthCyclingCampaign/?ref=bookmarks

    • 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. 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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