Minutes and agendas

The Plymouth Cycling Campaign (PCyC) holds two types of meetings.

  • Open meetings offer talks, presentations and workshops on various aspects of cycling.
  • Meetings for those who are or want to be more actively involved. 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!

Next meetings

Tuesday 17th October 2017, 7 pm – Room 405 the Babbage Building Plymouth University Campus (map). AGM plus discussion of and report on  new and ongoing campaign issues. Everyone welcome.

  • AGENDA: Annual General Meeting:
    All welcome – open discussions – only paid members can vote so please attend to ensure quorum – non-paid members can pay on night

    • Introduction and welcome
    • Apologies
    • Treasurer’s report and authentication of accounts (MK)
    • Membership report (BN)
    • Co Chair’s report (SM/SJ)
    • Election/re-election of officers (Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Chair – position currently vacant following SM’s resignation – Secretary)

    AGENDA: Ordinary meeting:

    1. Minutes of last meeting
    2. Reports from ongoing campaigns
    • Report from Infrastructure Group:
        • Report on Central Park proposals
        • Broxton Drive progress
        • Colin Campbell Court
    • Report from Expressway Group/Eastern Area Expressway(GW/DI)
        • Report details of Email to Paul Barnard and Gary Streeter MP dated 15th September
        • Report on PCyC response for Charles Cross Consultation
        • Report progress on OpClosePass by DCC Safer Driving Unit for Ivybridge area
        • Enquire if anyone who is a Sustrans volunteer would like to join the Ride Manager Training on 28th October as there are still vacancies
    • SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT CONFERENCE; Protecting Vulnerable Road Users; Segregation or Sharing: January 25th 6 pm Plymouth University (exact venue TBA)
    • Report from Jim Woffenden re PCC
    • Cycle path maintenance (DG)
    • Sustrans Cycling Officer appointment
    • DCC planning application for Dousland route
    • PCC report on any new matters or ongoing matters not covered above (JW)
    1. AOB
    2. Date of next meetings:
  • Thursday January 25th 2018, 6 pmSegregated infrastructure for vulnerable road users.
    Public meeting hosted by Plymouth Cycling Campaign and Plymouth University. Featured speakers: 
    Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research, IAM RoadSmart, Gary Streeter MP, plus others TBC.  Venue 6 pm in a Plymouth University lecture hall (TBA).

———————————————————————————————————————

NOTES OF LAST MEETING FOR ACTIVE MEMBERS: Tuesday July 18th at 7 pm in room 405 of the Babbage Building, Plymouth University: ( Map)

Present: Bill Nicholson, Dave Gibbs, Graham Wilson, Stuart Mee, Colin Woodman, Liz Wells, Jim Woffenden, John Abraham, Mike Kelly

Apologies: Sue Jennings

Deep Lane:  Response and action by PCyC to DCC email dated 23rd June. GW has been in dialogue with Sherford Development Group for about 4 years or so. The drawings for changes at Deep Lane were misleading and as a result a formal complaint was issued by PCyC. GW spent an hour on site on a Saturday morning monitoring and taking photos to illustrate concerns. DCC have responded to his letter and have said the scheme was subject to a safety audit and there will be a second phase to the scheme which involves another bridge over the A38 to provide a segregated crossing as Sherford grows and funds become available. This is identified in the draft plan for Plymouth and SW Devon. GW has little confidence in that as a solution and has suggested writing to Gary Streeter MP who has been very supportive previously.

LW was interested to know how planners envisaged cyclists using this junction, particularly coming from Plymstock and heading east on the NCN 2. The central reservation is not big enough for cyclists.

CW felt there was provision for cyclists off road, but not on road. He was clear that work needs to start now to make sure that phase 2 is not as bad as phase 1 and suggested asking for a copy of the safety audit.

SM suggested sending photos to and seeking dialogue with Gary Streeter.

JW suggested sending video could offer a clearer picture.

BN suggested contacting Spotlight and offered to make video.

ACTION – GW write to Gary Streeter and contact BBC

Close Pass Initiative. This has been covered on Spotlight and ITV. The Police have been enthusiastic and on the cyclists’ side. SM thanked William Nel-Barker for his work on this and said it’s important to continue to report incidents to the Police (Sgt Gary Williamson) to show the scale of the problem.

BN pointed out this builds on the Give Cyclists Space campaign that PCyC worked on previously and CW would like cyclists to give pedestrians space too.

GW mentioned a local initiative in Ivybridge where they are seeking funding to put up signs reminding drivers to give 1.5m when passing. GW to report back on progress.

GWR Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF) grant JW confirmed PCC are looking at this but not with a particular focus on cycling. Proposals already exist for improvements at Plymouth station for cycle parking, hire, etc. Suggestion that we investigate improvements at another station (eg Devonport) ACTION – MK to find out more details about what we would need

Report from Jim Woffenden (Transport Planning Officer Plymouth City Council) on current PCC cycling projects

  • Plymotion is restarting with renewed funding. Aim is to promote walking, cycling, public transport. It includes funding for cycle training, cycle awareness for professional drivers, school engagement, commuter tutor to help people with journeys to work and knocking on doors in new housing developments to help with travel planning. MK recommended the free bike maintenance training by Bikespace. ACTION – SM to provide / update links to these schemes from PCyC website.
  • Infrastructure projects –
  • the Ride path is complete. JA suggested that signage could be improved to direct pedestrians along the pedestrian path and use bike symbols on the surface.
  • Laira rail bridge to Saltram Meadow – first phase completed with a temporary link. Next phase should start in late summer and be complete by spring 2018 using Rock Gardens to link through to Billacombe Road.
  • Barbican to Laira rail bridge – improvements being worked up, completion expected by spring 2018.
  • Derriford scheme under way.
  • Southway Drive to Plymbridge – proposals are being developed for a segregated facility with delivery in 2017/18 financial year.
  • Link from Millbay port to Durnford Street – ongoing planning but not yet funded.
  • City centre improvements – should hear more soon.
  • SM asked about Friary Yard Sidings – planning permission granted for new houses with an £84k developer contribution for cycle route improvement. SM wanted to know if the new route would actually join up with existing route at the retail park end. GW wanted to know if the developer contribution would be spent within the development area or elsewhere on the NCN 2. Signing is poor on parts of the route after Market road in Plympton and he would like this to be addressed. ACTION – LW offered to investigate this particular development

Maintenance situation – DG had previously been instructed to use Rosemary Starr as a contact, but she is now suggesting we should use the self service portal for South West Highways (SWH who have taken over the PCC contract from Amey). Agreed to do so given the change in contract for maintenance but to monitor situation closely. DG still frustrated that emails are not getting replies, most recently about situation on Forder Valley Road. It is helpful if anyone is reporting issues then please let DG know via PCyC email info@plymouthcyclingcampaign.co.uk

Review current priorities: GW passed on some facts and figures about cycling in Copenhagen showing what’s been achieved and what could be done. JA pointed out that there are lots of large housing developments on the cards but cycle provision seems poor. No discussion on specific projects.

Arrange meeting with Luke Pollard, recently elected MP for Plymouth Sutton – all agreed this would be a good idea. JA would like to attend.  ACTION – SM to arrange

ACTION – SM/GW to prepare response to Ian Bowyer’s letter to Oliver Colvile dated 28th April for discussion at meeting with L Pollard.

Talk planned for December meeting – Neil Greig, Policy and Research Director of IAM RoadSmart.  His topic will be about the new initiative headed by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) and supported by the RAC, RoadSafe, EuroRAP, Nick Ross, Euro NCAP and Transport Focus.  There are five main aims of which the first is “to assist the UK Government in delivering its 2015 Road Safety Statement commitment to reduce the number of cyclists and other road users killed and or injured on our roads every year”.  GW said this is a major opportunity to invite and involve politicians, transport planners, decision makers etc. ACTION – GW and SM to invite Ian Bowyer and others from PCC

Accounts sign-off will be prepared for next meeting (AGM). DG and MK offered to review the accounts.

T-shirts – 8 sold, 12 remain. Some people have put in orders but yet to pay.

AOB

  • Feedback on last meeting – speakers were both very good. Attracted a few more people, but not many
  • JA pointed to a new housing development of 43 homes in Colebrook. GW suggested an opportunity to push for funding for improvements to cycle routes

Next meetings

  • Tuesday 17th October – AGM plus discussion and report of  new and ongoing campaign issues. Agenda to follow in early October.
  • Thursday January 25th – Featured speaker Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research, Institute of Advanced Motorists, re vulnerable road users. Provisional details 6 pm in a Plymouth University lecture hall (TBA).

Here are some notes on the last open meeting:

PCyC open meeting June 6th 2017

Graham Wilson gave a brief summary of developments over the last 3 months or so. There was not time to return to discuss these issues at the end of the meeting.
• A new draft cycling network has been published by PCC and PCyC responded on 27th May 2017. PCC has informed us that it fully recognises the importance of separated, integrated cycling infrastructure
• Recent contact with MPs has had different levels of success – Gary Streeter has supported PCyC and is using his influence, Oliver Colvile is doing his bit, Jonny Mercer less so
• PCyC has been consulted and drawings have been produced for the Barbican to Laira Bridge scheme. PCyC responded on 26th May 2017 with support but asking for further improvements
• Consultation is open on works at Cot Hill / Plymouth road in Plympton. PCyC submitted its comments on 6th June 2017 asking that improved cycle facilities are installed before roadworks commence so as to enable local people to cycle instead of being delayed in traffic congestion
• PCyC have put in a formal complaint to DCC on 5th June 2017 about poor cycling provision at the completed works at Deep Lane in Plympton
• Stanborough Cross – we didn’t get everything we wanted but it is better than it was

GWR PLANS
Mark Youngman (responsibility for integrated transport with GWR) gave a presentation and took questions on forthcoming changes affecting rail travel in the Plymouth area.
• New Intercity Express Trains will be introduced in 2018. It will bring faster journeys and increased capacity. Cycle reservations will be compulsory on these trains, but last minute reservations will be possible. A trial of the new booking system is due to start soon and it will be possible to make reservations by smartphone app, online, by phone or in person at booking offices. Recognised that this divides opinion among cyclists – some like the flexibility of being able to turn up and travel, others want the guarantee of having a space reserved for them.
• Current high speed trains have capacity for 6 cycles, on the new trains it will vary according to the particular service. Cycle capacity on local trains depends on the number of cars. At the moment there is no proposal to introduce a reservation system on these local services.
• Work is going on to improve cycle parking at stations and cycle hire. This is already in place at Plymouth Station.
• Station Travel Plans are being developed (like school travel plans). The idea is to improve access to stations. Plymouth Station Travel Plan has been completed but it is not publicly available. It looks at cycle parking provision, cycle hire facilities, routes to and from the station, signing, etc and acts as a starting point for development planning. Information from the document shows that in one day the number of people arriving at the station by bike was 22 out of approximately 4900. The Plymouth Station Masterplan should reference the Travel Plan
• PlusBike is a one stop shop for information about cycling and traveling by train (http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/118390.aspx ). It gives information about parking, hire, carriage rules, whether reservations are needed etc for all stations.
• GWR have a franchise commitment to invest £2.2million over 3 years for community improvements at stations. This might be used for improving access routes etc and groups could put forward suggestions. It will be The Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF) for which cycling is eligible. Applications can be made from July 2017
• Discussion followed about capacity on the new trains – it was not clear what the actual capacity for cycle space would be, other than it would vary, but it did sound like most trains would have less capacity than the current high speed trains. Concern was raised about station staff not understanding the rules over bikes on trains. GW asked if we could make representations to GWR over these issues. There was no clear response to this.

CITY BUS DRIVER TRAINING
Tony Hall (driver trainer with Plymouth City Bus) outlined the training that drivers are getting around the theme of ‘we care, we share’ which is designed to change drivers’ perceptions and awareness of vulnerable road users including cyclists. The training package was developed from a model used by Transport for London around safer urban driving. In particular the focus is on helping drivers to recognise the changing street scene and getting them to see things from a different point of view. Drivers have to undertake training each year.
Last year, there were 16 incidents involving City Bus and cyclists, so far this year there has been only 1 which suggests the training is helping. This seemed to be the view of those present too who were able to give examples of considerate behaviour from City Bus drivers.

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  1. 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?

  2. 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

  3. 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…..

  4. 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?

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

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

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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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