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 February 6th 2018 7 pm room 405 Babbage Building Uni Campus – map
AGENDA FOR THE OPEN MEETING
Chair Sue Jennings
Apologies: Stuart Mee, Mike Kelly, etc
Minutes of last meeting
Report from Sustainable Transport Conference
Report from the Infrastructure Group (JA)
Hooe Lake Bridge – a joint campaign (JA)
NCN2/The Embankment (GW/SM)
Routes for Cyclists or Cycle Routes – does PCyC need to re-focus? (JA)
Contraflow Cycling provision (CS)
Volunteer hours (Breeze, Sustrans, PCyC) to be advised to PCC (SJ/GW)
Target Travel (WN)
Bike Life funding – new cities (GW/JW)
Speaker at next open meeting
Proposed high level meeting with PCC re cycle route design parameters
Plymouth Cycling Campaign – minutes of the meeting on 17th October 2017
Present – Stuart Mee (chair), Bill Nicholson, Hayley Harvey (PCC Sports Development), Claire Harris (Sustrans), Graham Wilson, John Abraham, Dave Gibbs, Olly Cross, Cathy Griffin, Ryan Evans (Sustrans), David Clark, Jim Woffenden (PCC), Mike Kelly
Apologies – Sue Jennings, Colin Woodman, Jon Stevens
Treasurer’s report – BN reported an opening balance of £386.45 and a closing balance of £277.05 for the year. There have been a number of fraudulent transactions on the account with unauthorised direct debits being set up. In each case our money was refunded but the Coop Bank, the Police, the FSA were not interested in pursuing the issues. Direct debits can no longer be set up on the account to stop this happening again.
T shirts – 11 have been sold and an extra one printed and sold. There are still some left at £15 each.
Subscriptions – currently 28 paid up members.
SM thanked BN for his comprehensive report.
Co-chair’s report – SM reported that nothing had substantially changed. PCyC has 600 followers on Facebook, 400 on email, and 250 on Twitter but it is still a struggle to get people to be regularly involved. There are 15 or so dedicated and active members.
It is currently difficult to engage with PCC (councillors, highways dept, planners) and it seems cycling is not high on their priorities, though there are some exceptions. Traffic segregation is an issue where it is hard to make headway, but we should ‘keep on keeping on’ and make contacts where we can. Lack of funding remains a key issue. BN suggested putting out a template / suggestions of what could be included for making individual contact with councillors. ACTION – SM to put something together and circulate to members
SM has been in contact with a cycling group from Northern Spain “Asturias con Bici” which is keen to come over to Plymouth for 3 or 4 days of cycling next year. BN suggested getting in contact with a French group too. Await further info from Spanish group and add to next meeting’s agenda.
Election of officers
Co-chair – SM and SJ proposed by GW, seconded by MK.
Treasurer and membership sec – BN proposed by SM, seconded by DG
Secretary – MK proposed by SM, seconded by BN.
All elected unopposed and unanimously.
Minutes of last meeting – agreed
Report from Infrastructure Group – JA outlined the role of the group in monitoring and commenting on planning applications and traffic regulation orders. Increasingly applicants seem to be commenting on existing cycle infrastructure with vague references to cycle routes and generic references to the benefits of cycling without taking into account poor provision or making improvements.
Ongoing interests – Broxton Drive, Colin Campbell Court (JA and SM meeting with some of the PCC officers next week to discuss this). It is promising that this offers involvement at an early stage in the development. This is vital in getting routes considered before planning permission granted.
BN offered thanks for JA’s ongoing work.
Report from Expressway Group – GW referred to NCN 2 route – Gary Streeter MP is very supportive and through him Paul Barnard, Sustrans and Highways England are involved in setting up a preliminary study for a Dutch style route all the way to Ashburton. Largely follows and improves on existing route but with significant modifications to the worst bits. GW has seen a copy. Sustrans will be meeting with Highways England to discuss funding.
Response to Charles Cross roundabout proposals – PCyC has responded – not happy with current proposals
DCC Safer Driving Unit have given some advice on how to promote OpSafePass in Ivybridge area.
Sustrans ride leader training – Oct 28th in Exeter, places still available.
Sustainable transport conference – January 25th, 6pm, Robbins lecture theatre at the University of Plymouth. GW and JA have done a lot of work on this. Delighted to have Prof Jon Shaw (transport geography) to chair the meeting and grateful for the support of University Centre for Sustainable Earth. Speakers include: Gary Streeter; Neil Greig, (IAM Road Smart); Rosemary Starr, Transport Smarter Choices Manager PCC; Paola Spivach, Sustrans Head of Design & Engineering, England South. Pleased that PCC are supporting this. Cycling UK and British Cycling invited to attend too. Neil Greig is leading a gov’t backed project on road safety and will talk specifically about cycling and how it can help make roads safer for all. There will be a Q&A at the end. Local media have been invited.
BN asked if we could get cycle shops involved as sponsors. DC wanted to involve local independents as well. ACTION – JA to investigate costs of providing refreshments and staffing from the university
Report from PCC – JW
- Planning application has gone in for Broxton Drive next phase of work – ref 17/01978/FUL if people wish to comment. (PCyC has commented with full support although regretting the necessity of a short diversion to avoid the habitat of the very rare Horrid Ground Weaver Spider.)
- Derriford transport scheme progressing
- Millbay route – still under discussion
- Barbican to Laira Bridge route – open for consultation in November
- Woolwell to the George junction – open for consultation now – PCyC preparing a response
- New scheme starting shortly involving PCC and Access Plymouth (Shopmobility) who provide people with mobility difficulties access to scooters in the city centre. They will be working with Plymotion to make a bike, recumbent and trike available for use. Reinforces that cycling is not just about fast commuting.
- Free cycle training for all Plymouth residents is available through Plymouth School Sports Partnership
- SM asked about Tot Hill Sidings – no further progress but still on strategic cycle network. JA asked for more access points on to the route.
Cycle path maintenance – DG reported that PCC seem to have made a concerted effort on this and areas that DG was concerned about have been dealt with. The council website link for reporting problems on cycle paths, pavements and roads https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/roadsandpavements appears to be working well. Thanks to PCC for this. JW to feed back comments.
Sustrans Cycling Officer appointment – RE and CH introduced themselves. Their appointments are from 3 years of DfT funding to focus on active travel in schools, particularly cycling. Another colleague is focused on walking. They will be adopting a programme that Sustrans has run since 2005 that focuses on using the journey to school as a way to promote activity, mental wellbeing and tackle congestion. The expanded team in Plymouth gives the chance to work with more partners and extend reach. They will be re-engaging with schools that they have worked with before with a remit to double the number of schools involved.
Active travel grants for schools – match funding available for events, capital spending, etc to promote active travel. Nov 6th early bird deadline, second deadline in December and another funding round next year.
Sustainable travel grants for businesses also available.
PCC Sports Development Unit – HH introduced herself. Her role is to encourage more people to cycle and put on led rides. Working with SJ to promote Breeze women’s rides, but also encouraging all to get involved by sharing their rides on ‘ride social’ section of Let’s Ride website https://www.letsride.co.uk/ This works like the old SkyRide website. You can put up your regular ride to work to encourage less confident cyclists to join you or specific events. Would like to have a regular monthly family ride. Will be offering ride leader training.
Yelverton to Dousland route – DCC have submitted a planning application for a new route link. SM has supported this on behalf of PCyC. While the route is not perfect it does offer an improvement on what’s there currently. Buckland Monachorum Parish Council have objected on the grounds that it is quite short and does not link to anywhere (it puts people back on to the road at Lake Lane). JA argued we should push for longer off road route.
Next meeting – Jan 25th – open meeting – sustainable transport conference
Date of next meeting February 6th 2018
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 email@example.com
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.
- 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
- 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
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.