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.
Scroll down for minutes of recent meetings
Date of next open meeting:
September, date tba – ALL WELCOME
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There’s never been a better time to campaign for cycling in Plymouth!
Minutes of the PCyC Open Meeting – Thursday June 3rd 2021
Present: John Abraham, Hilary Neve, Sue Jennings, Graham Wilson, Jason Searing, David Clark, Bernhard Haas, Stuart Mee, David Kilroy, Mike Kelly, Welcome – Jason Searing
- Introductions and apologies – apologies from Bill Nicholson, Dave Gibbs, Cait Hellyer, Jon Stevens
- Minutes of last open meeting – no changes
- Matters arising from minutes – there has been lots of discussion on multimodal transport hubs which account for the majority of the allocation of TCF2 money. PCyC are broadly in favour of this as long as it supports improvements to cycling not just provision for electric vehicles but lots of questions remain, eg will helmets be available for hire along with bikes, where will bikes need to be returned to, how will maintenance be organised, etc? It was noted that electric vehicles do help CO2 reduction and air pollution but do not address congestion issues.
- Brief updates on key campaigns, current infrastructure construction and PCyC meetings / communications with PCC and other bodies.
- Billacombe Rd cycle path – the path has been extended to the new roundabout into Saltram Meadow but the surface of the path is not as good as it could be. ACTION – contact Rosie Starr at PCC to log this. The proposed next stage of the route ends with steps at Colsedown Hill. PCyC have objected to this planning application as it is not suitable for all users. PCC say they need to go ahead with the scheme as proposed or lose the funding that has been allocated. This has been raised at the most recent Strategic Liaison Group (SLG) meeting between reps from PCyC and senior officers from PCC
- SLG meeting (25 May) – a number of matters were discussed and PCyC views presented robustly. In addition to the Colesdown Hill plan the Forder Valley scheme was also raised. Despite the investment and new / improved cycle provision at the north and south ends of Forder Valley there is no plan for how the cycle route should get past the petrol station. This will continue to be a PCyC priority. HN reported that despite PCC having access to lots of data on bus passenger numbers and traffic data there was a lack of data on cycling which would help to inform route planning decisions
- GW reported that Sir Gary Streeter had invited GW and others to join him on a fact finding trip along the cycle route from Marsh Mills to Ivybridge. Four hotspot locations were visited (Cot Hill, Ridgeway, Lee Mill and entry into Ivybridge) to assess problems and solutions. GS will be working with all local authorities involved and GW was invited to attend a meeting with consultants who are working up plans for an improvement scheme for the Lee Mill to Ivybridge section
- A386 route update – Iain Stewart from Sustrans has been employed by WDBC to produce an options report. Publication of this report has been delayed until October. All the relevant local authorities, local MPs and Dartmoor National Park Authority are on board but further negotiations with the landowner and commoners are necessary. JA reinforced the need for the route to be a high quality 3metre wide path as any compromises would not take commuting cyclists off the main road
- Open discussion on topics raised by members
Claire Hyatt Harris has suggested:
a) Create sub-groups? e.g. families / disabilities / women
b) Contacting wider council / community teams e.g., re-imagining the High St,
bike storage, bike family friendly spaces
Thanks to Claire for submitting these suggestions in advance of the meeting. Some discussion of points raised and recognition that the groups mentioned are not well represented in PCyC (at least in terms of attendance at meetings). Agreement that we need to hear more about this and that Claire’s experience would be valuable. ACTION – SM to invite Claire to the next committee meeting to help shape next steps.
JS raised the issue of safety at the crossing of Eldad Hill. He raised this with PCC back in January by responding to the consultation on the Strategic Cycle Network but nothing further has been done due to budget constraints. Visibility is very poor and the area is popular with families. JS would like this raised again with PCC at the next SLG meeting. JA said that PCyC have also raised this and proposed a light controlled crossing (estimated cost around £100k – £30k for planning and £70k for construction). MK wondered if any funding may be available through the North Stonehouse community work and low traffic neighbourhood. ACTION – BH as local Sustrans volunteer coordinator to write to Rosie Starr ask again for a remedy to the problems and suggest measures that could be taken, including temporary ones, that would improve the situation eg improved signage, SLOW on road.
JS has already considered some direct action to raise profile of issues around Plymouth and has planned a route to highlight places where cycle lanes disappear and so on. He suggested that regular critical mass rides could be part of PCyC’s approach. SM was concerned that PCyC could lose some credibility with PCC if it was seen to be taking radical action but that the Facebook page could be used by others as a platform to promote such rides and attract more riders.
JS also referred to direct action such as a putting up a large mirror to improve visibility for those crossing the road and another man who regularly took it on himself to cut back trees.
GW said that the PL21 group had attained charity status which had opened up more opportunities to secure funding by applying for grants from the National Lottery for example. Along with letters of support from council, MPs, etc this had allowed the group to access funding that was not available to councils and which could complement and accelerate improvements. Exeter Cycling Campaign have become a charity. GW also pointed out that councillors have their own pot of funding for their wards and this may pay for signage etc.
Discussion followed about the possibility of registering as a charity. The Charity Commission website provides a template to guide you through the process. JS and MK offered to look into this and further discussion is needed on what the benefits and challenges would be. HN said it would be important to see if charity status aligns with our aims and objectives and that we may need to think in terms of active travel more broadly rather than just cycling.
ACTION – JS to investigate Charity Commission website
ACTION – JA to formally invite JS to next committee meeting as a co-opted member
- New PCyC Instagram site – the site is up and running. Suggestion for a Bike Week photo competition but it’s too late to launch that now, so MK suggested we make it a summer cycling photo competition with a closing date in early Sept. SJ thought Hayley Smith may have access to some money to fund a prize. MK also raised a suggestion that had come up previously about having a social media campaign diary so that we have a plan for what gets posted for the months / year ahead.
- Tour of Britain St.2 Start in Sherford. Sept. 6th
PCyC plans to have a stand to campaign for the traffic-free Plymouth to Sherford route as well as publicising safer cycling in and around Plymouth. The focus will be on inclusivity. Need people to commit to helping on the day. Suggestions that we should work with other groups
- Hayley Smith is on leave; Jim Woffenden may know who is responsible for PCC stand
- Ivybridge town council are putting something on and GW has contacted Sustrans, may have Sustrans volunteers on their stand. Also trying to get local schools involved in the event
- SJ is trying to find out what Breeze are doing – eg ride out while roads are still closed. Worth contacting Ryan and Claire from Bikeability to see if they are involved
- Confirmed that Plymotion will be there so perhaps could work with them in some way. Rosie has copied in and copied in Jessica Colverson who we presume is organising it.
- HN suggested having electric bikes for people to try out and also saw the opportunity to get views on local routes, etc
- GW pointed out that there is a new county councillor for the area (Dan Thomas) – may be worth contacting him and he could be a source of some money to fund publicity. Yealm Estuary Group may also want to be involved
- JA will contact Endeavour Cycling
- MK did ask whether the organisers of the event had specified any limits to what we could do on our stall
- DCC are giving away car stickers promoting 2m as a safe passing distance for cyclists. All you need to do is contact DCC and they will send them out – Give Cyclists Space car sticker. Email email@example.com with your name and address and allow 21 days for delivery.
- Date of next open meeting – Sept AGM, date TBC