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.

Scroll down for Minutes of most recent open meeting

Minutes of Plymouth Cycling Campaign (PCyC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) – Thursday 30th September 2021  6 -6.30pm via Zoom meeting.

Present: John Abraham (Chair), Hilary Neve, Alan Hill, Rachel Ince, Sue Jennings, Andy Whitby, Hayley Smith, Jon Stevens, Kit Harbottle, Bernhard Haas, Mike Kelly

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Apologies – Bill Nicholson, Stuart Mee, Dave Gibbs, Graham Wilson, Caitlin Hellyer
  3. Minutes of last AGM held 29th Sept 2020 and matters arising – JA commented on the possibility of formation of subcommittees particularly to better represent families and disabled cyclists. Previous subcommittee structure proved that there aren’t currently enough active members to make it work
  4. Overview of past year’s activities – JA reported that it has been a year of change not least with Covid, the climate change agenda and upcoming COP26 Conference. New directives from Gov’t though do not come with funding meaning local authorities are given directives but the funding to achieve that is not there. In Plymouth funding has come from Emergency Active Travel Fund ATF 1 & 2 and TCF 1 & 2. Most of the £55m from Transforming Cities Fund 2 has been allocated to mobility hubs project.
  5. Communications – PCyC continues to engage with senior staff from PCC (Plymouth City Council) at the quarterly Strategic Liaison Group meetings. This is usually constructive and taken seriously by PCC and on balance is worth it. Most of our suggestions are being incorporated into PCC plans. In addition we’ve had meetings with MPs and have a meeting scheduled with Cllr Nick Kelly in Nov. We are getting prior notice of transport schemes as an acknowledged consultee group. The PCyC Facebook site is active with mainly constructive comments being posted and messages have been put up to point out that the committee do not approve comments posted as it is an open forum. CH was co-opted to lead on social media. She has set up a PCyC Instagram site and taken on the Twitter account and links to the website. Meetings have continued to be by Zoom with some informal outdoor meetings when restrictions have allowed. It looks likely that Zoom will continue to be the main forum for meetings for the time being at least.
  6. Committee – HN was co-opted and takes an interest in cycling and health, social prescribing and e-bikes. BH will be stepping down from the committee shortly as he leaves Plymouth. Thanks recorded for his valuable work with PCyC and the local Sustrans Group. There is a need for more active members to support our work.
  7. Finance statement – MK delivered a summary of the accounts on behalf of BN. Current balance on our bank account of £734.43. Income for the year comes from 33 paid up members and outgoings mainly consist of affiliation fee to Cycling UK and costs for fliers, equipment hire etc for events like the Tour of Britain stand. The accounts were prepared by BN and checked and certified by MK before the meeting
  8. Proposed minor changes to PCyC Constitution – MK outlined the 4 minor changes to the constitution proposed by the committee which all deal with the management of PCyC with the proposed new wording set out here:
  • d) The Committee shall have a minimum of 4 Members, who must all be members of the Campaign with voting rights.
  • e) The Committee will be made up of a Chair, Secretary, Membership Secretary and Treasurer and further Officer roles as the Committee may decide.
  • i) Quorum. No Committee decision can take place or be ratified if less than 3 officers are in agreement.
  • j) All open members meetings and decisions shall be permanently minuted. Minutes will be made available to Members.
    9. Election of committee – there were no new nominations for any of the committee posts. JA (Chair), BN (Treasurer and Membership Sec), MK (Secretary) and other Officer roles were re-elected. JA recommended that a new post of Vice-Chair be created but there were no nominations to fill that role

AOB – date of next AGM – September 2022, TBC

The AGM ended at 6.30pm


Minutes of the Plymouth Cycling Campaign Open Meeting
30th September 2021

Present: as above + Ricky Lowes                                     

1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Apologies – as above

3. Minutes of last Open Meeting held 29th Sept 2020 and matters arising – covered below

4. Guest Speaker Rachael Ince, Cycling Development Officer – Plymouth. RI outlined her role as part of Cycling UK’s behaviour change team based in Plymouth. There are two specific projects that she is leading on – Big Bike Revival (BBR) which includes things like Dr Bike for workplaces, maintenance courses and learn to ride sessions, and Community Cycling Clubs (CCCs)which supports community groups that want to set up cycling activities. So far around 15 BBR projects have been set up across Plymouth and Devon including one with Plymouth Hope which provides help and support for refugees and asylum seekers by running Dr Bike for their community. Bikespace use BBR to fund drop in workshops and a community bike hub has been set up in Totnes to encourage active travel. CCCs promote physical activity for health benefits rather than utility cycling – working with Endeavour Cycling Group (military veterans) and a mountain bike club for young people from predominantly disadvantaged areas of Plymouth. RI is also working with Improving Lives Plymouth team and the Sports Dev’t Unit at PCC. Also referred to an Exeter based group called Free Movement which is a volunteer run health and fitness organisation that runs pop up events and activities. There could be scope for this being extended to Plymouth. RI has been in post for 3 months and is seeing projects gain momentum. Would welcome PCyC raising awareness of opportunities. RI can be contacted via email Rachel.Ince@cyclinguk.org

Questions and discussion followed RI’s presentation. JA referred to our contact with Endeavour and PCyC’s desire to be a voice for all cyclists and asked about opportunities for volunteering with these projects. RI said the projects are run by the individual organisations not by Cycling UK but she could share info about opportunities.

HN asked about e-bikes. RI said there was no reason they couldn’t support e-bike projects but the higher cost of purchase makes it harder to roll out projects.

JS referred to grants available from the Energy Saving Trust for businesses that want to buy cargo bikes. RI was aware of this and has shared info with businesses and while Cycling UK does work with businesses this is not a major part of her work.

KH asked about Bikespace. RI referred to their scheme where businesses can borrow a cargo bike to try out for a month from their base in Devonport.

5. Current consultations, campaigns and meetings

  • LCWIP (Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan) – GW and MK have discussed the response and shared with committee. ACTION – MK to submit next week
  • TCF (Transforming Cities Fund) is the largest project and PCyC have been involved in several meetings on mobility hubs. JA and SM met PCC Low Carbon Officer last week. Proposals for up to 50 hubs, but not sure of the exact number yet. They will involve e-car hire and charging, possibly car clubs and 400 e-bikes. In principle it’s a good idea but in practice seems the wrong way round as people on e-bikes will be sent out into heavy traffic without sufficient infrastructure on the ground.
  • St Budeaux interchange – links to bus connections and rail lines including potentially out to Tavi in future, could also have hire bikes but still the same issue of going on to busy roads. KH pointed out that the Okehampton-Exeter rail service will begin by the end of the year, next priority is Tavi to Plymouth with more money needed for feasibility studies. Any through route from Tavi to Okehampton would happen last and may be a long way off. KH suggested that mobility hubs should be positioned where you first reach slow traffic so they become a viable alternative for people coming into the city
  • Better Cities Funding – previous suggestions for shared space in the city centre / Armada Way now seem to be moving towards segregated space
  • PCyC have asked for small scale improvements to signage, barrier removal etc but have been told at SLG there’s no funding even for small works and that everything needs to be priced into larger schemes that are planned
  • In the S Hams GW is upbeat about progress. Good relationship with Sir Gary Streeter MP who is keen to get improvements to Ivybridge and along the A379 to Yealmpton. SJ has attended meetings in the last few days regarding the estuary route and the landowners are not as negative as previously. Gary Streeter is very positive but persuading the group to look at alternatives and particularly things that can be delivered on a shorter timescale, e.g. breaking projects down into smaller chunks to improve likelihood of deliverability in 2 yr funding cycle.
  • Roborough Down route – the options report has been completed and there are good discussions with landowner. Now in the hands of DCC. PCyC are a stakeholder so expect to be kept informed. KH reported that West Devon Borough Council have published a new corporate plan which references active travel quite a lot but this is all reliant on external funding.

6. Cycling infrastructure –under construction and planned.

  • Extension of the Billacombe Rd route to Colesdown Hill. PCyC and many others have opposed the proposal, PCC are saying the options are to accept the proposal or lose the funding. [RL joined the meeting]. Discussion around any duty of care the council has to users of the path and Disability Discrimination legislation. Difficult area, hinges on reasonable adaptation.
  • Forder Valley, Derriford link road – continuing problems with Delamere Rd diversion. Lots of discussion with contractors but no progress.
  • A38 Mowhay Rd bridge – progress on decking but still work on the ramps either side to do. Diversions are not adequate / appropriate

7. Changes to email system – it has been agreed to change the way the email system is operated with a move to an exchange server which will allow more users to access the PCyC email account and better functionality without changing the email address.

8. Publicity – social media is getting a lot of publicity and the Tour of Britain stand at Sherford gained a lot of interest with more people signing up to the email list, and a radio interview with JA

9. AOB KH asked that the LCWIP response be shared with Transition Tavistock. ACTION – MK to do so when finalised

10. Date of next Open Meeting – December, date TBC

24 thoughts on “Minutes and agendas

  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?

    • 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. 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.

    • 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

    • To right here, I wondered why cyclists cycled the embankment road instead of the road. I have recently gone from a ebike to a road bike. I cycled the path and it was awful, then yesterday cycled the road and it was lovely and smooth, plus as a bonus got a personal best on Strava.

      • The state of the Embankment Road pavement path has been high on our agenda for at least 12 years! PCC is well aware of these concerns but always claims logistical difficulties and lack of funds to deal with it. This although we have put forward our alternatives

      • I cycle on the cycle path embankment road, it is horrible and needs to be resurfaced but I feel unsafe to ride on the road despite the road being a smoother ride. If PCC/Government want more people to use bikes, safe cycle lanes are desperately needed in Plymouth. I commuted to work by bike for 18 months until I was hit by a motorbike, Plymouth roads are too dangerous to cycle in rush hour, so I’m now back reluctantly driving to work, off road/MTB is far safer and the way I ride these days.

  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.
    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. 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. 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 Mee
    Plymouth Cycling Campaign (PCyC)

  11. 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.

    • 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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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