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 – Tuesday 21st April 2020 Time and venue TBA

Minutes of the meeting of Plymouth Cycling Campaign, Tuesday January 28th 2020
7.00 pm , Room 003, The Babbage Building, Plymouth University Campus (Map)

Present – Clare Smith, Andy Jane, Tom Unwin, Hayley Smith, Sue Jennings, Kristal Rocks, Graham Wilson, Colin Gillespie, Dean Bowles, Jim Woffenden (PCC), Bill Nicholson, John Abraham, David Clark, Jonathan Tutte, Mike Kelly

Apologies – Dave Gibbs, Stuart Mee

Matters arising

  • Cycle route through Saltram – still concerns over the signing of the contraflow route for cyclists. SM received comprehensive response from Saltram, but they do not propose to make any changes to signing. Some discussion of the situation. At least 6 people present are NT members and could use that as a means of applying pressure through direct contact. No information available about any recent specific incidents where cyclists had experienced problems. Suggest that we monitor over the next 6 months and see how the contraflow works.
  • No further update on Hooe Lake bridge
  • Nothing further to report on ‘Playing out’ as yet
  • CS emailed to find out about the possibility of a stand at the Tour of Britain. Not able to say yet, but we will be kept informed.

Minutes of the last meeting were agreed.

  1. Mayflower 400 and cycling events in June – there will be an event in the city centre on June 20th with cycling activities, stands, etc. HS asked for any suggestions and offers of help / involvement. PCC will be running a campaign focused on cycling and cycle clubs throughout June. We would like to have a PCyC stall at the event. SJ suggested cycle clubs should be encouraged to offer taster days etc. See below for retro ride event.
  2. Facebook group – some discussion about what PCyC should be doing, eg having meetings at different times / in different locations. Could look at live meetings streamed on Facebook. Recognition that meeting times will never suit everyone; there is a benefit to having consistent location and timing. Suggest that meetings could be added as events on Facebook so they can be easily linked to online calendar and people more likely to attend if signed up as reminders are automatic. Eventbrite would be another avenue for doing this. ACTION – HS to investigate. Proposal to run a survey on Survey Monkey to get feedback from wider membership / supporters beyond meetings – ACTION – HS to put this together.
  3. Rides and events
  • SJ is organising a social ride on Sunday April 5th from Coypool to Clearbrook. Starting at 10.30, it will be listed on the Let’s Ride website. The village hall at Clearbrook has been hired with cycle clubs etc invited to put out a table / share what they have to offer.
  • Also on Sunday April 5th GW is leading a ride to promote the opening of a cycle route along the ‘Primrose Line’ which is following the route of the old railway from Ivybridge to Kingsbridge. The ride will follow the route of the railway as closely as possible from Ivybridge to South Brent to Loddiswell.
  • Retro ride – KR and others are hoping to organise a ride on May 31st to launch the month of cycling linked to the Mayflower commemorations. It was pointed out that grant funding is available for Mayflower themed events.
  • KR and SJ also encouraging Breeze and other ride leaders committing to lead a ride a day through June. They would like to include some historical themed rides.
  1. Campaign progress reports
  • JA gave a presentation on the A386 campaign at the Tamar Energy Fair. He spoke to Geoffrey Cox MP who recognised the importance of the project. The campaign continues.
  • Ivybridge Futures Fair – this will take place on Feb 8th at the Watermark Centre in Ivybridge with a focus on sustainable energy, sustainable transport, natural world, and food and waste. Plans will be unveiled for a street design project for Ivybridge and Sustrans staff from Bristol will be presenting proposals for a 3m wide shared access path from Deep lane to Ivybridge station. Highways England are supportive and want to see walking and cycling routes to the station future proofed, GW feels that DCC and SHDC are less engaged. ACTION – GW to forward details for sharing with PCyC members.
  • Nothing further on the Hooe Lake bridge
  • Work is underway on the path around the speedway track in Plympton and work on NCN 2 around the sewage works will begin in the next couple weeks.
  1. One way system at the Barbican – a section of the NCN27 has been blocked as a result. JW suggested that the intention is to allow two-way cycling but that is not in place. SJ suggested contacting PCC Highways Dept with comments.
  2. Roadworks – Tavistock Rd and Forder Valley. Given the inadequate provision for cyclists negotiating roadworks on Plymouth Rd in Plympton suggestion that representations need to be made before work begins elsewhere so that appropriate diversions can be put in place and properly signed. PCyC would like to see ‘no overtaking cyclists’ signs used and included as a standard in highways contracts. ACTION – CS to email Balfour Beatty (contractors for Forder Valley).
  3. PCC update from JW
  • Work on the Southway to Plym Bridge scheme will start in February with works beginning between Southway shopping centre and the George P&R and then progressing on to Wrigleys
  • The existing route from Laira Bridge will be extended eastwards from Broxton Drive to a new planned roundabout on the A379. Feasibility work is being done on extending the route on to Colesdown Hill
  • Other works – the route from Stoke Dameral Community College to Central Park is being widened and straightened; an alternative route using the old tramway along the Forder Valley; widening and resurfacing of paths through Central Park; plans for a network of paths through Derriford Community Park are waiting on the TCF bid.
  • Plymotion – hoping for a continuation of funding to support projects like cycle training (adult and child), commuter tutor, and bikes of various types to support getting all people mobile. Details of projects here https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/parkingandtravel/cycling and https://www.plymouthssp.co.uk/content/bikeability-plymouth Key contact is Jonathan Tutte tutte@sjhcsc.co.uk
  1. PCC climate emergency plan – the discussion document shows good intentions but lacks specifics. Seems to have more to say about electric vehicles than walking and cycling. GW raised the issue of trip hazard from charging cables for electric vehicles and the narrowing of pavement space for charging points. Requested that this be considered in the siting of new charging points. ACTION – JW to forward this comment. JW added that facilities for charging electric bikes are part of the TCF bid.

JW reviewed the most relevant sections of the Climate Action Plan for cycling. There was agreement that this is a key issue that PCyC should be involved in and it was felt that PCyC should offer suggestions for solutions. MK proposed a workshop, rather than a meeting, focused around developing our workable solutions to engage positively with the process. Saturday Feb 29th Feb , 9.30-12, was put forward as a preferred date. ACTION – DB to investigate a venue at the University. MK to work on a plan for the workshop.

  1. Proposal for car free day – suggested this is covered in the workshop
  2. Policing of close passes – item not discussed due to time constraints
  3. British cycling meeting report – SJ attended but felt there was not a lot on offer

AOB

  • GW reported that there is a new consultation out about bikes on trains
  • JA reported that a new 18km trail linking Moretonhampstead to Bovey Tracey is open
  • JW advised that users of Strava make sure their settings are ‘private’ as there have been incidents of bike theft which are linked to thieves identifying start and end points and timings of rides to know where to find high value bikes.

Date of next meeting – Tuesday April 21st 2020

__________________________________________________________________________________

 

  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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