Minutes and agendas
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Date of next open (Zoom) meeting – THURSDAY JULY 30th 6 PM
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There’s never been a better time to campaign for cycling in Plymouth!
Minutes of the meeting of Plymouth Cycling Campaign (PCyC) (held on Zoom) 4.6.20
Present – Clare Smith (chair), Graham Wilson, Stuart Mee, John Abraham, Sue Jennings, Ricky Lowes, Delphine Holman, Hayley Smith, Dean Bowles, Jim Woffenden, Mike Kelly, Andy Jane, Becks Stunell
Reallocating road space and pop-up cycleways, including Hoe road closure (CS) – £249k has been allocated to Plymouth for schemes that meet gov’t criteria (must be allocated within 4 weeks to schemes that can be completed within 8 weeks). Council would then be eligible for another £1m. Road closures, 20 mph zones etc could be set up quickly. PCyC has backed a proposal from the Hoe Neighbourhood Forum for the temporary closure to most traffic on Hoe Road and Madeira Road. JW was able to confirm that proposals were being finalised for submission by the deadline of June 5th but not able to share what those proposals were. Concern expressed over lack of communication and clarity from Plymouth City Council (PCC) and frustration that progress seemed to be much slower in Plymouth than in other places. JW said representations from PCyC had been considered and comments on www.widenmypath.com had fed into the process. The bid would focus on schemes that met the criteria, ones that were most desirable and would be deliverable within the time span. JW said we should expect a press release about what’s included in the next week. Questions also raised about what is being funded in the Transforming Cities Fund bid, but no further information forthcoming.
Climate emergency report (MK) – PCC published its Climate Emergency Action Plan at the end of 2019. PCyC considered its contents and sought to engage positively with the process by holding an open workshop at the end of February. A draft report containing our suggestions for action has been prepared and will be forwarded to the Low Carbon City Team once any final revisions have been made. RL suggested we should look for further coordination between like minded groups and recommended seeing how our proposals fit with those in the Combustion Free Mobility Report from Climate Action Plymouth. GW has been invited to attend a webinar organised by Travel Watch SW.
A386 Path (JA) – background to the proposed route linking Yelverton and Roborough was outlined. Between 2011-16 this stretch of the A386 has seen a 31% increase in traffic and a 700% increase in cyclists. It is referred to in the Joint Local Plan of PCC, WDBC, SHDC with suggested funding from S106 from planned developments. The route can be divided into 3 sections with the trickiest section between Plessey roundabout and the Dartmoor Diner. There are a number of stakeholders including the main landowner (Maristow estate), DNP, commoners with grazing rights, as well as local authorities. Different route options have been put forward, the favoured route is on the east side of the A386 along a currently existing grass path. This route benefits from crossing only 2 side roads compared to 6 on the western side. If a major new development goes ahead at Woolwell this could provide funding. Local MPs are supportive. Geoffrey Cox has written to the Transport Secretary asking what funding would be available. Gary Streeter and Luke Pollard have also expressed support.
Other routes feeding in to Plymouth – GW pointed out that Sustrans have put in a bid to Highways England for upgrading NCN 2 to the east of Ivybridge, there is also fresh impetus for a route from Yealmpton, so with all these proposed routes into Plymouth there is a need for coordination with PCC so that routes link up in Plymouth.
New mapping tools (CS) – two new mapping tools have recently become available for public comment on where walking and cycle routes need improvement. www.widenmypath.com has been promoted by PCyC and other groups as it is up and running for the whole country. https://www.commonplace.is/ offers a more sophisticated platform with more detailed options / comment boxes that the public can contribute to. It would need to be initiated by PCC and is currently free. There are more data protection considerations with this platform. CS has been in contact with the organisation and they have mocked up what a Plymouth version would look like. It was agreed that both offered benefits and as www.widenmypath.com was already up and running and attracting comments we should continue to promote it and use the information to support and inform our campaigning. JW was happy to make the PCC Transport team aware of the commonplace platform as it may have more use in statutory consultations. ACTION – CS to forward details to JW
Report from Plymouth Climate Summit (CS) – positive to see events like this bringing groups together across Plymouth. The event involved keynote speakers including SW organiser for Friends of the Earth and the Shadow Environment Secretary. CS led a group discussion on transport issues. DB saw a key role in lobbying and holding politicians to account for promises made. JA emphasised the need for PCyC to keep to its core business of representing the views of cyclists and urged caution in aligning too closely with other groups which may risk alienating some members. CS and RL saw the value of cooperation where common interests lie and where the same outcomes are sought in a federation rather than a union of groups.
Membership issues (SM) – in the last couple weeks 5 Facebook members have paid for full membership. The numbers joining the Facebook group are growing every day and are now up to around 970. Many appear to be new or returning to cycling. Important to make these people feel welcome and encourage them to get more involved. ACTION – SM and HS to look into setting up an automatic welcome message for new joiners.
- CS had been informed that a ‘cyclists dismount’ sign appeared on the Forder Valley link road site. She contacted the contractors who responded quickly and removed the signs. Positive response noted.
- NCN 27 on the Barbican – part of the route was made one way in Oct / Nov. PCyC and Sustrans were not directly consulted. Contact with the council and ward councillors shows there is an intention to rectify the situation but the consultation process is on hold due to the Covid-19 situation. Suggested that temporary changes could form part of the emergency funding bid.
- SJ reported that there are currently no Breeze or guided rides, following Corvid-19 guidance. British Cycling are reviewing whether they can start again on July 4th. SJ is reluctant at the moment with parts of the Plym Trail very busy and there are many new cyclists out and about, but social distancing is therefore impossible. HS pointed out that vegetation is getting overgrown on narrow parts between Coypool and Plym Bridge. Similar issue on NCN 2 between Ivybridge and Lee Mill. ACTION – SJ to contact Sustrans.
- JA has posted PCyC’s objection to the proposed heliport at Cattedown. Submission was on behalf of PCyC but it is still logged as if it is a personal comment. JW suggested emailing planning dept at PCC to rectify this situation.
Date of next open (Zoom) meeting – THURSDAY JULY 30th 6 PM