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!
  • Currently we are looking for someone to lead on the campaign to get a cycle path built along the A386 between Roborough and Yelverton. This has been on the back burner recently due to lack of people willing to try and move it forward, although plenty of people bring it up on our Facebook forum. It’s not a new idea and has been investigated by Devon County Council previously. If you’re interested we’d be happy to welcome you on board and brief you.
  • 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.

MINUTES OF LAST MEETING

Minutes of Plymouth Cycling Campaign (PCyC) meeting 5th February 2019

Present – Andy Jane, John Miller, Glynne Miller, Sue Jennings, Ceri Carter, Hayley Harvey, Dave Gibbs, Bill Nicholson, Stuart Mee, David Clark, Jim Woffenden, Clare Smith, John Abraham, Mike Kelly

Apologies – Graham Wilson

  1. Minutes of the last meeting – reviewed and agreed
  2. Matters arising – CS shared photos of some of the work done to partially widen paths in Central Park. It is a useful route but it would have been good to see the whole length widened to make a high quality path all the way through. New signing has gone in but it is still not clear that it is a shared use path. ACTION – SJ and HH to pass this back through PCC Cycle Delivery Group
  3. Report on A386 campaign – JA reported on the very successful public meeting held at Clearbrook. Around 75 people were there including councillors. There was widespread support for the proposal but it will require a large sum to implement. A number of councillors were keen on the proposal and want to put it on the agenda for a future WDBC meeting. Tavistock Wheelers are very supportive. Gary Streeter MP is supportive and suggested that section 106 money may be available from future development in Woolwell. Marsistow Estates gave conditional support. Andrew Watson from DNPA expressed support conditional on planning matters and the route taken. To progress this further we need to involve local councillors and people from outside Plymouth. James Cleeton (Sustrans) has suggested the next step would be getting money (perhaps from charity) to fund an initial feasibility study. JA wants to form an action group – CS and AJ happy to join. ACTION – JA to draft an email and SM to forward to attendees at the Clearbrook meeting.
  4. PCyC structure – SM proposed formalising the structure with one committee consisting of 5 or 6 people and then specific project teams each with an appointed leader. This would give clarity and a known point of contact for each project which would help in dealing with PCC and other bodies. CS seconded the proposal. All in favour.

Committee membership agreed as follows – CS, SJ, SM, JA, BN, DG, GW, DC. ACTION – CS? To check if Simon Trevan wishes to be involved

  1. PCC update – JW reported on progress on the Transforming Cities Fund bid. It comes in two tranches. Tranche 1 consists of things that can be delivered in the next financial year. This bid was submitted in January and focuses on a number of walking and cycling facilities – improvements to the east-west network by improving links through Central Park; the link from Central Park to Stoke via the bus depot and Stoke Damerel Community College; extension of the new route east of Broxton Drive; link to King George V playing field; route along Forder Valley and links in the Bircham Valley; work on the Southway to Plym Bridge route and work in Saltash (in partnership with CCC) to improve links to the Tamar Bridge and station, cycle contraflows and pedestrian links. Expect to hear in the next month if the bid is successful. Tranche 2 is a much bigger funding package (bidding for a share of £1.2bn across 12 cities) to be delivered over 3 or 4 years. Bid will be submitted by this summer. It will include widening the PlymBridge to Coypool route and NCN 2 improvements may also be part of this. JW said there would be engagement with PCyC on working up the tranche 2 bid.
  2. PCyC infrastructure priorities – CS outlined some of the things PCyC would like to see considered for funding in the TCF bid process.
  • Links to the north are currently poor
  • City Centre – various schemes have been talked about. Discussion about the pros and cons of shared use in the city centre. JW pointed out that the ‘Better Places Plymouth’ plan has some suggestions for improving cycling through the city centre
  • Cross city links – Mutley Rd, Houndiscombe Rd etc have potential but a number of one way streets hamper this. Efford Pathway is a useful link but needs improvements.
  • Embankment Rd was seen as a key link and key priority offering good cost to benefit ratio.
  • Using Tothill sidings and a link to Knighton Rd and Beaumont Park as a way in to the city centre was seen as preferable to the current route along Exeter Street. Some discussion of the possibilities offered by making Ebrington Street one way for motor traffic and give over road space for two directional cycle lanes.
  • JW asked about views on Western Approach and the Millbay Boulevard. Limited experience of using Western Approach as a cycle route.

BN argued for the need to prioritise these schemes into ones that are achievable in the short term and ones that are more aspirational. He suggested a public meeting involving councillors, council officers, MPs and the public to seek a wider spread of views. HH suggested using an online poll / Survey Monkey. DC asked about PCC priorities and whether we should align with those. JW said they were driven by DfT priorities which are focused around key corridors linked to jobs and economic development. SJ suggested that we link up with Plymotion and Ride Leaders so that these new routes get used.

  1. Report on grant applications in Ivybridge – CS gave an update on behalf of GW – the PL21 Transition Town group hope to get a grant from SHDC for a feasibility study into the positive changes that are possible in the town. They already have support from Hannah’s, ICC, the town council, MP.

Wembury Parish Council is also seeking money for a feasibility study into a route to Plymouth

  1. NICE consultation – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is currently consulting on their policy on active travel. PCyC has responded to this positively. Some far reaching changes are proposed eg saying that public bodies and employers need to have policies in place to encourage cycling and walking. PCyC now have stakeholder status for this process.
  2. Yealm estuary route – this was a focus of a lot of effort a few years ago but it appears to be on the agenda again, though there are mixed messages. A group of residents from Yealmpton and Brixton has been set up who are keen to see the estuary route developed. There is enthusiasm and hope. However the view of the Kitley Estate (landowner) is not certain.
  3. BMX facility at Marsh Mills – HH reported that British Cycling have a pot of money for ‘places to ride’ and a colleague is looking again to see if this might be a way forward for creating a BMX facility. It is early days.
  4. Social media and publicity – current paid membership stands at 21, there are 100 or so on the email contact list and 800 or so on the Facebook forum. There are also two PCyC Twitter accounts – one is run by GW, but not clear who is behind the other one. It was recognised that people will engage and respond in various ways. JW said it is possible to send invites which automatically add to people’s electronic calendars. Suggestion of a survey to gauge what people would be happy to get involved with. ACTION – CS to investigate the Twitter accounts, calendars and survey.
  5. AOB
  • JA asked about cycle provision on the proposed Boulevard – JW suggested there will not be much traffic and confirmed that it will not be a through route for vehicles.
  • BN reported a bank balance of £409.15
  • British Cycling level 1 ride leader training in Plymouth on Saturday 23rd Open to men and women. HH / SJ have info.
  • Adult cycle training is available – this includes ‘commuter tutor’ where a trainer can come to your door and ride with you. Even better – it’s free!

Date of next open meeting – 14th May

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  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?

  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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