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 last committee meeting followed by minutes of last open meeting

Date of next open meeting on Zoom: Thursday 3rd June 2021; 6 – 7.30 pm
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There’s never been a better time to campaign for cycling in Plymouth!


Present – John Abraham, Hilary Neve, Stuart Mee, Sue Jennings, Graham Wilson, Jon Stevens, Bernhard Haas, Mike Kelly

  1. Welcome and Apologies – Dave Gibbs, Caitlyn Hellier, Bill Nicholson
  2. Minutes of previous meeting 18th Feb 2021 / matters arising
  • MK has not yet contacted local party leaders over council election manifestoes but is instead reviewing published manifesto commitments to put together a summary to inform members
  • JA contacted Iain Stewart re feasibility study on the A386 route. Still not in a position to share anything. JA is considering contacting Cllr.Ric Cheadle
  • Billacombe Rd – see below
  • JA will inform Rosie Starr on future schemes we’d like to see considered under the ATF
  • Meeting with Gary Streeter – see below
  • Clearbrook cycling hub and café planning application – JA reviewed the comments on the planning application and was in two minds about the merits of the proposal so did not respond from PCyC leaving it to members to respond as they saw fit
  • Embankment Rd to city centre – JA wrote to Rosie Starr and suggested an alternative route and requested that it be included on the agenda at the next SLG meeting on May 25th
  1. Reports on meetings & consultations
  2. a) PCyC response to Major Roads Network (MRN) proposal – SM submitted comments and an acknowledgement was received

    B) PCyC response Mobility Hubs – Journey Hubs proposal -JA felt that this is a good idea in principle but is unsure how it will work with hiring out e-bikes and sending people off into the traffic with no training and without safe routes to ride. HN said route recommendations would be needed and that it would make sense to have hubs where good routes exist.

    c) Mobility Hubs Workshop Findings : Plymouth Uni student potential use of e-bike mobility hubs 8th March 2021 -attended by JA – lots of questions arose eg how far can the bikes be taken? Further discussion centred on the practical issues and how successful this would be in the longer term, how many would benefit and whether the funding for the bike element of the hubs could be better spent on improving infrastructure.

    d) Sustrans Network Development Plan Consultation: Devon 31st March – attended by GW, BH and JA. Sustrans have reviewed routes and we are now invited to revisit their suggestions and offer comments on known issues and suggest improvements. BH is organising 4 rides to review the different sections of NCN route2 in our area and would welcome non-Sustrans members to join in subject to workable numbers of people involved. GW reported that some sections in his area had been reclassified or re-routed and he was waiting for further guidance on next steps. He flagged the report on route 2 from Endeavour Cycling Club as being helpful to the process.

BH said this review would be an opportunity to raise the routing of NCN 2 along Exeter Street; SM raised the state of NCN2 along the Embankment and discussion followed about the risk of this route being removed. SJ emphasised that we need to make the case for the importance of these routes which are heavily used by commuters as well as being a leisure route.

  1. Major Infrastructure Issues
  2. a) Saltram Meadows to Colesdown Hill -proposed steps – PCyC has not yet responded to the planning application. JS, GW, BH carried out a site survey. There is a big difference in elevation between the railway track and the road at Colesdown Hill hence the need for some kind of ramp to get from track to road. Proposal is for steps with a wheeling ramp. This has caused a lot of comment on Facebook. PCC claim that a complete scheme had to be submitted to ensure funding. PCyC needs to decide whether to support or object. Discussion followed.

GW suggested that the bridge appears structurally sound and that the material under the bridge could be removed to allow the path to continue and then, with landowner consent, it could continue through the edge of the cement works to pick up the cycle lane on Billacombe Rd. It would be necessary to find out what contact has been made with the landowner and what options have been considered. SM suggested objecting unless we can see definite plans for near-future improvements that set out the timeframe and next steps. MK questioned whether we had to object or support or if a comment could be made setting out what we agreed with and what was unsatisfactory. JS questioned what people would do once they reached Colesdown Hill – it’s steep so would people bother using the path or just stick to the A379. GW suggested informing Gary Streeter, the MP for this area, of the situation and ask for his help, since he has been very supportive previously. Consultation closes on April 20th. ACTION – JS to draft a response from PCyC and then GW will forward the draft response to Gary Streeter seeking his intervention

  1. b) Forder Valley cycle path – PCC response to JA queries. JA raised the issue of improvements to the cycle route along Forder Valley from Leigham roundabout to the petrol station. Extensive work is planned at either end but not along this section. There is likely to be an increase in vehicle and cycle traffic along this route. Rosie Starr forwarded comments to the project manager. SJ has previously raised this with Jim Woffenden through the Cycle Delivery Group meetings but had been told there was no money available for this section. ACTION SJ to raise the issue again at the next CDG meeting
  2. c) Plympton to Ivybridge route – on April 30th Gary Streeter will be joining reps from PCyC and PL21 to look at 4 hotspots on this route as he wants to see them personally. Those spots are the Cot Hill crossing and crossing Ridgeway from Market Road in Plympton, the Lee Mill junction and the main junction going into Ivybridge
  3. PCyC presence at Tour of Britain St.2 Start, 6th Sept – JA contacted the team behind the Tour of Britain and received a favourable reply. Need to work on the assumption that the Tour will go ahead and that we will be able to be involved. Suggested a marquee / tent with info and opportunity to engage with local cyclists. Suggest working with Sustrans and Endeavour. BH has been in contact with Adam Jukes at Sustrans who is checking on logistics. BH, JS, HN all happy to help with planning.
  4. AOB
  • Bike Week – suggest that we promote this on Facebook, Twitter. Unclear at the moment whether planned group rides will be possible. Suggested using Instagram as a forum for people to post their own photos of their Bike Week rides and make this a competition and offer prizes as an encouragement
  • Hooe Lake Bridge – JS has met with the group pushing this twice. They are still active and gathering a wide range of interested parties and people with different skills and pushing the bridge at every opportunity. There is a will, but practical issues remain. They are willing to knock on doors and canvass support but would welcome any support PCyC can give.
  1. Dates of next meetings
  • Strategic Liaison Group (SLG) – 25th May
  • Committee – 27th May
  • Open meeting – 3rd June – this is in Bike Week so suggested an open air open meeting with people cycling to Central Park to meet up and share experience of cycling particularly if people have recently started using their bikes. Will need to be advertised on Facebook, Twitter, email.
  • Additional Issues for SLG – find out what the masterplan is for the route to Sherford; concerns over Forder Valley

Minutes of the open meeting 4th March 2021

Present: John Abraham (chair), Hilary Neve, Patrick James, Sue Jennings, Cllr Andrea Johnson, John Green (PCC), Stuart Mee, Hayley Smith, Graham Wilson, Bernhard Haas, Clare Smith, Jon Stevens, Tom Unwin, Cllr Ashley West, Dean Bowles, Kit Harbottle, Ricky Lowes, Darren Foley, Mike Kelly, Marc ?, David ?, Delphine ?

  1. Welcome – JA
  2. Apologies – Bill Nicholson, Dave Gibbs
  3. Minutes of last open meeting
  4. Matters arising from minutes – none
  5. John Green, Low Carbon City Officer, Plymouth City Council
    ‘Multi-modal mobility hubs’
    – JG outlined the plans for multi-modal hubs which will offer 400 ebikes for hire, electric vehicle (EV) charging points and electric vehicle car club. The timescale for the project is between now and 2023. The project is currently at the concept design stage and consultation and engagement with various stakeholders is underway at present. Hubs will vary in size from: small scale 6 metre size hub equivalent to one on-street car parking space and consisting of EV charge points at each end, ebike charging and parking and an info kiosk with journey info; double size 12m hub equivalent to a bus stop; medium size hub will also include car club vehicle parking space and a covered structure likely to include solar panel structure; larger size hubs also planned.

Work to date has focused on analysis of where best to locate these hubs (between 30-50 of them). Over 100 locations have been assessed with the aim of creating a network of sites that link in with public transport and help to achieve a switch away from private car transport.

Hubs will include live info on buses etc to help with journey planning and JG would like to include info on carbon cost of different journey modes to make it easy to switch between modes while creating a system that allows for upgrades and further integration over time. They are exploring possibilities for through ticketing using multiple modes of transport and providers. There has been a lot of interest from various groups and organisations.

Multiple project aims – improving air quality and active travel, reducing congestion and CO2 emissions while also increasing transport options for low income neighbourhoods and linking into wider wellbeing by integrating sites with wellbeing hubs. The team are investigating options for social prescribing and the provision of e-trikes / e-tandems to support those with disabilities

  • Questions on above
    Will there be provision for cargo bikes? This wasn’t specified in the bid but is being explored at engagement events
  • Number of disability bikes? Investigating whether it’s possible to integrate this provision with planned set-up or whether separate procurement of a bespoke provision for charging will be needed. Ideally all types of bikes would fit with the same charging infrastructure but if it’s not it will be necessary to identify which sites are most suited to disability bikes and considering options over how booking would work.
  • What staffing will be required to administer the booking system, maintenance, security etc? This would require a team of people and it would be from a contracted provider so it will be determined by what the market can offer. Looking into how return of bikes would work and considering different hire costs according to where bikes are collected / returned to – e.g. possibility of having geo-fenced return locations away from the hubs and people may be charged less / credited for collecting bikes from these locations to bring them back to a hub.
  • Will the scheme be self-financing? The capital funding for setting up is secured but the operational costs will need to be minimised to ensure financial sustainability. Looking at options and what the market will provide.
  • Can private e-bikes use the charging points? Keen to hear feedback on what the public and the market would like to see. A consultation has been launched and JG would like to hear PCyC’s view.
  • Is Devon County Council aware of what’s being developed as mini-hubs look like they could fit into Devon villages for example? Yes, JG has been speaking with DCC and they have been working on EV charging.
  • Through ticketing with bike hire and public transport providers – who have you spoken to? Exploring it with providers and companies. GW highlighted a particular company working in the West Midlands.
  • Is there a possibility of folding e-bikes being part of the hire scheme which would help with integration with public transport? Expect to be buying standard, non-folding ebikes but this will depend on feedback and what the market offers.
  • Could you also have Bromptons for hire? The funding was gained for the provision of ebikes. JG noted that they are also having to consider helmet wearing as details are worked up.

6. Brief updates on key campaigns, current infrastructure construction and PCyC meetings / communications with PCC and other bodies.

JA gave an update on works under way / beginning imminently at Forder Valley, Billacombe Rd (slow progress noted on a short section of new cycle path), Stoke Damerel to Alma Rd (good progress reported here)

Consultations currently open – Dockyard to city centre route; Plymouth major roads network; mobility journey hubs. PCyC will provide a response.

Roborough Down cycle route feasibility study has been completed by Sustrans on behalf of local authorities. At the moment nothing has been released publicly but when it is PCyC will be kept informed.

7. Strategic Liaison Group – PCyC reps and senior officers with transport responsibilities at PCC are meeting every three months to discuss and raise issues. The third meeting took place in Feb. MK reported that a positive working relationship is developing and that good intent is evident in achieving improvements in cycling and active travel and carbon reduction. Funding for projects is the key impediment. PCC does have plans made (but not shared publicly) for addressing the key schemes that are on PCyC members’ priority list. These are matched to various levels of funding that may be available in future. SM expressed concern that communication with people at PCC between three monthly meetings appears to be more difficult and reiterated that PCyC needs to keep pushing. HN pointed out that PCyC is useful to PCC and that we have been assured access to project managers on transport related schemes.

8. Endeavour Cycling Club. After the presentation at our last meeting work has continued on tackling barriers on cycle routes which are a particular concern for cyclists with adapted bikes. Considering an outdoor meeting when restrictions allow to show solidarity with members of Endeavour CC. Endeavour CC members have also been in touch with PL21 Group regarding barriers on the NCN 2 route from Ivybridge to Plymouth. A comprehensive report has been produced to highlight issues and this has been shared with Sir Gary Streeter, Sustrans and PCyC. Dialogue is already underway with GS. TU highlighted the issue with ‘cyclists dismount’ signs for disabled riders. While this hadn’t been highlighted in the report it was recognised as a key issue. In addition, the presence of double gates on NCN 27 around Clearbrook and Yelverton was also raised. Buckland Monachorum  councillor Ashley West said she would follow up the gates issue. Endeavour cycling club are making Sustrans aware of the problems for those using ability cycles. JA suggested that PCyC did not need to add additional  comments at this stage. SJ reported previous discussions with Peter Guy from DCC who had been looking into replacing gates with cattle grids a couple years ago. Suggestion that Sustrans need to be contacted too to find out their position.

9. Jason Luff is the new Cycling Development Officer for Plymouth and he is the man to contact if anyone is interested in setting up new cycling clubsOpen discussion on topics raised by members – no items raised

10. AOB – CS flagged reports showing real evidence of a link between obesity and covid mortality. Arguments for cycling and active travel are clearer than ever and it just shows again that we have to get people out of their cars

11. Date of next open meeting Thursday June 3rd 6pm-7.30pm

21 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

  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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