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.

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Plymouth Cycling Campaign Open Meeting – Date and venue of next meeting TBC

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Minutes of the Plymouth Cycling Campaign (PCyC) Open Meeting – 3 March 2022

Present: John Abraham (Chair), Hilary Neve, Claire Hyatt Harris, Tom Unwin, Sue Jennings, Ricky Lowes, Dave Kilroy, Graham Wilson, Andy Whitby, Nick Ireland, Patrick James, Stuart Mee, Sarah West, Ryan Haddick (Pitmann Traffic), Mike Kelly

1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Apologies – Jon Stevens, Cllr Glenn Jordan, Dave Gibbs, Bill Nicholson

3. Guest speakers
a) Ryan Haddick of Pittman Traffic gave a presentation on various ways to create separation of cycle lanes from motor traffic on existing highways. His company has worked with local authorities in the UK and Ireland to provide bollards, studs, lane separators, mini traffic islands, etc all constructed from heavy duty recycled plastic. Some of the company’s products may be appropriate to improving cyclist safety in Plymouth e.g., on Elburton Rd.

Discussion points – this is Pittman’s first contact in Plymouth; there are no verified statistics on how well these products impact on safety, but they are fully compliant with all relevant standards; spacing between bollards etc is flexible and dependent on planners; emergency vehicles etc would be able to cross traffic lane separators which are securely bolted to the road surface and have angled sides; no definitive response on whether the products provide any risk to cyclists clipping the lane separators or bollards. RH is happy to discuss what may work in particular locations in Plymouth. His email contact is ryan@pittmantraffic.com
JA thanked RH for his presentation.

 b) Plymouth City Council’s newly appointed Cycling Champion, Cllr. Glenn Jordan was unable to attend. ACTION – JA to make contact to try and arrange a meeting at a later date

4. Current consultations, campaigns and meetings
a) JA explained that PCyC’s involvement with Plymouth City Council (PCC), Devon CC, local politicians and cycling bodies is politically neutral and seeks a constructive dialogue. This has led to a range of support from both main political parties and we currently enjoy regular access to key decision makers.
b) In the last 2 years PCyC have been involved in over 60 consultations, planning applications and meetings. Some of the most significant:
    Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) – developments funded under tranches 1 and 2. The largest share of this funding is going to Mobility Hubs which are likely to include cycle hire, ebike charging facilities as well as car clubs and vehicle charging points. 400 e-bikes are part of the proposal with delivery expected in March 2023. TCF is also funding an improved cycling route from St. Budeaux to Dockyard to City Centre, a transport interchange at St Budeaux and improvements along Crownhill Rd with a new bus lane – concern that this bus lane will be shared between cyclists, taxis and motorbikes as well which potentially makes the situation worse for cyclists. RL said it would not encourage novice cyclists to go by bike. CHH asked if images and maps could be shared to make it easier for everyone to visualise the proposals. TU asked how we get to hear about outcomes from consultations. PCyC as a recognised consultee do get responses and outcomes will be available somewhere but may be hard to find. ACTION – PCyC to keep members up to date with outcomes from consultation.
   –  Billacombe Rd/ Elburton Rd route towards Sherford – PCC have put forward plans to extend the off road cycle route parallel to Billacombe Rd from Saltram Meadow estate to Colesdown Hill but their plans end with a flight of steps to link back to the road. CHH suggested getting in touch with local schools (e.g. Elburton and Plymstock) to get them informed and engaged, and consider other accessibility groups that we should ally with to broaden the range of voices who are campaigning for a better solution. ACTION – RL and CHH agreed to take this forward by sharing their contacts at local schools and connecting with them.

   –  Elburton Road cycle lane – PCyC have sent formal objections to PCC Scrutiny Committee over the proposed parking and cycle lane scheme which would see cyclists sent between parked cars and the live traffic lane. This follows initial concerns being raised with the project lead at PCC and consultation with Cycling UK campaigns team.

   – Passenger Ferries and access for e-bikes, adaptive bikes, mobility scooters etc – JA has raised this with PCC and Plymouth Boat Trips who run the services. Jay Raby, a Director, is a keen cyclist and would like to improve the situation but it is unlikely before new e-ferries come into service in 4 yrs time or so. This has been raised at the quarterly Strategic Liaison Group meetings between PCyC and PCC. One suggested solution was to cycle to the ferry and hire a bike on the other side or hire bikes on both sides of the ferry journey. This highlights the issue with integrated transport solutions using ferries in Plymouth. TU said this was an issue with buses and trains too. JA reported on discussion with GWR – they are unwilling to increase bike carrying spaces. RL suggested that this would make a good campaign with a focus on accessibility for all and would be willing to support this with a short, focused campaign with a clear set of desired outcomes. ACTION – JA to look at pulling together a meeting to include Endeavour Cycling Club and others.

  –  Upcoming consultation on the Yelverton – Roborough cycle path. This will be open form March 11th to May 6th. There are proposals for a hybrid route linking in to existing off road route (NCN 27) at the top of hill out of Clearbrook. Two options provided – one crosses the A386 and runs along the western side, the other stays on the eastern side passing the water treatment works. Initial feeling that this will not suit commuting cyclists and they will continue to use the A386. JA encouraged all to look at the details and feedback thoughts Have your say on proposed extension of multi-use trail – News (devon.gov.uk)

5. Cycling infrastructure –under construction and imminent

  • Forder Valley link road – bits will be opening in the next few months. No clarity over how the route will pass the petrol station. Delamere Rd subway is still closed and signing for the alternative route is not adequate. JA has been pushing on this – Balfour Beatty and PCC both suggesting it’s the other’s responsibility. CHH suggested getting a video made to show the route which may help users but also put pressure on for a better solution.
  • Mowhay Rd bridge over the A38 – this is a vital link in a traffic free route linking Honicknowle to the dockyard. It has taken over 6 months to widen the bridge and it looks complete but there’s no sign of it re-opening.
  • Military Rd to Willow Close pathway linking Efford and Marsh Mills – SM reported that Dave Gibbs has been keeping up the pressure on this. Cllr Drean has replied to say they are investigating how to make it better. Key issues – signing, blind corner, poor surface, flooding. SJ and CHH have tried to arrange a ride along the route with Cllr Johnson and Charlotte ??? to highlight the issues.

6. Open Floor –

  • SJ shared info on lots of opportunities for getting out on bikes on organised rides – see Let’s Ride website for details. Also planning for a Big Bike Ride on Saturday 16th April with rides of different lengths all finishing at Clearbrook Village Hall where there will be refreshments, stalls from different groups, cycling kit to give away. ACTION – SJ to circulate details once confirmed.
  • RL would like to see more campaigning for a joined up network across Plymouth. Need to get more people on board. Plymouth Uni offer micro-internship scheme where students do a very focused piece of work (e.g. social media, research, etc). RL has experience of this, some mixed success but could be a valuable tool. SM agreed. He talked with some students at the uni this week but the response was not overwhelming.
  • NI asked if any research had been done on desire lines for routes in Plymouth. HN confirmed this has been raised with PCC when asking about how they prioritise routes for development. The focus is often driven by what funding is available and what it is for. Often it’s about routes linking to work places. NI feels this is an area where we could step in and would be happy to help. Feeling that collecting data would raise profile of cycling and offer chances to engage with wider public, but there may be issues with representativeness of data. Asked about what data comes from fixed counters on routes.

7. Minutes of last Open Meeting held and matters arising – nothing in addition to items covered above.

8. Communication, publicity and social media – nothing further.

9. Date of next Open Meeting – TBC

AOB – NI asked if PCyC puts on rides for wider membership. MK said we are planning for a ride in early summer after a couple years of not being able to do so.


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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