August 7th 2020:
Plymouth Cycling Campaign (PCyC) and Plymouth City Council (PCC) agree new Strategic Liaison Group
Over the last few months dealings between ouselves and the city council have been frustrated by poor communication and lack of transparency over key decisions. We have continued to push for positive change for cyclists and cycling in Plymouth and have kept up our lobbying. We are pleased to say that this has led to the setting up of a Strategic Liaison Group with senior officers from the city council and committee members from PCyC agreeing to meet on a three monthly basis.
The first of these meetings took place earlier this week and the main focus for discussion was the detail of the recent successful Transforming Cities Fund bid from which PCC has secured an initial £7.6m in tranche 1 with a further £51.2m in tranche 2. This funding is for sustainable transport schemes in general but does include welcome improvements to cycling infrastructure and measures to boost cycling in the city. One of the council officers leading this scheme will be giving us a more detailed briefing on TCF and an overview of the elements of the bid can be found here: https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/parkingandtravel/transportplansandprojects/transportplans/transformingcitiesfund
We also discussed the Emergency Active Travel funding package. Plymouth was successful in getting the full allocation of £249 000 in tranche 1 which will fund a city centre cycle path along Armada Way and a variety of other measures, some of which we have campaigned for over a long period such as mandatory restrictions on parking in cycle lanes on Devonport Hill and Billacombe Road, introduction of cycle contraflows and removal of cycle lane barriers.
The bid for the second tranche of funding worth almost one million pounds has to be submitted by 7 August. This funding must be spent by March 2021 so there are limits on what is deliverable in that timescale. We have again submitted a number of schemes including reallocation of road space, safety improvements on roundabouts and crossings, further contraflows, safety and signing improvements that we believe will make it easier and safer for people to cycle around Plymouth. While this is billed as emergency funding the clear intention is that measures put in place should become permanent.
We were able to make clear that a number of the Campaign’s priorities have not yet been addressed, and as more funding becomes available we will continue to raise these at our quarterly meetings with the Council. For an overview of what we are campaigning for, visit our Campaigns page.
In the next meeting of the Strategic Liaison Group we will review progress on the TCF and Emergency Active Travel Fund and want to discuss the next annual Climate Emergency Action Plan.