Westside Link Consultation

Wolves on Wheels Cycle Campaign would like to comment on the proposals for the Westside Link as follows. This response is made on the basis of the information contained on the CoWC and INVEST websites, in the Westside Link booklet, display boards in the Civic Centre, and that presented to the Wolverhampton Cycle Forum meeting on 18/10/18.

Wolves on Wheels welcome:

  • The maintenance of cycle access to Victoria St, this is an important route into the city centre for those approaching from the south-west.

  • Introduction of a contraflow lane in Darlington St to allow continuing two way cycle traffic along National Cycle Network Route 81 once this section becomes one way for motorised traffic.

  • The plans for additional cycle parking throughout and more secure cycle parking in the form of lockers or restricted entry 'cages'. We feel these will be particularly welcomed by those wishing to travel into Wolverhampton in the evening.

The stated desire is to have a surface free of differentiated levels (e.g. no kerbs) for the benefit of those who find them problematic. This makes it difficult to have any sort of segregated lane for cyclists that will be universally observed by both them and pedestrians – painted lanes alone on pavements do not seem to work, at least in Wolverhampton.

We do have some concerns, based on experiences elsewhere, about how well pedestrians and cyclists will mingle in the more crowded 'single surface' sections of Queen Sq. Most cyclists behave responsibly, and most pedestrians maintain an awareness of what is going on around them and a 'shared space' such as this can be made to work if everyone has time to get used to it.

To give this layout the best possible chance we would make the following recommendations:

  • The signage at the entry points to the single surface sections (principally Victoria St. and Queen Sq.) should inform in the sense of letting cyclists know that they do not have to dismount and remind pedestrians that they should expect cycling; but also actively promote the concept of 'share with care'.

  • There will be those cyclists who, for legitimate reasons, would wish to cycle faster than would be responsible through Queen Sq. as proposed. This would include those simply wishing to make better progress as well as those using 'non-standard' bikes. Cargo bikes, bikes towing trailers or child 'tag-alongs or just with heavily laden panniers are less easy to balance and manoeuvre at the low speed that will sometimes be necessary in a mixed pedestrian/cyclist environment. We would recommend that viable, well signed routes to bypass the single surface sections are available. The readily apparent ones are:

    1. Cleveland St. - Garrick St. - Market St – Princess St. This would require the creation of a contraflow lane in Cleveland St. to allow two-way cycling (this is an obvious continuation of the one in Princess St. etc and was part of the proposals in the 'Public Realm' concept put forward a few years ago).

    2. School St. - Darlington St. - Red Lion St. - Paternoster Row - Wulfruna St. This would require an exemption for cyclists to the current 'No Right Turn' from School St. to Darlington St. and an upgrading of the on-pavement section of North St.

  • Some 'policing/education' during the time after the completion works would, we feel, be welcomed by the majority of pedestrians and law abiding cyclists. It would be unrealistic to expect a constant presence by police but regular appearances by very visible staff pointedly videoing any irresponsible behaviour should have a calming influence.

Mike Jenkins (Chair, Wolves on Wheels Cycle Campaign) 31/10/18

 

sainsburys front

If you shop at the Ring Rd St Mark's store and travel there by bike you will know that although the cycle parking is good it is a long way round if you have come from the centre of town. It would be useful to have some cycle parking at the front as well; this was raised at a recent meeting of Wolverhampton Council's Cycle Forum.

We have written to the manager of the store and will report any developments:

19/10/18

I visit your store once or twice a week, usually travelling by bicycle. The cycle parking provided at car park level is good: under cover, easy to use and stable 'hoops', near to the store entrance and in full public view (important for security). It is convenient for people arriving from the south west side of the city but not so for those coming from other directions. It is clear from the bikes parked 'informally' at the front (Ring Rd side) that there is a demand for parking here as well; are there any plans to provide cycle parking here? There would appear to be space, either for a few 'hoops' at the top of the ramp level or rings set into the wall of the ramp.
This subject was raised, and briefly discussed, at a recent meeting of Wolverhampton Council's Cycle Forum.

 

DRAFT RESPONSE TO WESTSIDE LINK PROPOSAL

If you have suggestions for improvements to this then please send them to me using chair AT wolvesonwheels.co.uk  ASAP as I will need to send it off first thing on Thursday morning.

(This response is made on the basis of the information contained on the CoWC and Invest websites, in the Westside Link booklet, display boards in the Civic Centre, and that presented to the Wolverhampton Cycle Forum meeting on 18/10/18).

Wolves on Wheels welcome:
The maintenance of cycle access to Victoria St, this is an important route into the city centre for those approaching from the south-west.
Introduction of a contraflow lane in Darlington St to allow continuing two way cycle traffic along National Cycle Network Route 81 once this section becomes one way for motorised traffic.
The plans for additional cycle parking throughout and more secure cycle parking in the form of lockers or restricted entry 'cages'. We feel these will be particularly by those wishing to travel into Wolverhampton in the evening.

The stated desire is to have a surface free of differentiated levels (e.g. no kerbs) for the benefit of those who find them problematic. This makes it difficult to have any sort of segregated lane for cyclists that will be universally observed by both them and pedestrians – painted lanes alone on pavements does not seem to work, at least in Wolverhampton.
We do have some concerns, based on experiences elsewhere, about how well pedestrians and cyclists will mingle in the more crowded 'single surface' sections of Queen Sq. Most cyclists behave responsibly, and most pedestrians maintain an awareness of what is going on around them and a 'shared space' such as this can be made to work if everyone has time to get used to it.
To give it the best possible chance we would make the following recommendations:

The signage at the entry points to the single surface sections (principally Victoria St. and Queen Sq.) should inform in the sense of letting cyclists know that they do not have to dismount and remind pedestrians that they should expect cycling; but also actively promote the concept of 'share with care'.

There will be those cyclists who, for legitimate reasons, would wish to cycle faster than would be responsible through Queen Sq. as proposed. This would include those simply wishing to make better progress as well as those using 'non-standard' bikes. Cargo bikes, bikes towing trailers or child 'tag-alongs or just with well loaded panniers are less easy to balance and manoeuvre at the low speed that will sometimes be necessary in a mixed pedestrian/cyclist environment.
We would recommend that viable, well signed routes to bypass the single surface sections are available. The readily apparent ones are:

Cleveland St. - Garrick St. - Market St – Princess St. This would require the creation of a contraflow lane in Cleveland St. to allow two-way cycling (this is an obvious continuation of the one in Princess St. etc and was part of the proposals in the 'Public Realm' concept put forward a few years ago).

School St. - Darlington St. - Red Lion St. - Paternoster Row - Wulfruna St. This would require an exemption for cyclists to the current 'No Right Turn' from School St. to Darlington St. and an upgrading of the on-pavement section of North St.

Some 'policing/education' during the time after the completion works would, we feel, be welcomed by the majority of pedestrians and law abiding cyclists. It would be unrealistic to expect a constant presence by police but regular appearances by very visible staff pointedly videoing any irresponsible behaviour should have a calming influence.

willenhall rdqueen sq

There are consultations for two proposals running currently, both of which have the potential to affect cycling into and out of the city centre.
The Eastern Gateway involves the A454 Willenhall Rd; The Westside Link will join the Westside development to the transport hub (bus,tram and rail stations). It would involve: Queen Sq., Darlington Street, Victoria St and Salop St among others.
The consultation for Westside Link closes on the 2nd of November, that for the Eastern Gateway on the 23rd.
There are many ways to let the council know your views on these proposals, please see the links below:

Read more: East Meets West - Two Consultations

NOTE: These are my (Mike) recollections of the meeting. There may be errors, there certainly are ommissions. They are intended only as an aide memoire until the official minutes come out.

 

Notes from Cycle Forum Meeting held 18/10/18
Civic Centre 6 - 8 pm

Those present:

Cllr. Martin Waite
Tim Philpott (WCC Transportation)
Carol Sutton (WCC)
Ruth Taylor (WCC Regeneration)
Nicholas Squires, Mike Jenkins (Wolves on Wheels)
Bob Amer (Resident)

Apologies:

Cllr. Paul Sweet
Lissa Evans
David Wilson

2. Westside Link Consultation
Some additional information to that given in the brochure (same as that on the council webpage) was provided:
-Cycling would be allowed in Victoria St
-Also (I think) in Dudley St so as to be consistent
-The lighter coloured 'herringbone' strip shown in the artist's impression of Queen Sq. is not a cycle lane but a clear path for the visually impaired. The intention is to have all the 'furniture' (benches etc) on one side, pedestrians and cyclists mixed on the other and this lane down the middle.
-More cycle parking including some more secure such as caged would be provided.
-The council wants to avoid lanes differentiated by changes in level to avoid disadvantaging the less mobile pedestrian.

There was considerable discussion, with a range of opinion, based on experience from around Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Coventry and abroad about the likely success of this approach.

Some more detailed maps were tabled for discussion and for distribution to interested parties not present.

3. Minutes of Last Meeting

MJ noted that the green contraflow lane in Princess St was deteriorating. TP asked to be sent details of exact location and photos if possible.
MJ noted that some of the spaces of the new market cycle parking are partially obstructed by the adjacent vehicle parking space. MW expected the use of this area to change from car parking in the future.

4.
a. WCC has or is about to grant outline planning permission for the Royal Hospital site re-development provided improvements to the cycle parking facilities and road layout are made.
b.Air Quality Standard Compliance: MW reported that there should now be near-live reporting of levels on the WCC Website. He added that there should be an improvement of the bus fleet (ie going electric) within 1 - 2 years; and that encouragement via the licencing arrangement for taxis to follow suit.
c.Consultation on Birmingham New Rd improvements will take place in the New Year.

5.Detailed plans for option 'D' of the A454/Eastern Gateway proposals were tabled. This option gave a significant improvement for cycling (on-pavement paths on both sides of road for whole length and priority given across some side roads.

6.TP reported that the stretch of the Railway Path from Alpine Way to Meccano Bridge will be surfaced. In answer to MJ he was not aware of what the final surface of the improvement currently underway for the path to Windmill Cres. would be; this path was not specifically designated as a cycle path. BA repeated his concerns over the state of repair of the bridge itself.

7.TP was still hopeful that the S. side of Railway Dr. would be cyclists only and the N. side pedestrians only with it becoming shared at the end in order to cross to Lichfield St.

8.TP reported that the Bikeshare scheme had again been delayed; with consultation on dock location to be around Christmas.

(Items 10 - 15 on the agenda were not adressed due to lack of time; TP will provide notes in the minutes that result from this meeting.

WOW Meeting 12th October 2018

Those present:

David Wilson
Mike Jenkins

 

Council Proposals

Eastern Gateway
Both present admitted to having little personal knowledge of the route involved, so any response to the council consultation (closing date 2/11/18) would be on the general principles of the scheme.

Westside Link
MJ reported that the forthcoming Cycle Forum meeting would include a presentation/question session on this proposal. See also

Future meetings
Because of continuing difficulties with SY sending out email to all supporters the AGM would have to be deferred.
It is also unlikely that the previous pattern of holding monthly meetings would be viable and that they would be timed to allow preparation for Cycle Forum meetings.

Wolverhampton Cycle Forum

Draft Agenda

Thursday 18 October, 6pm

Committee Room 5, Civic Centre,

St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton

Access via entrance at Molineux end of building

  1. Apologies

  1. Westside Link Consultation

  1. Minutes of the last meeting (17 July 2018)

  1. Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda

    1. Royal Hospital

    1. Air Quality Standard Compliance

    1. A4123 Birmingham New Road

    1. Velo 2019

    1. Wheels for All

    1. ESIF bid

  1. A454 Eastern Gateway Consultation

  1. Smestow Valley path

  1. Railway Drive/Station/Metro Works

  1. Bikeshare

  1. Cycling and Walking Investment Plan (LCWIP)

  1. Community Cycling Meeting

  1. Cyclist training

  1. Wolves on Wheels

  1. Sustrans

(cont’d over page)

  1. Canals & Rivers Trust

  1. Any Other Business

    1. Decorative mileposts

    1. Disabled access to cycle routes

    1. Bus station cycle parking

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