Wolverhampton Cycle Forum

Draft Agenda

Thursday 17 October, 6pm

Committee Room 5, Civic Centre,

St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton

Access via entrance at Molineux end of building

  1. Apologies

  1. Minutes of the last meeting (25 July 2019)

  1. Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda:-

  1. No Limits to Health/Heritage Trails

  1. Council Climate Emergency

  1. Better Streets Project

  1. Bikeshare Scheme

  1. A454 Eastern Gateway

  1. A4123

  1. Sustrans

  1. Canals & Rivers Trust

  1. Any Other Business

Wolverhampton Cycle Forum

Meeting Notes

Thursday 25 July, 6pm

Committee Room 5, Civic Centre,

St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton

 

Present: Dave Clare (FOE), Win Sutton, Jon Rice (WOW), Councillor Claire Darke, Tony Fox, (Chair of Cannon Hill Peoples’ Park), Sam Henry, (No Limits To Health), Rob Marris, Julia Brant, Tim Philpot (CoWC)

 

  1. Apologies Cllr Martin Waite, Lissa Evans, Mike Jenkins

  1. No Limits to Health/Heritage Trails

Sam Henry and Tony Fox gave a presentation on proposed Wolverhampton Heritage Trails suitable for cycling. The project aims to promote both physical activity and cultural awareness, and capitalise on the tourism generated by the Commonwealth Games.

The idea springs from a regional Greenways map produced some years ago and still available online, which has been developed in Selly Oak (Birmingham).

The proposal is to establish a base for the project where a fleet of e-bikes can be stored and maintained, and from where rides can depart and return. The project will need to acquire the bikes and a shipping container or some other option for a base.

The project was well received by the group, and the presentation will be circulated for comment. There was discussion about the locations to be visited and the route to be taken. It was suggested that some form of safety assessment of the route would be needed.

There was discussion of how the project would be funded. Various options are available including the National Lottery and Crowdfunding.

  1. Minutes of the last meeting (15 January 2019)

These were accepted as accurate

  1. Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda:-

  • The question of cycle parking at Sainsbury’s City Centre Store was raised. TP advised plans were in place to install some outside the store on the Ring Road frontage.

  • RM expressed thanks for action taken to replace and refresh the cycle route markings in Worcester Street

  1. Wolves on Wheels – report and issues raised:-

Mike Jenkins was not able to attend but sent the following report:-

We are sorry to have to report that our friend, and long time Wolves on Wheels member, David Wilson died unexpectedly at the end of April. As well as being a regular attendee of this forum he was a ranger in the local Sustrans group and worked on NCN route 81. We have been able to help Dave's family place bikes and spares with Wolverhampton Bikeshed and Wildside Activity Centre who will use them to benefit local people.

We have publicised widely the consultation for the A4123 improvements and individual members have taken part in it.”

Mike also raised some issues for discussion as follows:-

  • Edinburgh ruling on Tram Rails

Recently a legal case against Edinburgh City Council was upheld after two cyclists were seriously injured, one fatally, following collisions in which the tram rails were a contributory factor. It is unclear at this point whether the court ruling was on the basis that tram rails are intrinsically dangerous to cyclists, or whether the fault lay in how cyclists were routed and whether safe options existed.

The group discussed the implications of this ruling for the Metro Extension in Wolverhampton. TP advised that the arrangements remained broadly as previously circulated.

There was discussion of problems experienced in previous years in Wolverhampton where the road surface surrounding the rails broke out and left wide and uneven channels next to the rails. JB referred to meeting held with Dave Holladay, a specialist consultant who gave advice on addressing safety issues arising from tram rails. TP advised there now appeared to be a resolution to this problem with the use of a different compound immediately adjacent to the rails.

There was general agreement that safety was of paramount importance and Metro arrangements should reflect that.

  • Council Declaration of Climate Emergency

There was discussion about what this would entail in practical terms. It was noted that travel by bicycle as an alternative to motor vehicle was a clear climate benefit.

It is understood that certain councillors are to champion the Council’s Climate Emergency action, including Cllr. Barbara McGarrity, Cllr. Beverley Momenabadi and Cllr. Claire Simm.

TP undertook to report back to a future meeting on developments.

  • Joint Letter from Cycling Ambassadors

It was noted that key leadership figures in Cycling and Walking for major British cities, Scotland and the West Midlands had sent a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport requesting increased funding for cycling infrastructure and improved quality standards.

  1. Better Streets Project

TP advised the group that the deadline for bids to the Better Streets Project was at the end of July. Better Streets offers members of the public the opportunity to propose improvements in their neighbourhood that would create a better environment for active travel. This could be done via the page on Transport for West Midlands’ website. There was a discussion of ideas that might qualify for this fund, including community secure cycle parking, as seen in Waltham Forest in London

  1. Bikeshare Scheme update

TP advised that progress on installing further bikes and docks in Wolverhampton had been slow after a modest but optimistic start in February, and that there were issues needing to be resolved.

  1. Station Cycle Hub

Discussions are ongoing with TfWM and WM Trains over the design and content of a Cycle Hub at Wolverhampton Station. This will need to wait until a suitable point in the station and metro extension works before any construction can take place, and will need to be co-ordinated with other priorities regarding use of space. It is likely that when appropriate a BikeShare dock would be introduced either inside or adjacent to the Cycle Hub

Discussion over this issue led to the suggestion that trains should make better provision for carriage of cycles. It was also noted that in London, Santander had become closely engaged with cycle planning and it was suggested a similar relationship might benefit the West Midlands.

  1. A454 Eastern Gateway Consultation update

The outcome of the consultation exercise previously carried out on four different options was approval for option 4, combining gyratory traffic arrangements with dedicated provision for cycling to proceed to detailed design.

  1. A4123 update

Following a multi-modal study of this route a bid for major scheme funding is being developed to make improvements.

  1. Cyclist training

No update available

  1. Sustrans

It appears that now the towpath between the city centre and Aldersley Junction has been surfaced, Sustrans have designated this as NCN81 in preference to the road route. A question remains over whether the road route will remain as part of the NCN or not.

  1. Canals & Rivers Trust

No report

  1. Any Other Business

It was noted that the cycle parking at the Civic Centre had been removed without notice. TP advised this was apparently in response to some recent bike thefts. Strong concern was registered that there was now no cycle parking at surface level for visitors to the Civic Centre

Thanks were extended to Councillor Darke for her interest in the Forum and for taking time away from her mayoral duties to remain for the whole meeting

NOTE: These are notes made by WOW members who attended the meeting. There may be errors, there certainly are omissions. They are intended only as an aide memoire until the official minutes come out.

 

Notes from Cycle Forum 25-7-2019

 

Tim Philpot (Wolverhampton Transportation)

Dave Clare (Wolverhampton FoE)

Cllr Claire Darke (Park Ward, current Mayor for Wton)

Wyn Sutton (Chair), Rob Marris (residents)

Sam Henry & colleague (No Limits)

Julia Brant, Jon Rice (Wolves on Wheels Cycle Campaign)

 

As per Agenda

  1. Apologies: Cllr Martin Waite

  2. No Limits to Health/Heritage Trails: Sam Henry & colleague, based Cannon Hill Park.

    No Limits Heritage/Health Trails using canals to link heritage sites. The intent for the project is to link heritage sites in time for Commonwealth Games 2022 – to link Wton with Bham wide initiatives.

    JB suggested there were a number of win outcomes for this –

  • to give a good impression of Wton, Bham & Black Country as an interesting region, the (industrial) heritage of which was ideally explored by cycle;

  • to link cycling to the Games as an active mode of travel;

  • to give young people the opportunity to show visitors/tourists the area in a way comparable to volunteers at London Olympics

  • to contribute to regional economic development of region by bringing tourist spend in via cycling

    Sam Henry et al very keen on partnership working.

    1. Minutes of the last meeting ...

    2. Matters arising ..

    3. Wolves on Wheels

    • Edinburgh ruling on tram rails

    • Council Carbon neutral commitment (note agenda gives this as neutral, not zero)

    • Joint Letter from Cycling Ambassadors

All these points were relayed by JB & JR as per MJ's notes

The following information emerged via Mayor Claire Darke:

WCC Climate Change champion = Cllr Barbara McGarrity (Spring Vale);

Digital Champion = Cllr Beverley Momenabardi (Ettingshall);

Inclusiveness Champion = Cllr Clare Simm (Oxley) .

    Re tram rails: TP indicated that re Railway Drive and Piper's Row/Lichfield St crossroads, tram rails would be set with adjacent surfaces flush with the rails to minimise dangers to cyclists. JB reminded TP of a Centro/Metro related meeting at Heantun House in September ….? with a nationally experienced consultant who came to give views and later inspect installation on Bilston Road, finding some unhappy examples of dangerous road surfaces.

     

    6.Better Streets Project: making streets fitter for walking & cycling. Deadline 31 July! Initiatives must come from the community. JB suggested lockable cycle storage containers for on street parking, given many households had nowhere to store/lock bikes. TP's observation = that this setup would need managing.

     

    7.BikeShare scheme update: the scheme with NextBike has been cancelled as NextBike failed to deliver on promises made to WCC. Usage statistics allegedly exist.

     

    1. Station Cycle Hub: DC suggested allocating time to this as dedicated agenda item at future meeting. The Forum could invite station manager to speak/present. TP pointed out difficulty of station site as operating environment – space and security being 2 major issues. The Cycle Hub can't go inside due to lack of space – more likely it will go in front of the multistorey car park.

      Deadline for completion of station building: allegedly end of this year. For Metro works: end of Dec. For Cycle Hub: spring 2020.

    1. A454 Eastern Gateway consultation update … TP urged to convey to WCC not to make same mistakes as on Penn Rd Island. JB made point that there should be optimum fit between infrastructure and user task, ie what are cyclists/pedestrians etc likely to want to do at any point, and how should the infrastructure be configured to enable that with .

    2. A4123 (Birmingham New Road) update: the intention is to have a continuous cyclepath from Wton to the Hagley Road.

    3. Cyclist training: TP deferred on.

    4. Sustrans: TP indicated that whereas previously, NCN81 was routed through Wton as on road because the canal towpath was not up to grade, Sustrans was now designationg NCN81 as along the towpath. The feeling from the meeting was that both could be operated along lines of NCN81/A to offer choice to cyclists and allow those wishing to come into city centre to do so. JB pointed out the precedent of various long distance footpaths having parallel routes on/off road.

    5. Canals & River Trust …

    6. Any Other Business: JB noted in TP's directions for entrance into Civic Centre at rear to indicate that the previously installed cycle racks had been removed. On enquiry,it appeared that after security issues with the building, that someone involved with this had taken a unilateral decision to remove the cycle racks, which apparently had subsequently been scrapped! It was pointed out that with all the ongoing initiatives such as Active Travel, cyclepaths etc. it was utter folly to remove cycle infrastructure and even more so to throw it away, which constituted a waste of public money.

    JB requested that the racks be reinstalled so that secure cycle parking was once more where it should be at that entrance to the Civic Centre. RM observed that he had had to leave his bike unsecured so how could this constitute an improvement on security?!

    Mayor Darke urged JB to write to all relevant councillors to complain!

    RM thanked Cllr Darke for sparing time from a very busy schedule to attend.

    The meeting concluded at 19.40pm.

    Wolverhampton Cycle Forum

    Draft Agenda

    Thursday 25 July, 6pm

    Committee Room 5, Civic Centre,
    St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton

    Access via entrance at Molineux end of building

     

    1. Apologies
    2. No Limits to Health/Heritage Trails

    3. Minutes of the last meeting (15 January 2019)

    4. Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda:-

    5. Wolves on Wheels – report and issues raised:-

    - Edinburgh ruling on Tram Rails
    - Council Carbon-neutral commitment
    - Joint Letter from Cycling Ambassadors

    6. Better Streets Project

    7. Bikeshare Scheme update

    8. Station cycle hub

    9. A454 Eastern Gateway Consultation update
    10. A4123 update

    11. Cyclist training

    12. Sustrans

    13. Canals & Rivers Trust

    14. Any Other Business

     

     

    Wolverhampton Cycle Forum

    Meeting Notes

    Thursday 25 April, 6pm

    Committee Room 5, Civic Centre,

    St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton

    1. Apologies

    1. Minutes of the last meeting (15 January 2019)

    1. Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda:-

    • Westside Link – Detailed design to be prepared, phase 1 (School St, Salop St, Skinner St) anticipated to begin implementation within 12 months.

    • No Limits to Health – Sam Henry was not able to attend the meeting, item to be deferred

    • Meccano bridge – The bridge deck has been resurfaced as part of a scheme improving the surface as far as Alpine Way. It is known that the structure needs attention in the near future to secure the bridge.

    • Sainsburys cycle parking – further discussion about arranging cycle parking at street level for the store entrance. Suggested that the Manager of the store should be contacted.

    1. Transforming Cities Fund / LCWIP / Better Streets Project

    TP explained CoWC’s strategic approach to cycling. A Local Cycling and Walking Investment Plan (LCWIP) has been prepared for the West Midlands Combined Authority. This identifies a network of cycling routes mirroring existing transport corridors, prioritises these routes and outlines costs of development. In demonstrating a strategic approach the Combined Authority seeks to capitalise on funding opportunities. So far, £23 million has been secured from the Transforming Cities Fund.

    Routes in the LCWIP for Wolverhampton include A454 Willenhall to Walsall, A4123 Wolverhampton to Birmingham, and A4124 Wolverhampton to Bloxwich

    There was a discussion about local priorities. It was questioned whether the arterial road corridors were the most appropriate routes for promoting cycling. In their favour they are direct and well known, although proximity to traffic and consequent air quality make them less desirable in other ways.

    It was asked what evidence there was that people would cycle on the A4123 if it was provided with a suitable cycle way. Latent demand is always a challenge to assess, and data gathering generally is a costly process, however, the Combined Authority is developing a collective approach and reviewing options to determine what will produce the best results.

    It was acknowledged that Towpaths can provide good opportunities for cycle routes and some even without a good quality surface are being well-used (e.g. Wyrley & Essington). Minor roads can also provide parallel routes. These may prove more attractive in some respects but may suffer from discontinuity, lack of directness and in the case of towpaths, isolation and absence of lighting.


    There was a discussion about Clean Air Zones, the part of Wolverhampton that was identified by DEFRA as having air pollution exceedance is the Ring Road St Davids in the vicinity of the rail station and Bilston Street Roundabout. Current activity in relation to that is focussing on modifications to the bus fleet and optimisation of traffic signal junctions particularly at the Bilston Street Roundabout.

    The prioritising of spending across the region was discussed – clearly all areas are looking to make improvements but the prioritising process means that some are more justified than others and so take priority.

    It was mentioned that part of Wolverhampton’s problem with motor traffic is that the road network makes people who are just passing through come right into the town

    1. Bikeshare Scheme update

    CoWC is working with Nextbike to prepare for the next round of dock installations, with the intention to hold a full scheme launch in July.

    1. Wolves on Wheels – report and update on previously-raised issues

    • Market cycle parking being used to store bin bags on collection day – reported to Markets manager

    • Representation of cycling and cyclists in corporate media – raised at Director level

    • Press release about Air Quality Grant not mentioning cycling – Noted

    1. Route signage and markings – general

    There was a discussion about how matters could be improved. This focused on key issues such as

    • Maintenance – faults need to be identified and reported. There is an inspection regime for this but ideally anyone noting a fault should report if straight away for best chance of getting it fixed earlier

    • Markings should be rational, legible and clear, and should be made very obvious to take account of a general ignorance or inattention by road users

    • Some suggestions were made concerning the use of sensors to alert motorists to the nearness of cycle ways

    • It was noted that the new cycle super-highways in Birmingham were painted blue

    • It was suggested that pedestrian and cyclist signal crossings could default to green for peds and cycles and only change when cars approach

    • There was some speculation about the possibility that at some poiont there would be a rapid growth in cyclist numbers and a need to make better accommodation. It was agreed this was being held back by safety fears.

    1. City Centre: Railway Drive/Station/Metro Works/

    These are proceeding much as expected, causing regrettable disruption to cyclist movements.

    1. A454 Eastern Gateway Consultation update – Cabinet has approved option D, twin gyratory systems featuring continuous cycling provision. Detailed development now to be undertaken.

    1. A4123 update – Development funding being sought to build on the Multi-Modal study outcomes.

    1. Cyclist training – Bikeability standards will be revised in May to clarify what is essential, what advised, and what optional content. This is to ensure consistency of instruction, instructors will have 2 years to re-qualify.

    1. Sustrans – Have recently completed and published their NCN Audit

    1. Canals & Rivers Trust – No update

    1. Any Other Business

    It was suggested Local Authorities put their cycling map information onto Google maps or use online route-finding services such as Cycle Travel.

    It was asked what the role of the Combined Authority is in cycling, and suggested that the West Midlands Mayor be invited to attend a future Forum meeting

    Date of future meetings to be decided

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

    Notes from Cycle Forum Meeting held 25/04/19
    Civic Centre 6 - 8 pm

    Those present:

    Tim Philpott (WCC Transportation)
    Cllr. Martin Waite
    Dave Clare (Wolverhampton FoE)
    Win Sutton, Rob Marris (Residents)
    James Pearson-Jenkins (Cyclist)
    Julia Brant, Jon Rice, Mike Jenkins (Wolves on Wheels)

    Apologies:
    Lissa Evans.

    2.Minutes of last meeting
    a.Accuracy: British Cycling meeting comment by JB rather than MJ? WOW chair report omitted. Lissa Evans omitted from attendance list
    b.Arising: MJ reported use of Market cycle parking increasing, 4 bikes and one motor scooter last Friday. TP explained the problem with access had arisen because the cycle parking had been moved away from the wall to give adequate clearance but the markings for adjacent car parking had been left as the original plan. He would contact Planning again, MW offered assistance if required. WS raised matter of lack of public cycle parking at front of St Marks Sainsburys now that hire bikes are there; TP said this was now on council list of sites to consider.

    3.Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda
    Westside Link. TP reported that this would proceed, no major changes from previous proposals following consultation except that the Queen Sq. section is being referred to June Scrutiny Panel because of pushback from bus companies.

    Nothing further to report on 'No Limits to Health' initiative.

    4. TP: There was £23M available from Transforming Cities Fund to use for cycling projects on strategic routes in the West Midlands. There was no particular deadline (but some pressure to use within 12 months). Routes would be as high quality as possible; on verges rather than on road. They would be alongside main routes (eg A4123) rather than back streets; pros are high 'visibility', direct, they are familiar. Cons: poorer air quality.

    In answer to JR: WCC had no current plans to introduce Congestion Charge/Clean Air Zones.
    There will be £250K available for each Local Authority from the Better Streets Project to improve neighbourhoods to encourage cycling and walking.

    5.TP: A further 25 locations for Bikeshare docking stations have been consulted on and these should be installed in a couple of months. Usage of the initial installation was not expected to be high as this was really only symbolic to prove the concept; however use and subscriptions are slowly increasing. Happily, there has been no significant outage due to vandalism or theft. MW reported he used the bikes frequently and was disappointed that the proposed docking station in Penn was not successful. TP will check on the reason for this. RM thought that Penn Library would be a good location as it has space on an under-used car park and one of the justifications used to keep it open was that it should become a community hub.

    6.Wolves on Wheels have not started any new campaigns or responded to any consultations since the last forum meeting. We have continued to put out publicity on items of local interest such as the improvement work being carried out along the Smestow Valley railway path.

    7.JB had provided some photographs of Route Signage and Markings in Cheltenham; she and RM had conducted an email discussion with TP on this subject. RM was particularly concerned that on-ground markings (cycle symbols, lane markings) were not renewed or reinstated after resurfacing work. This is a responsibility of the Highways Dept and MW will raise concerns with the appropriate head of service. He advised particular examples of obliterated markings should be raised via Customer Services in the first instance.
    There was a wider debate about the need for consistent standards of marking and signage nationally. In the absence of action from DfT MW would raise the subject with the Local Government Authority.
    JB suggested more use of technology to protect cyclists eg solar powered warning signs to alert drivers at side turnings of cyclists approaching on the main road.
    JPW saw a 4th Industrial Revolution connection and questioned why this did not appear in council planning documentation.

    8.Progress is being made on design and space allocation for a Cycle Hub (with 200 parking spaces?) on the present grassed area by the Station.

    9.A454 Eastern Gateway. Of the options presented at the last Forum 'D' (the most cycle friendly) has been approved. This includes 2-way cycle paths on either side of the road.

    10.A4123. Nothing to add than what was discussed in '4'.

    11. Cyclist training. Bikeability standards are being revised in May. Current instructors will have 2 years to comply.

    12.No report received from Sustrans.

    13.No report received from Canals & Rivers Trust. JPW asked about surfacing of the Wyrley & Essington Canal towpath all the way to Bloxwich. In his experience it was well used by 'ordinary' cyclists despite its somewhat meandering nature; and was vastly preferable to the main roads in that area.

    14.AOB

    MJ to email link to 'Cycle Travel' route planning website for distribution to forum members.
    MW to extend an invitation to Andy Street in his capacity as Mayor of the WMCA to attend the Cycle Forum.
    TP to consult on date for the July Forum.

    Wolverhampton Cycle Forum

    Draft Agenda

    Thursday 25 April, 6pm

    Committee Room 5, Civic Centre,

    St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton

    Access via entrance at Molineux end of building

    1. Apologies

    1. Minutes of the last meeting (15 January 2019)

    1. Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda:-

    • Westside Link – Detailed design to be prepared, phase 1 (School St, Salop St, Skinner St) anticipated to begin implementation within 12 months.

    • No Limits to Health –

    1. Transforming Cities Fund / LCWIP / Better Streets Project

    1. Bikeshare Scheme update

    1. Wolves on Wheels – report and update on previously-raised issues

    1. Route signage and markings - general

    1. City Centre: Railway Drive/Station/Metro Works/

    1. A454 Eastern Gateway Consultation update

    1. A4123 update

    1. Cyclist training

    1. Sustrans

    1. Canals & Rivers Trust

    1. Any Other Business

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