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

Placeholder until minutes obtained.

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)

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.


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

Wolverhampton Cycle Forum

Notes of Meeting

Tuesday 15 January 2019, 6pm

Committee Room 5, Civic Centre,

St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton

Present: Mike Jenkins (dep. Chair), Julia Brant, Bob Amer, David Wilson, Rob Marris, Jon Rice, Tim Philpot

  1. Apologies CMW, JPJ

  1. Minutes of the last meeting (18 October 2018)

  1. Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda –

- Westside Link – cycle lockers shown on plan non-existent. This is acknowledged and will be mentioned but has no significant bearing on the proposals

- Market cycle parking – covered parking has been installed but access to some spaces is difficult when the nearest car parking space is occupied. Also the parking is on a raised block which is unhelpful for access. TP advised he had referred these matters to the Planners but not received a reply

- British Cycling meeting – With reference to a meeting convened by British Cycling’s co-ordinator Lesley Easter, MJ asked why Wolves on Wheels (WOW) had not been involved. TP advised that those invited to the meeting were all offering or contemplating some kind of organised service to cyclists, and that the purpose of the meeting was to share information on these services and look for opportunities to collaborate.

- Meccano Bridge Improvement – the matter of maintenance of the Meccano Bridge which carries the Smestow Valley path over the canal had previously been raised. TP advised that a length of the path from Compton up to and including the bridge deck had been improved. There remains a need to carry out maintenance works on the bridge structure, and this has been raised with the Council’s highway structures engineer.

  1. No Limits To Health Cycling Initiative – Presentation deferred to future meeting. MJ recommended that any new initiative seek to integrate with existing provision e.g. Bicycle User Groups, and the Stroke Rehabilitation project in West Park.

  1. Bikeshare Scheme

The Bikeshare (cycle hire) scheme is about to be launched. The launch will be symbolic and based on installation of 5 docks around the city centre, at the Civic Centre, the Market, The Way youth zone, St John’s Retail Park and Sainsbury’s (Ring Road). The intention is to carry out further phases of consultation during the spring and install more docks across the city and ultimately throughout the West Midlands.

MJ suggested a map of dock locations would be useful. TP advised that the locations were on the nextbike app. They would appear on an updated Cycling and Walking map and probably in publicity for a more substantial launch. MJ asked for WOW to be informed consultation when further rounds of consultation took place. RM asked why there was no hire dock at the rail station. TP advised that there was every intention for a hire dock to be placed at the station but that under current circumstances, there as no location that would remain suitable for the whole period of the station rebuild and the metro extension. A dock location will however be identified at the earliest opportunity.

  1. Wolves on Wheels

Active Travel Strategy (ATS) – WOW has concerns that Council as an organisation has not assimilated the ATS in many areas. Examples quoted were:-

  • Cycle parking at the Market used for stacking of rubbish bags on bin collection day.

  • Cycling images and references not included in corporate documents where they would be appropriate (see recent press release on Air Quality and Government Grants)

  • Poor ongoing maintenance of cycle route markings, and examples of poorly-designed and marked infrastructure.

There was a discussion about the importance of explicit signage and markings with particular reference to the Princess St/Market St/Garrick St contraflow route. There was also discussion of the Council’s inspection and maintenance of the cycling infrastructure.

WOW expressed approval for the WM Police “Close pass” operation and recommended it be extended to Wolvehampton.

  1. City Centre:

Railway Drive/Station/Metro Works - These works are expected to continue for up to 2 years. There will continue to be disruption to cycling movements on Railway Drive, and possibly the temporary parking arrangements. Eventually the southern footpath across the bridge will be dedicated to cycling only, linking to shared use in fromt of i10. Discussions are ongoing regarding the provision of a cycle hub in the vicinity of the station and fulfilment of the Station Transport Assessment aspiration for a total of 200 cycle parking spaces at/near the station.

Westside – Project has been delayed owing to market forces.

  1. A454 Eastern Gateway Consultation update – Consultation is now concluded. The results will be reported back to Cabinet with recommendations. Subject to approval, a bid will be made for funds to deliver the scheme.

  1. A4123 update – A multi-modal study of the whole route between Birmingham and Wolverhampton was carried out and draft proposals including continuous cycling provision were developed. The project has been unavoidably delayed by approx. 2 months. Consultation on proposals is now anticipated around March.

  1. Cyclist training - A total of 1307 cyclists were trained to Bikeability level 2 and 300 to level 3

  1. Sustrans – Sustrans have completed a review of their National Cycle Network. https://www.sustrans.org.uk/sites/default/files/file_content_type/ncn_review_report_paths_for_everyone.pdf

The report will eventually be available online

  1. Canals & Rivers Trust – works on towpath improvements between Coseley and Oldbury are now complete although contractors will need to return in the spring to add surface dressing between Coseley and Watery Lane Tipton when surface temperatures allow.  The route is open and usable from Wolverhampton to Birmingham, with a signed bypass route for the Coseley Tunnel.  Some sweeping will be needed to the surface dressing in due course. 

New directional signage has been installed by Wolverhampton City Council on the Wyrley & Essington Canal funded by European Regional Development Fund. 

NOTE: These are a compilation of Julia's and 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 15/01/19
Civic Centre 6 - 8 pm

Those present:

Tim Philpott (WCC Transportation)
Dave Clare (Wolverhampton FoE)
Bob Amer, Win Sutton, Lissa Evans, Rob Marris, Patrick Bentley (Residents)
Julia Brant, David Wilson, Jon Rice, Mike Jenkins (Wolves on Wheels)

Cllr. Martin Waite
Sam Hendry

3.Matters Arising
Westside Link Consultation: MJ pointed out errors in the map issued as part of the presentation (lockers shown at station & Civic) TP was aware of these.
Railway Path resurfacing: BA noted that concrete had been added to cills of the bridge offering some protection in the short term. MJ reported the bridge deck iteself had been tarmacced; from Alpine Way to Meccano Bridge is loose chippings and drainage channels added in the cutting section. LE had ridden this stretch since the work and was impressed with result.
Community Cycling Meeting: TP stated that this was between organisations who had personnel employed in roles of cycle promotion; WOW had not been deliberately excluded. JB asked that we should recieve invites as we could offer a 'users view'.


4.'No Limts to Health' Iniative
This was to have been presented by SH. TP said the invitation would be repeated for next forum. TP added that SH was a 'keen individual' who had obtained funding and set up a family orientated cycling activity in Cannon Hill Park and had offered to set up a similar scheme locally (he is a Wolverhampton resident.


5.Bikeshare scheme.
Consultion on 'pilot' dock locations took place, TP stated that 5 sets catering for 50 bikes will go live 1/2/19 (Piazza, West Park, The Way, St John's Retail Park, Market). NextBike's plans are eventually to have 90 dock locations in Wolverhampton; CoWC are currently assessing 150 potential locations for suitability and will go to consultation in March. If subsequently found necessary the docking stations can be moved. Bikes are 'sturdy' (20kg) with 8 gears. No charge to CoWC; scheme is funded from subscription, sponsorship and adverts. W.M. Mayor is very keen on the scheme and cycling in general.
MJ asked to be kept up to date in order to publicise on WOW webpage.


6.'Cycling Awareness'
MJ was concerned that 2 (3?) years on from adoption of the Active Travel Scheme by CoWC it did not seem to be promoting awareness of cycling generally within the Council; he quoted examples of press releases which did not mention cycling when it was relevant (leaf sweeping) and use of cycle stands by street cleaners and depositing points for rubbish bags. He asked what examples others had encountered and the best way to challenge. General feeling was that pothole repair was more of a concern.


7.City Centre.
2 years of road work disruption projected.
Railway Station.
Good quality cycle hub at station was still the aspiration.
Railway Dr.
The pavement on the South side of the bridge would be cycle only as far as in front of i10. TP confirmed that there would be no prohibition on cycling on the road alongside the tramlines but that this could not be signed.
RM felt that the cycle path along Market St/Princess St was not intuitive and arrows in addition/instead of the bike symbols on the ground would be beneficial.
No progress as developers awaiting sufficient interest from businesses. This is likely to delay any work on the Westside Link.


8.A454 Eastern Gateway
Cabinet approval in a couple of months should enable bid application to proceed. Tricky set of conflicts to resolve.


Delayed by 2 months; forthcoming consultation around March. This entailed cycling facilities along most of length of A4123 Wton - Bham.


10. Cyclist training report will be included in official minutes.


11.Wolves on Wheels report
Wolves on Wheels made a group response to CoWC's consultation on the Westside Link proposals and there was at least one individual response to the consultation on BikeShare dock locations.
WOW will continue to post (on Facebook and webpage) information on developments of interest to local cyclists (eg resurfacing of Railway Path) as from the response there is clearly a demand for it.


Complete review of NCN undertaken. Aims to increase use, and improve quality of path (eg review barriers).


13. Canals & Rivers Trust report. Towpath is now surfaced (tarmac) from Wolverhampton to Birmingham (ERDF funded). This was generally welcomed; with some reservations on the use of towpaths: getting out of the canal if fallen in (BA), fast cyclists coming round blind bends (WS).


RM asked about painted symbol renewal on (shared) cycle use paths, pointing out deficiencies due to degraded paint markings.

Wolverhampton Cycle Forum

Notes of meeting

Thursday 18 October, 6pm

Committee Room 5, Civic Centre,

St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton


Present: Cllr Martin Waite, Carol Sutton*, Ruth Taylor*, TP, NS, MJ, BA

(*for items 1-2 only)


  1. Apologies: Cllr Paul Sweet, Lissa Evans, David Wilson

  1. Westside Link Consultation

Westside Link is a public realm scheme to improve connection through the City Centre between the Transport Interchange and the Westside site. The Council is consulting on phases 1 and 2 as shown in the brochure. Phase 1 proposes for Victoria St to have the roadway completely removed, new paving and rationalisation of street furniture and for Skinner Street, Salop Street and School Street to be traffic calmed. Phase 2 proposes for Lichfield Street/Queen Square to have the roadway completely removed from Princess St to Victoria Street and for Darlington St to be reduced to one lane vehicle traffic outbound with contraflow cycle lane. The traffic-free areas would have street furniture clustered to one side of the street, so creating a clear passage with a contrasting surface for people with impaired vision. The arrangement would also create a wide area where pedestrians and cyclists would share space. Consideration would be given to extending this arrangement into Dudley Street, which currently does not permit cycling.

Differing views were expressed about the proposal for pedestrians and cyclists to share space. The situation was confused by an image in the brochure of a cyclist cycling in the “visually impaired” strip. It was questioned how users would know what the strip was for. CS advised that local training for visually impaired people would include this, and there would be signs at the start and finish alerting other users to its function and to respect it.

Concerns were raised about the absence of a designated route for cycling. On one hand it was seen that not demarcating cycle routes could result in unpredictable behaviour by cyclists and would fail to legitimise the presence of cyclists who might be considered unwelcome. On the other hand the view was expressed that most cyclists would react responsibly to an environment with heavy pedestrian flow and would cycle with due caution according to circumstances. It was also noted that where cycle routes pass through pedestrianised areas, pedestrians tend to be oblivious of cyclist movements. MJ advised that whether there is a designated surface for cyclists or not, common sense is to treat it as fully shared. NS suggested that similar arrangements in Coventry had resulted in cyclists behaving in an unpredictable fashion. All agreed that rogue cyclists could bring the arrangement into disrepute. BA suggested policing be used to deter bad behaviour by cyclists. CMW advised that policing didn’t make a difference in terms of number of casualties which is a key determinant of Police activity.

Carol and Ruth were thanked for their attendance and invited Forum members to put forward their comments either on the comment sheets they left or through the web page for the consultation. http://investwolverhampton.com/westsidelink/

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

The minutes were reviewed

  1. Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda

    1. Royal Hospital – Outline planning approval has now been given based on the application submitted but the road layout has not been agreed and matters such as cycle parking remain to be resolved to our satisfaction.

    1. MJ observed mixed views about cycle parking at the new Market site. Some views had been taken on board and it was good that it was covered. However it had been installed on a raised block which required lifting bikes, and it was difficult to access some spaces.

    1. Air Quality Standard Compliance – The Black Country Authorities have carried out a feasibility study to identify and evaluate options to address poor air quality. This is part of a West Midlands regional response to DEFRA. The primary recommendations of this exercise relate to traffic signal optimisation and use of new technology to minimise bus emissions. BA commented that in his view the tunnels on the approach to New Street Station had the most polluted air in the region because of holding diesel powered trains in confined spaces. NS asked if taxi engines were included in the study. CMW advised there was a move towards an electric taxi fleet, with grants being secured for charging points in the city centre.

    1. A4123 Birmingham New Road – Indicative proposals for cycling facilities were shown at the July Forum Meeting. It is anticipated there will be a consultation exercise early in 2019 when plans of proposals will be publicly available.

    1. Velo 2019 - Route and date (Sunday 12 May) for this are now set. The route takes in mainly Birmingham, Solilhull and Warwickshire. Places are now sold out but the organisers invite people to volunteer. See the Velo website for further information

    1. Wheels for All – Lesley Easter has worked with Cycle Projects to prepare a bid for a 1-year trial of this inclusive cycling initiative, using Aldersley Stadium as a Black Country centre. Various potential partners are now being approached for funding.

    1. ESIF bid – The bid for funding to place solar-powered route markers on towpaths is currently being assessed. We are awaiting the outcome.

  1. A454 Eastern Gateway Consultation

A consultation is on-going regarding options to improve movement of people along the A454 Willenhall Road. TP has worked with consultants to ensure the needs of cyclists and pedestrians are taken into account. Four options have been presented for consideration, involving different levels of provision for cycling. Plans of the proposals were well received. Forum members wishing to comment should visit the webpage. https://wolverhampton.moderngov.co.uk/mgConsultationDisplay.aspx?id=129&RPID=501724235&cp=yes

  1. Smestow Valley path

This path which runs between Aldersley and North Dudley provides a valuable opportunity for walking and cycling both for leisure and utility journeys. However, the path surface varies enormously in quality and suffers from poor drainage in places making it unpleasant to use at certain times of the year. Funding has been secured to provide a hard surface and drainage measures from the access point at Alpine Way for a distance of about 600m up to and including the Meccano Bridge. Most of this section is in a cutting and therefore prone to waterlogging. The work will be carried out in the next 2-3 months. In addition, an informal path connecting it to Windmill Crescent in the vicinity of Smestow and Castlecroft Schools is being surfaced. It should be noted that this path is not designated for cycling. CMW asked if you could get to i54 off-road from this route, the answer was yes, by switching to the towpath and following the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal northwards.

There was a discussion about the structural condition of the Meccano Bridge. BA advised that the bridge may need specialist welding to be carried out. TP advised a structural survey had been carried out which indicated remedial work would be needed in the next 5 years. This would be a costly project but one which is needed to preserve the integrity of the path and keep the bridge as a local feature.

  1. Railway Drive/Station/Metro Works

Work is now proceeding to extend the metro line along Railway Drive to the station. It is still the intention to designate the southern footpath as for cyclists only for the length of the bridge, and to link it to shared use paths either side. The station demolition/rebuild is also now in progress.

  1. Bikeshare

Work has been undertaken to map docking stations for BikeShare in Wolverhampton and Coventry. Following a consultation exercise it is anticipated the scheme will go live some time in the Spring of 2019.

  1. Cycling and Walking Investment Plan (LCWIP)

Wolverhampton has been engaged with the rest of the Combined Authority in development of an investment plan for improvement of the regional walking and cycling infrastructure. This has been aided by a government grant. The plan, which is nearing completion, identifies the cycling priorities for Wolverhampton as being the A4123 Birmingham New Road, A454 City Centre to Walsall, and A4124 Wednesfield Road. Bilston centre is identified as a key walking zone for improvement. All the above have been audited and opportunities for improvement identified in each case. The primary purpose of the LCWIP is to show a strategic approach to investment, so to improve the likelihood of securing funding in future. NS asked if the plan connects to surrounding counties. TP replied yes as appropriate e.g. Stafford Road. CMW mentioned that the Public Health service will be putting people in schools to encourage active travel.

  1. Community Cycling Meeting

British Cycling convened a meeting of agencies engaged in cycling promotion in Wolverhampton. It is clear that there is substantial activity and could be potential for more through collaboration.

  1. Cyclist training - April 2018/ March 2019 Bikeability Figures

Funded places                                               Delivered

Bikeability L1           720                                   571

Bikeability L2          1307                                 828

Bikeability L3           300                                   198

Learn to Ride          220                                   49

Due to the successful implementation of the Learn to Ride Bikeability module for all ages of cyclist we have had additional funding granted to deliver 220 places from 120 places. In addition to this we now have an extra 73 places for level 3 training taking the total places to 300.

With the transfer of Bikeability control moving from Steer Davis Gleave to the Bikeability Trust we are seeing a move of more stringent controls and assessments to standardise and improve the quality of Bikeability delivery. From January to March, the Trust will support schemes like our own and instructors preparing to use the new National Standard and associated delivery guides from Easter, when they will replace the current National Standard and delivery guides.

  1. Wolves on Wheels

We continue to alert our supporters to matters of local and national relevance to cycling. Individuals have made responses to the government's consultation on new cycling offences and we have written to Sainsbury's concerning the desirability of cycle parking at the front of the Ring Rd St Marks store.

Although we continue to attract a large following of supporters as well as followers on facebook and twitter it is becoming apparent that enthusiasm for face-to-face meetings is waning so we may have some rethinking to do on our methods of operation in the future

  1. Any Other Business

    1. Decorative mileposts – TP advised that some mileposts put in by Sustrans along NCN5 in Walsall as part of a national millennium initiative have recently been renovated and look very attractive. TP suggested it would be good to build on this idea with others on different routes around the NCN e.g. on NCN81.

    1. Disabled access to cycle routes – TP is engaging with disabled riders of recumbents and trikes in Walsall over access arrangements to cycle paths. There is concern that measures put in to prevent anti-social behaviour also make these routes inaccessible to disabled riders.

    1. Bus station cycle parking – The cycle lockers at Wolverhampton’s main bus station are being replaced by Sheffield stands. The lockers have been difficult to manage and usage has been limited.

    1. MJ noted that in Princess St and Garrick St the green surfacing on the contraflow cycle lane had started to crack.

    1. MJ also reported that he believed there should be an “except cyclists” plate on the “no right turn” signage for road users approaching the signals at the junction of Lichfield St and Princess St along Lichfield St going east.

The next Forum meeting will be on January 15th 2019

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