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Wolverhampton City Cycle Forum

 

Briefing Room 2, First Floor, Civic Centre

Minutes of Meeting held 20/02/08 @ 6.30pm

Present:

Cllr Cromie Wolverhampton City Council

Richard Gee Gee Squared Planning (Neptune Developers)

Paul Froggatt JMP Consultants (Neptune Developers)

Dave Clare Wolverhampton Friends of the Earth

Derek Clark Wolves on Wheels

David Wilson Wolves on Wheels

Dave Nicholls Wolves on Wheels

David Holman Wolves on Wheels

Louise Massey Wolverhampton City PCT

Ric Bravery Wolverhampton City Council

Pete Rollings Wolverhampton City Council

Marianne Page Wolverhampton City Council

Tim Phillpot Wolverhampton City Council

 

Apologies:

John Harris British Waterways

 

2. Minutes of Last Meeting (14th November 2007)

Accuracy:

5. Wildside Ramp – should read (2) Erect dismount signs

 

Matters Arising:

3. Pell Frishman/ i54. Discussed at separate meeting prior to Infrastructure Meeting 7/12/08. WoW have submitted separate comments.

4. Black Country Urban Park – Sustrans are investigating what elements of the unsuccessful project they can develop. To come back to Forum for discussion in future?

6. Cycle Training – PR to provide certificates of completion to DH and DN.

9. British Waterways have provided an update on their schemes:

- The new footbridge at Lock 17 on the Bham Canal has been completed.

- Wednesfield towpath improvements on the Wyr & Ess Canal have been completed.

- DDA compliant access from Ladymoor Road to the Bradley Arm is 95% completed.

- Access to the Staff & Worc Canal at i54 to be funded by AWM, commenced early Jan 08, due for completion April 08.

- Access at Deans Road Bridge to the Wyr & Ess due to start late Feb 08.

- Access of Wednesfield High to park across Wyr & Ess, a new ‘footbridge’ is progressing.

- Improvement proposals at Wightwick Bridge and Tettenhall Old Bridge are on-going pending finalisation of funding package.

9. Review of Terms of Reference deferred to next meeting.

3. Wolverhampton Interchange

Presentation from PF and RG (for Neptune Developments) and distribution of an information pack and feedback form to all members. All images contained within the presentation were conceptual, however size and massing of buildings shown is realistic.

 

The formal launch of the Interchange Project was Friday 15th Feb 2008. The development agreement has been signed and Neptune Developments will be submitting an Outline Planning Application prior to the end of June 2008. Final completion of the project estimated for 2013; at a total cost of £179million (£24m of which will be public money) and providing around 2000 new jobs.

 

The development comprises 2 hotels, offices, public space, retail, a new bus station and some residential units; along with refurbishment off the Queens Building. The development does not include digging out the filled in canal wharf and there will be no structures over the existing canal tunnel. New accesses to the canal will be provided at this location, along with a new footbridge at the Broad St Basin.

 

- A significant increase in the number and quality of cycle facilities is needed as part of this development.

- The developers should provide an estimate of cycle parking numbers, alongside estimates for car parking, retail space etcÂ…

- This development could contribute to demonstrating WolverhamptonÂ’s commitment to Cycling as part of a Cycle Demonstration Town Application (see item 4).

- Cycle parking should be a very VISIBLE statement and be in accessible locations.

- The demand for short and long stay parking needs to be determined to ensure the appropriate facilities are provided.

- This could be an appropriate location for a cycle centre / shop within the City.

- The station car park will be secure and perhaps appropriate for the long stay cycle parking.

- All office developments will have Travel Plans and staff cycle parking will be provided for businesses. ResidentsÂ’ cycle parking will be provided also.

- Routes to the station from other areas, not just the City Centre, should be considered e.g. Blakenhall.

- Better cycle access from Low Level Station needed.

- PCT should be consulted, LM provided contact details.

 

PF and RG will return to a future meeting to discuss further details prior to submission of the Outline Planning Application. This date is to be confirmed with RB.

4. Cycle Demonstration Towns

Wolverhampton submitted a bid in the 1st round, which was unsuccessful. There is a 2nd round expected, which Wolverhampton have expressed interest in applying for. The high expectations of Cycling England have deterred many Local Authorities from making applications, and it will be hard for WCC to match fund and provide the resources to fulfil what is required.

 

WCC would like the Cycle ForumÂ’s support in exploring the potential for a further bid. This would require WCC support from the highest level and allocation of significantly greater resources than presently devoted to cycling. It is proposed to seek political approval to establish a Working Group of senior decision makers within the LA, to further this application and the associated works. WCC needs to show a commitment to cycling and the feasibility of this application needs to be thoroughly investigated before moving forward.

 

The Cycle Forum offered their support for the work.

 

5. CTC Cycle Champions

CTC have made a verbal offer of the post. If appointed the staff member should be in post by 1st April and will sit within WCC’s Road Safety Team.

 

This is not a general cycling officer, their role will be to assist hard to reach groups and develop the community skills for continued promotion of cycling. Wolverhampton has been selected as a suitable location based on the demographic profile of its residents.

6. Infrastructure Group Report

Minutes from the last meeting (07/12/07) to be circulated.

- Alternative surfacing for Wildside Ramp is being looked into, and will be on the agenda at the next infrastructure meeting.

- The City centre cycle parking proposals will be implemented before the end of this financial year.

- The option of allowing 2 way cycling in the City Centre pedestrian zone (such as Dudley Street) outside the hours of restricted access is being explored.

- John Fairchild will present an outline infrastructure programme for future years at the next meeting.

- RB provided a brief update on the implementation of various schemes, details of which are contained within the infrastructure meeting minutes.

- Cycle parking in Merryhill will be provided outside the Chinese take away on Coalway Road.

Friends of Bantock Park have concerns over the proposed Finchfield cycle route and there is some confusion over the scheme. This needs to be presented to them properly.

7. Training Report

PR has almost completed process of Cycle Instructors being formally employed by WCC. Cllr Cromie is now a trained instructor – congratulations!

8. Marketing / Promotions

Cycle Maps are now limited in number. Sandeep Aheer is taking the lead on updating and improving the routes. David Holman has offered his assistance with corrections and would prefer to do this in regular stages. Proof reading alone takes a great deal of time

PR is looking into the idea of 'Branding’ cycling in Wolverhampton.

9. Wolves on Wheels Report

Ranger signs can be erected on the currently incomplete sections of NCN 81 (Dudley & Staffordshire).

WoW has participated in the Rights of Way improvement plan consultation.

A review of cycling on Tramways in the City is needed, particularly the A41, as it is not safe. Chris Barker has previously agreed to arrange a site visit. There is also limited space between the metro running and the kerb; this and cycle routes to avoid slippery rails should be marked on the bike map.

A push button control for cyclists on the cycle lane at Wednesfield Road/ Culwell Street has been installed and is now open. Thanks from WoW to Bob Willis at UTC.

10. Any Other Business

Molineux subway needs refurbishment and Gwyn James (WCC) to be added to the circulation list for the minutes. (Note – he was already on the list).

New Summer Row –

There are issues with the cycle parking provision for this development. WCC would like the support of the Cycle Forum in this matter.

- Cleveland Street should remain open to cyclists

- Bell St parking should be more visible, located in the main pedestrian zone where more conveniently located and provide a decent number of racks.

- The Taxi Rank at the top off Cleveland Street is not an appropriate location for cycle parking which would be better located within the pedestrian areas with a greater level of provision.

- Parking in front of the cinema should be provided.

- Parking adjacent to the pedestrian accesses to the development from Temple Street should also be provided, both around the Atrium Cafe/ Worcester Street junction and Bond Street.

 

The link from Penn Road Island to the City Centre is valued by cyclists, and whilst the forum members appreciate the need to alter the arrangements at this location, a suitable alternative must be provided.

Members of the Cycle Forum disagree with the removal of the proposed Advanced Stop Lines and consider that they should be retained. Despite the 20mph speed limit in the City Centre it is safer for cyclists to be visible at the front of traffic when signals change.

 

11. Future Meetings

Thank you to Cllr Cromie for chairing the Forum and for her support for cycling.

 

Dates of future meetings:

• Fri 14/03/08 Infrastructure – 2pm, Heantun House

• Wed 7/05/08 Forum – 6:30pm, Civic Centre

• Fri 20/06/08 Infrastructure – 2pm, Heantun House

• Wed 23/07/08 Forum - tba

• Fri 12/09/08 Infrastructure – 2pm, Heantun House

• Wed 22/10/08 Forum - tba

• Fri 12/12/08 Infrastructure – 2pm, Heantun House

12. Postscript

WCC are installing three permanent cycle counters to assist in monitoring cycle flows for the Local Transport Plan (LTP). There are to be one on each direction at the Chapel Ash end of Tettenhall Road. Plus one on NCR81 in Whitmore Reans in the off-road section of the park between Newhampton Road and Evans Street.

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