Wolverhampton Cycle Forum

West Midlands Cycle Training Centre, Aldersley High School, Barnhurst Lane, Wolverhampton

Minutes of Meeting held on 26th April 2012 @ 6.00pm


Present

Ric Bravery (RB) Wolverhampton City Council –Transportation
Sarah Shepherd (SS) Wolverhampton City Council -Transportation
Beccy Marston (BM) Cyclists’ Touring Club Cycle Champion
Chris Hopkins (CH) Wolverhampton City Council - Cycle Instructor
Lee Sicilia (LS) Wolverhampton City Council - Cycle Instructor
Bob Amer (BA) Local Resident
Julia Brant (JB) Wolves on Wheels (Chair for meeting)
Win Sutton (WS) Local Resident
John Harris (JH) British Waterways Board
Lesley Eagle (LE) Wolverhampton City Council
Steve Young (SY) Sustrans/ Cyclist
San Worrall (SW) Cyclist
Judith Heywood (JH) Cyclist
Enzo Beatrice (EB)
Samuel Henry (SH) Skyride

Before the meeting commenced Ric Bravery advised the Forum that he had a new job within the City Council and therefore would not be attending future meetings. (Tim Philpot, Section Leader Road Safety has since been identified as lead officer for the Cycle Forum).

1. Apologies

Jennifer Cromie (JC)
Paul Middleton (PM)
Marcus Asbury (MA) Wolverhampton City Council - Sports Development
David Wilson (DW) Wolves on Wheels/Sustrans
Pete Singer
Tim Oldham
David Holman (DH) Wolves on Wheels/ CTC
Derek Clark


2. Minutes of Last Meeting (26th January 2012)

Agreed as an accurate record.

3. Matters Arising

(i) Item 5 (i) – RB had spoken to the relevant officer on 26/04/12 and been advised that the remaining markings should be completed in the next few weeks.
(ii) Item 5 (ii) - the signage on NCN R81 is in the process of being altered.
(iii) Item 7. (i) City Centre Vision - speaker attending this Forum.
Item 7. (ii). RB has circulated link to West Midlands Local Sustainable Transport Fund Bid. http://www.centro.org.uk/LTP/LSTF.aspx
(iv) Item 7. (iii) RB has passed on requests re cycle parking at supermarkets.
(v) Item 7. (iv) i54 access on agenda.
(vi) Cycle Champions project has been extended to 30/09/12.
(vii) Item 9. JB has provided suggestions for discussion on behalf of WoW.
(viii) Item 11. (ii) Relevant signing regulations are under review.

4. City Centre Vision

LE from the Regeneration Service at Wolverhampton City Council gave an outline on the City Centre Vision.

LE advised that there is concern at the condition of the City Centre, in particular following the collapse of the Summer Row scheme. The City Centre is now a corporate priority.

There was a consultation on the Vision last autumn and responses were received on a number of issues including cycling.

LE circulated copies of two plans; one outlining development opportunities, the other opportunities for the public realm.

The City council is buying up a number of sites such as the Fox Hotel to support redevelopment.

A paper was agreed by the Council’s Cabinet on 21/02./12 outlining a set of principles to outline the Council’s approach to car parking. Only a third of City Centre car parks are owned by the City Council. Wolverhampton has the cheapest car parking of the top 20 cities in England and there are no plans to make it free.

A review of bus routes within the City Centre is to be part of the Vision.

Wolverhampton is a safe city with low crime rates but that is not the public perception.

The High Street & way people shop are changing and Wolverhampton needs to adapt.

Views received were being looked at as part of the plans. There were 200 individual responses of which 30-40 referred to cycling.

Of the main themes, parking & transport polarised views.

In questions & comments from the Forum, members made a number of key points:
Cycling needs to be looked at across the City, not just in the City Centre
The City Centre contains cross-city links for cyclists – they do not go round the ring road
there is however potential for more cycling to be permitted on the footways of the ring road
the canal towpaths also provide important access

LE offered to report back to the Forum on progress with the Vision in due course.

5. The Times ‘Cities Fit for Cycling’ Manifesto

PM had requested this item be on the agenda but was unfortunately unwell.

JB suggested this tied into the WoW proposed discussion on wider issues and the two could be discussed together in July. JB circulated a note which she had produced as a basis for discussion. It contains four main points and people were asked to take them away and think about them before the next meeting. The points are:
what are the main priorities in Wolverhampton for what we want to see happen?
over what time frame would it be realistic to expect them to happen?
what effort will we (cyclists, WCC and other organisations) have to put in to make them happen?
by what criteria will we know success has been achieved?

The following discussion raised a number of points including:
the need to highlight more cycle-friendly routes
there is a problem with poor cycling standards; a need for more adult cycle training
the need for improved infrastructure
poorly equipped cycles; they are sold without lights, mudguards etc
need for cyclist to be more visible to improve safety

Action: Members of the Forum were asked to go away consider the points which are raised by The Times’s manifesto and WoW in order to contribute to a wider discussion at the next Forum.

6. Major Schemes/ Initiatives

(i) West Midlands Local Sustainable Transport Fund Bid
RB advised that news of the outcome of the bid was now expected late May/ early June.

(ii) i54/ Vine Island/ Wobaston Road
RB advised that the routes into the site from the parallel bridleway and towpath either side of the site were for pedestrians only. He was still investigating provision of infrastructure to provide access to the site as discussed at the previous Forum.

(iii) Community Linking Places Fund
JH advised Sustrans had been awarded £8.5m to fund cycle links and was funding two BW schemes in the West Midlands, one of which is the towpath of the Staffs & Worcs canal from Hordern Road to Blaydon Road, though the funding may stretch to Tettenhall Road at Newbridge. This ties into the ramp at Hordern Road built by WREN. The other BW scheme in the West Mids is at Old Hill in Sandwell.

The Forum thanked JH & BW for the work they had undertaken to secure the funding.

Two issues regarding canals were raised:
1. WS – there is a maintenance issue at the brick ramps on the Birmingham Mainline, particularly at bridge no. 17.
2. BA – there is a lack of accesses between Horsley Fields Junction & Deans Road on the Wyrley & Essington which is a security issue if someone feels unsafe.

7. National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

RB briefed the Forum on this new policy document which has been issued by the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) and replaces all previous planning guidance.


8. Training Report

SS reported on Bikeability for January to April:

Cycle Training has taken a break for the winter months & started again at the end of February
Since then the following children have been trained to Bikeability standard: 110 to Level 1; & 253 to Level 2
There have been a number of cancellations in secondary schools & therefore low numbers
There have been two introduction to cycling days at Green Park School to enable them to use their own cycles
There were some courses over the Easter break but these were not widely supported
Level 3 training is being investigated for older pupils

9. Infrastructure Group Report

From last meeting:
(i) RB had spoken to the relevant officer on 26/04/12 and been advised that thefollowing markings should be completed in the next few weeks:
Signs at Molineux underpass
Broad Street junction, ring road – adjacent to Broad Street Car park and to BWB before railway bridge
Great Brickkiln Street/ ring road – lane markings completed either side, length in between lanes of ring road to be left unmarked
Bottom of Darlington Street at Chapel Ash Island
Worcester Street.
Action: Remaining markings still to be completed (RB)

(ii) Capital Programme for 2011/12:
NCN Route 81 signing pointing wrong way:
Action: RB advised this was in the process of being altered
Penn Road –work imminent
Oak Street/ Great Brickkiln Street – construction work completed, markings due to be completed shortly

(iii) DW had raised the issue of no Advanced Stop Lines being installed when resurfacing work was undertaken on Penn Road. He had contacted Chris Barker about the issue.

10. Marketing/ Promotions Report

Bike Week – there were no proposals for activities by WCC this year. WoW are to consider organising events(s).
There is a new TravelWise West Midlands website which includes links to WoW, Sustrans and other cycle information. See:
http://www.travelwisewestmids.org.uk/Wolverhampton-pg47.html

11. CTC Cycle Champions Project

BM reported:
The programme came to an end at the end of March and had been very successful
£10k extra funding had been secured each from CTC & WCC.
BM / CTC are looking at other funding sources
‘Short Breaks’ money has been secured again
The disability cycling group is still going though BM is now having to charge
CTC have bid to deliver cycling services should the West Mids LSTF bid be successful

JB offered support in bid-writing from WoW if required.


12. Wolves on Wheels Report

JB advised that the last meeting had discussed the strategic view of what cyclists want to see. WoW are happy to facilitate a discussion on how we get there. There could perhaps be a discussion at a future Forum.
Action: WoW to lead a discussion on cycling strategy at the July Cycle Forum

13. Sustrans Liaison

SY advised he had some notes on the cross-city route to pass on.

SY congratulated JH on the Community Linking Places funds awarded to BW for the Staffs & Worcs. He would pass on some detailed comments to JH.

SY advised the discussion was ongoing about about whether it was worth renumbering part of R81, either the section along the Birmingham Mainline Canal from Wolverhampton Station to Autherley Junction or the cross-City route leaving only one of those as the designated route.

SY also advised that the new bus stops for bus route no.1 on Lichfield Street are a hazard for cyclists

Action: RB to report Lichfield Street bus stops

14. Any Other Business

(i) SH advised that he had worked a lot with Skyride in Birmingham and asked whether there was potential to hold one in Wolverhampton. There was a discussion about the cost and need for significant support from the City Council. Skyride brought money with it to Birmingham which may not be possible in Wolverhampton.

(ii) WS advised that at a recent LNP meeting people were talking about cycling issues and requested that information about the Forum be provided to the LNPs to help publicise its existence.
Action: WCC to provide information to LNPs (RB)

(iii) LS advised that a new Community Interest Company, Cycle Actifit, had been formed with LS as a director and BM as a volunteer. It was a not-for-profit organisation which was offering training, events, Dr Bike activities etc. http://www.facebook.com/cycleactifit


13. Cycle Forum Meetings for 2012

All Thursdays at the Cycle Training Centre, Aldersley High School:
19 July
18 October


DOC can be downloaded here
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