Wolverhampton Cycle Forum
West Midlands Cycle Training Centre, Aldersley High School, Barnhurst Lane, Wolverhampton
Minutes of Meeting held on 19 July 2012 @ 6.00pm
Sarah Shepherd (SS) Wolverhampton City Council, Transportation
Beccy Marston (BM) Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) Cycle Champion
Chris Hopkins (CH) Wolverhampton City Council, Cycle Instructor
Bob Amer (BA) Local Resident
Julia Brant (JB) Wolves on Wheels (WOW)
Win Sutton (WS) Local Resident
Steve Young (SY) Sustrans/ Cyclist
San Worrall (SW) Cyclist
Sam Henry (SH) Skyride
Alistair Hopkins (AH) Wolves on Wheels
Paul Middleton (PM) CTC/Cyclist
C’llor Martin Waite (MW) Wolverhampton Council, Penn Ward
Jennifer Cromie (JC) Chair
Marcus Asbury (MA) Wolverhampton City Council, Sports Development
Terry Guy-Williams (TGW) Cyclist
David Wilson (DW) Wolves on Wheels
Tim Philpot (TP) Wolverhampton City Council, Transportation
David Holman (DH) Wolves on Wheels/ CTC
John Harris Canals & Rivers Trust (CRT)
2. Minutes of Last Meeting (26th April 2012)
Agreed as an accurate record.
3. Matters Arising
a. Maintenance of brick ramps on Birmingham Mainline canal towpath – referred to CRT
b. Lack of access to Wyrley & Essington Canal towpath – under consideration by CRT/WCC
c. Various signs and markings outstanding – now believed to be completed. Will Forum members advise if any not yet implemented please.
d. Lichfield St Bus Stops – These identified as causing hazard to cyclists. Advice from Safety Engineering Specialist is that no other configuration will accommodate coaches for Grand Theatre. However all of City Centre is being considered for regeneration.
4. Priorities for Cycling in Wolverhampton
At previous meetings two issues have been raised which have prompted the Forum to consider the strategic approach to cycling in Wolverhampton. These are i) WOW raised the possibility of developing a new Cycling Strategy for Wolverhampton from the ground up, and ii) The Times launched its Cycling Manifesto in response to escalating cyclist casualties particularly in London and other urban areas.
There was discussion of the WOW approach which included 4 questions put forward by JB. The importance of information and evidence of demand for cycling was recognised, but it was also acknowledged that this was labour- intensive and potentially unreliable given the nature of latent demand.
PM advanced the Times Manifesto as a campaign the Forum should embrace. TP gave brief description of the 8 points of the Manifesto and the issues which might influence their adoption by Highway Authorities. There was discussion about a reference to Highways Agency funding which TP agreed to investigate further.
It was agreed that a separate meeting would be convened to consider these issues. All Forum members should be invited to contribute to the meetings of this group.
5. Major Schemes and Initiatives
a. City Centre Vision. Further to a presentation by Lesley Eagle at the last meeting, the prospectus for regenerating the City Centre was published today (19 July). TP tabled copies of the printed document and undertook to forward a digital copy to the Forum membership. TP noted that there was no detailed highway plan in the Prospectus and advised that he would aim for the plan to be made available to Forum members for comment.
b. Local Sustainable Transport Fund. TP advised that the West Midlands had been successful in a bid for Government Funding and had been awarded approx. £33 million to enhance sustainable travel around a network of “corridors”, which in Wolverhampton were the A41 and A4123 from the City Centre to the south and east. This fund would be used for capital schemes such as highway improvements and revenue activities such as promotional and education/training initiatives. JB said it was important to achieve synergy between the different initatives that were in progress.
c. Cycle Improvement Fund. TP advised that the Government had announced that a national fund of £15 million would be made available for the improvement of cyclist casualty hotspots, typically junctions. Details of how this fund would be accessed are expected later in the year. There was discussion over how dangerous locations would be identified given that casualty figures did not provide clear evidence of danger hotspots. SY raised the Princess Street junction and suggested advanced stop lines were necessary.
d. Three Supermarket Proposals. Development of supermarkets at Raglan St, Royal Hospital Site and Stafford Street is under negotiation. The most advanced of these is Sainsburys at Raglan Street. TP was not clear whether final approval was granted but there had been consultation on various iterations of designs for the site over a number of years. AH advised that he had raised detailed questions about the proposals and asked whether these had been taken into account. TP undertook to check on these matters and report back. No information was available about the other two sites.
e. I54/Vine Island/Wobaston Rd. A plan of the proposed layout of Vine Island was tabled for discussion. TP advised that the only modification under consideration at that stage was a minor amendment to the point at which the northbound cycle lane accessed the footpath. DH raised 3 points regarding the plan.
Would the right turn for vehicles from Bee Lane be physically prevented or just banned?
Was there scope for any provision of crossing facilities on the Stafford Road to the north side of the junction
In view of the apparent limited deflection created for vehicles travelling southwards along the Stafford Road was there scope for the speed limit to be reduced to 30 mph on the southward approach?
TP undertook to look into these matters and report back
6. Sustrans Liaison
SY advised that Sustrans cycle routes could now be seen on Google Maps, although there was some question over the reliability of the information displayed. It was agreed that cyclists “riding the patch” should record variations between the actual routes and those displayed on Google.
7. Infrastructure Progress
TP tabled a plan of the proposed design for the Highfields Road/Dudley Street junction showing proposed advanced stop lines. The proposal met with approval.
TP also advised of the progress of installation of cycle parking facilities at various locations. Parking was proposed to be installed at Wednesfield Library (5 places) and Claregate Playing Field (6 places). A list of other locations where cycle parking was being considered was circulated. These were met with approval.
8. Marketing/ Promotions Progress
TP advised that the West Midlands Road Safety Partnership had run a bus-back campaign encouraging drivers to look out for cyclists.
SH told the Forum about SkyRide which takes place in Birmingham on August 19, and whether Wolverhampton could host a SkyRide in future. It was agreed to revisit this at a future meeting.
9. CTC Cycle Champions Project
BM provided a report which was circulated. The key issue is that the Cycle Champion project is nearing its end. In the absence of continuity funding the future of initiatives established by BM is in doubt.
10. Training Report
SS provided a report which was circulated. In addition to traditional Bikeability level 1 & 2 cyclist training we are now offering Level 3 training to school pupils. We will also have a presence at the City Show promoting Bikeability
11. Cycle Forum Meetings for 2012
Thursday 18 October at Aldersley High School