Wolverhampton Cycle Forum
Draft Minutes
Thursday 3 May 2013, 6pm
Room G35, Aldersley High School, Barnhurst Lane, Wolverhampton


Present

Jennifer Cromie, Cllr Martin Waite, San Worrall Steve Poole, Chris Hopkins, Tim Philpot, Chris Terrell, Steve Young (later part of meeting)

1. Apologies John Harris, Sarah Shepherd, David Wilson, Alistair MacDonald, Julia Brant

2. Minutes of the last meeting (10 January 2013). These were agreed as a true record

3. Matters Arising

4. “What Matters Most” campaign.

This campaign, a collaboration between local authority road safety officers and road safety partnerships, has been launched in the Mercia Region. Developed using latest information on cyclist injury collisions, the campaign revolves around a website www.whatmattersmost.org.uk which presents both the cyclists’ and the motorists’ viewpoints about safe road use. It seeks to improve each group’s awareness of the other’s needs in a positive fashion.

Following a media launch, the website was promoted by the circulation of an AdVan around streets in all participating districts, distribution of posters. Evaluation of the campaign is to be carried out, and further phases developed.

5. Cyclist Training Report

Sarah Shepherd provided a report on progress of training schemes. In addition to regular level 1/2 Bikeability training in schools, there had been holiday courses over Easter and more were planned for Whitsun and Summer.

In addition 47 children had received Bikeability level 3 training which is the appropriate standard to equip them to make a wide range of on-road journeys by bike.

6. Cycle City Expo

This major cycling event was held in Birmingham the week before the meeting.

7. Local Sustainable Transport Fund (WCC)

This regional fund is being used to improve the network and promote travel by sustainable modes. In Wolverhampton this applies to the A41 and A4123 corridors. Key projects include safer cycling routes between Bilston and Wolverhampton centres. Employers and other large organisations in these corridors will be engaged and encouraged to promote sustainable travel

Employers will be offered grants to improve their sustainable travel facilities on completion of travel plans. Adult cyclist training will be offered, and businesses encouraged to implement Bike 2 Work schemes as WCC has done.

8. All-Party Parliamentary Report

This report was published recently. It recommends much of what was in the Times manifesto including:-

a. Widespread awareness raising of the needs of cyclists
b. Action to address Lorry/Cyclist conflicts
c. The role of speed limits in cyclist safety
d. The appointment of local cycling commissioners to champion cycling
e. Significant investment in safer infrastructure

The report advocated the creation of a critical mass of cyclists which would lead to fewer casualties

9. Metro Extension Proposal

A consultation on the proposed extension of the Metro in Wolverhampton to reach the train station has been launched by Centro. Views are welcomed.

10. City Centre Public Domain Developments

The proposals for this were amended in the light of widespread consultation and were then approved by the Council’s Resources Panel. Amendments to the basic principles include contraflow cycling in Queen Square, maintaining the integrity of Route 81 through the City. However, two-way cycling in Victoria Street was not part of the scheme finally approved.

A comprehensive review of the scheme as relating to cyclists was offered by Steve Young via the Wolves on Wheels website. There remains much detailed design to be done on the scheme and all Steve’s recommendations will be given full consideration in the development of the final designs.

11. Cycle City Ambition Grant Bid

In February DfT invited bids from cities to make transformational change to their cycling infrastructure. For the purposes of this grant fund the Black Country was considered a City. The deadline for bids was the end of April 2013 with decisions being made by June 2013 and the project to be delivered by the end of March 2015.

A joint bid was put in for funding to develop the cycling network in the Black Country. In view of the practicalities involved the best chance of success was deemed to be to base the bid on the canal towpath, so Canals & Rivers trust was a key partner in the bid.

Steve Young asked why there had been so little liaison with local cycling groups over the Black Country bid and identified the need for letters of support as an area where they could have helped. Tim Philpot replied that the Black Country bid had taken form at a very late stage and given that letters of support could be submitted after the deadline for the actual bid submission the priority had been simply to get a viable bid compiled.

12. Priorities for Cycling in Wolverhampton

It was understood that Wolves on Wheels were drafting a cycling strategy for Wolverhampton and this was awaited with some interest. At this stage however the draft was not in an appropriate state of development to be shared.

13. Sustrans Report

A length of the towpath in the Tettenhall area has now been much improved

Signing at Autherley Junction is still not satisfactory

There are now improved cycling links to Codsall

14. Wolves On Wheels Report

The most recent meeting of Wolves on Wheels was two weeks ago, the minutes are to be issued shortly

15. Canal & River Trust Report
New cycleable ramped access to the canal at Salop Street, Bradley, recently completed

Completing a new access to the canal at Bankfield Road, which includes a cycle wheeling channel. 

Wolverhampton City Council have also recently completed a ramped access leading to the canal at Dudley Street, Bilston,
 
Cycle counters are now in and operational on NCN 81 towpath at Bilston Road and also Oxley Moor Road.
 
Awaiting the return of the contractor to finish the wearing course on new towpath from Oxley Moor Road to Tettenhall Road.


16. National Bike Week

Owing to an absence of staff resources there are no specific events planned by the Council to celebrate National Bike Week


17. Any Other Business

i. Smestow Valley Path

Steve Poole advised that a length of this has been resurfaced by the Council using a surface of brick pieces on soil. This is proving difficult to cycle or push buggies on. It is supposed to wear down into a better surface. Can it be rolled to compact it further? Can the Forum monitor its state and use?
ii. Tettenhall Neighbourhood Plan

This is under development. It expresses a desire for safer cycling infrastructure particularly in Codsall Rd, Henwood Rd and Yew Tree Lane.

iii. Meeting location

No progress has been made in finding a city centre location for Cycle Forum meetings. It was requested we try meeting at Civic Centre again for the July meeting.
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