The Combermere Arms
90 Chapel Ash
Wolverhampton WV3 0TY
Wednesday 10th July 2013
6.30 pm


1. Agreement of Chair for meeting
The meeting was chaired by Julia Brant; minutes were taken by David Wilson

2. Attendance and Apologies for Absence
Attendance: Julia Brant, Chair (JB); David Wilson, Minutes (DW); Chris Terrell (CT); Steve Young (SY); Steve Spencer (SS); Mike Jenkins MJ); Mike Hughes (MH).
Apologies received: David Holman, Rob Marris, Sheena Jenkins.

3. Minutes of last meeting: Accuracy and Matters Arising
The minutes of 17 April 2013 were agreed a true record.
Matters arising:
Para 3: JB had spoken to Martin Waite on WCC City Centre proposals. He had promised to pass any recent information via Tim Philpot at the next forum (18 July 2013).
Para 6: DW had forwarded new members’ e-mail addresses to JB on 27 April. These may not have been received. Action: DW to re-send.
Para 8: DW had e-mailed MJ on proceeding with WREN contacts.

4. Notification of Any Other Business
Items from Europe (SS)
Metro extension consultation; Centro Cycling Charter; Penn Road island and other issues (SY).

5. WOW response to city centre proposals
CT had raised a number of concerns at the forum on 2 May. In particular, cycle lanes on pavements (such as Queen Square/Lichfield Street) do not provide properly constructed routes usable for commuting, but appear to be concessions which are not very practical for through travel. The surface quality is not good and is likely to be hazardous in winter. Pavements turn into compacted snow and ice, whereas the carriageway is usually gritted. Links to cross-city routes beyond the ring road are poor (such as under the railway bridge on Wednesfield Road).

6. WOW Strategic Document for Wolverhampton
JB had not taken the document further since the last meeting. However, the emerging developments on the city centre were providing new material. The strategic document will take a more robust approach, demanding that WCC develop a coherent and complete strategy for cycling rather than an assemblage of minor concessions. A cycling officer is essential to achieving the necessary focus.
SS commented that the Ramblers Association in previous exercises of this kind had managed to change local authorities’ outlooks by “shaming” them with evidence of their performance record. SY cited the recent Black Country Ambition Bid (from 4 authorities led by Wolverhampton) as an example of a poor quality effort.

7. Reports:
Cycle Forum: The meeting noted that CT’s input to the forum on 2 May was made on an individual basis. There had been no minutes from the May forum, which was seen as regrettable. JB would e-mail Tim Philpot on this matter, and DW had already done so.
Ranger group: SY needed to delegate some tasks to other rangers in the group to ease his workload. DW suggested that Sustrans’ system of “roles” within a group could be used to achieve this, for example the role of signing champion.
Treasurer: SS reported that the bank account had seen no transactions since 31 March, so the balance was still £502.38. The meeting approved payments for Cyclenation renewal (£20) and CTC affiliation renewal (£50). SS also advised that some banks were starting to impose charges for depositing money, but Unity Trust had indicated they had “no intention” of doing this at present.
Membership: DW reported that all but 4 of the subscriptions due had now been paid, and passed to SS the sum of £31 in cash and cheques for the most recent of these. The remaining 4 members who were not responding to subscription requests had now been classified as “lapsed”. DW presented a provisional list of headings for an information sheet which new members would receive on joining, and invited input for content. Some ideas were provided by those present. Any further contributions will be welcome.
Website and publicity: SY reported that no further action had been taken on moving to a new host. The number of followers on Twitter and Facebook was continuing to grow. SY had posted some new content. It might be desirable to use Twitter to encourage followers to make stronger comments on the state of cycling in Wolverhampton.

8. Correspondence:
None to report.

9. cancelled (error: not intended for agenda)
10. Staffs & Worcs Towpath and Railway Walk / Cooperation with WREN
MJ reported that a wheeling ramp on the steps connecting the canal, Hordern Road and railway levels was imminent. This would provide further possibilities for access by cycles. There had been a meeting in mid-June between Sustrans, WREN and users to obtain feedback on the recent improvements. This had not included WOW. Possibilities for future involvement were discussed, such as carrying out counts of users (of all modes). Action: MJ would draft a letter to WREN (George Reiss) to be sent via Chair.

11. Any other Business
Items from Europe: SS presented materials from his recent travels. These included: A French leaflet aimed at motorists on sharing roadspace with cyclists; reports from the “Bordeaux Magazine” on the success of participation schemes for citizens in local affairs; and a newspaper article from Cologne of the efforts by the ADFC (German cycling organization) to improve the attitude of police to cycling and safety.
Metro extension consultation (SY): Personal responses had received no replies beyond routine acknowledgments.
Centro Cycle Charter (SY): WOW should be informed when this becomes available.
Improvements at Fighting Cocks junction: SY would raise this at the next Forum.
Freedom of Information Request to WCC: SY had submitted one recently, aimed at Highways and other departments. Issues included: Penn Road Island works (cost, environmental impact, future proposals); Targets given in WCC’s 2005 cycle strategy document (progress towards achievement?)
Note: FOI requests can be made by the public to City Direct which can be found on WCC’s website.

10. Next regular meeting
Wednesday 10th October 2013. AGM and regular campaign meeting. Venue to be announced.

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