September 2004 News

Personalised Travel Plans 

Dear Cllr Jaspal #2 

Dear Cllr Jaspal #1 

Swelling Cllr Jaspal's post bag 

Major new planning applications - Goodyears and the Shopping Quarter 

Wolves on Wheels Events calender. 

Annual General Meeting 

Carver Marathon Cycle Ride - this Sunday


Personalised Travel Plans 

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Wolverhampton City Council is trying to introduce personalised travel plans by first surveying 400 households in Tettenhall using consultants. The council has bid for the money to carry out this pilot exercise so it's not general funds. You may have seen the stink that was kicked up by a vocal minority in Tettenhall who made news in the Express and Star and miraculously the Daily Telegraph. Cllr Yardley is the main opponent of the plans. WoWcc is interested in any developments that make cycle training for adults more widely available but first letters had to be written to the two newspapers to put the record straight. Below is the text of a letter to the DT which is very similar to the letter published in the E&S. D Holman


I was dismayed to see your article on 03/09/2004 called '£60,000 on riding lessons? On your bike, drivers tell council'. 

The figure of £60000 for Adult Cycle training is simply wrong. I had heard about the personalised travel planning trial scheme when it was discussed at the Wolverhampton City Cycle Forum and made further enquiries to the officers. I now know that the promotion of cycling is only a minor element of this project. Just £500 out of the £60,000. This sort of project is perfectly normal elsewhere in the UK and personal travel plans are created by e.g. Travelwise in Nottinghamshire. I'm sure if the shopkeepers and councillor Yardley were surveyed they could quickly turn everything down and other could volunteer instead. Or do they just want to wait for gridlock on our local roads ?

With regards to the merits of cycle promotion there is evidence that many adults would like to cycle but are deterred by traffic levels and the fear of the dangers of cycling. In fact statistics show that the health benefits outweigh the dangers 20 to 1, increasing the life expectancy of those who take up regular cycling. My family find it the most convenient way of travelling virtually door to door around Wolverhampton. So do most of my friends.

I therefore believe that the city council is to be commended in offering training for those who wish to return to cycling. There is a huge difference between saying ‘I’m an adult who knows how to ride a bike’ and goes for a wobble along Valley Park and a confident, vehicular cyclist. Few parents at present ( and decreasing numbers in the past two generations) pass on vehicular cycling skills to their children like my own father did for my brother and I. 

Wolverhampton can't engineer its way out of a shortage of people who choose to cycle for utility trips by building cycle-friendly infrastructure on every road so must train willing volunteers – people who may come forwards through initiatives like personalised travel planning. True - we should get the National Cycle Network Route 81 and the Cross-city route in 12 months if WCC gets its finger out, plus some better designed junctions, but the cycle network is the road network and new and returning cyclists deserve all the help they can get to learn how to thrive on it.

Such training involves assessing people's confidence and experience in cycling on the road and providing advice on the safest way to handle traffic, approach junctions, positioning and negotiation. John Franklin’s book Cyclecraft published by The Stationary Office covers the skills in question. 

I would suggest all other road users would rather see a visible and confident cyclist who makes clear their intentions than one riding nervously against the kerb whose next move cannot be anticipated. If we get large increases in utility cycling here then, just as Central London is finding out, we could also see large drops in road accidents. Isn’t that worth having ?

David Holman 

Campaign Officer of Wolves on Wheels Cycling Campaign 


Dear Cllr Jaspal #2 

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

A recent letter from WoWcc campaign officer David Holman :-

29 August 2004
Dear Cllr. Jaspal,

I would like to draw your attention to the plans on display on the second floor of the civic centre for the proposed redevelopment of the Goodyear factory site. I only had fifteen minutes to look at the drawings mostly last Friday whilst my five year old son remained attentive ! It’s good that Goodyear are planning a future. I’ve always hoped that the roads within the factory grounds would open up in such a way that they could be added to the City Cycle Network. The A449 is a major barrier to cycling for all but the most experienced cyclists and the Goodyear island is a high speed peril with hardly any sightlines. 

The big idea is to be able to ride to and from Church Road, Oxley (itself easily accessed from Wood Lane, Low Hill) all the way to the city centre on traffic calmed or traffic-free routes, by going from there through ‘Wingfoot Park’ and the factory to either Bushbury Lane or Greenwood Road. From the Bushbury Lane entrance , riders would be directed to the Science Park. Coxwell Avenue in the Science Park has a connection to the Birmingham Main Canal Towpath. This short footpath link is overgrown at present with the rose thorns barring the way. The 21 Locks are on the route of National Cycle Network Route 81. NCN81 was, I assume, the subject of your very welcome pledge to provide a ‘Cycle Lane’ to link the city centre to Codsall printed in the Chronicle on 5 August. Details of the entire towpath route, problems and opportunities for links and work required to make it fit to be part of the National Cycle Network are, incidentally, detailed in our survey in the documents section of our Website .

My brief look at the drawings for the proposed scheme show that the roads will indeed open. The developer has drawn what appear to my untutored eye as high capacity roads within the boundary, is asking for the Church Road / Stafford Road Junction to be returned to a full access road junction and Marklin Avenue / Church Road junction to a roundabout. 

It all looks like its pitched at motor car owning families driving round their estate and rat-running from Oxley to Bushbury. Goodyear island is within the boundary of the development but there is no change proposed.

As Chair of the City Cycle Forum I look to you to try hard for major planning gain in line with the UDP and still to be published Cycling Strategy in order to get a development that puts people before traffic flows and gets some real advances for utility cycling. Here are some pointers that I think would make the development people-friendly and cycle friendly.

1. Ask the developers for the residential area to be designed as a Home Zone where people, especially children playing, come before cars. Your officers can advise on Home Zones such as the Poets Corner in Fordhouses. 
2. 20 mph speed limit for all traffic within the development boundary from the start – the single most cycle friendly step WCC can demand. This is a cornerstone of Home Zone design anyway. 
3. Have them pay for the re-modelling of the Goodyear island to Continental Geometry. This will reduce approach speeds. Landscaping away the jungle in the middle is essential for all our safety ! Lots of broken glass to me denotes lots of collisions here. From a cyclists perspective, continental geometry makes it easier to negotiate a roundabout. This means easier access between Greenwood road, our estate and the Goodyear estate. Exit speeds may be reduced sufficiently then that Greenwood Road can become a 20 MPH street and our whole estate can then have lower traffic speeds – vital for the safety of the children who play in Greenwood Road. Traffic Advisory Leaflet 9/97 on Cyclists at roundabouts : Continental design geometry refers. John Partridge should have this to hand. 
4. Assistance with connecting the Science Park to the Bushbury Lane entrance in order to make this link cycle-friendly and join the estate to the city cycle network.
5. With the first four building blocks in place putting in a cycle network within the estate will be easy i.e. only junction treatments on 20 Mph roads and bypasses of any pinchpoints plus cycle parking are needed.

Here is a true test of the new Unitary Development plan and the Cycling strategy too. It would be very positive for you and the council to add ¾ mile to the cycle network that actually connects whole communities together by bike and really makes it pleasant to ride from the north of the borough to the centre.

While on the subject of new road networks I saw the developers model of the new city centre 
shopping centre during my visit. This shows the remodelling of Wolverhampton’s streets to accommodate it e.g. the promotion of Temple Street to the main east west thoroughfare in the southern city centre and the plugging of Cleveland Street. There are some major opportunities and threats for cycling in this scheme. 
Do you think it possible that we could meet with the planners at our first cycle infrastructure sub-group meeting and see what we can do for cyclists ? The present street layout has many barriers to cycling in this part of the centre. We could prepare better a response perhaps on behalf of the cycle forum if we had a good introduction to the development from the officers most familiar with it. What do you think ?

We hope to hear from you soon. 


Dear Cllr Jaspal #1 

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Here's a recent letter from WoWcc Campaign officer David Holman

Dear Cllr. Jaspal,

I would like to challenge you to lead a change in the Council’s attitude to cycling.
All who go to the new City Cycle Forum that you chair would like to see the numbers of riders from all backgrounds increase dramatically, bringing the health benefits to the community of increased useful exercise and reducing motor traffic. And just like London is experiencing now, more cyclists means fewer accidents. 

So which comes first the promotion of cycling and cycle-friendly engineering or sufficient cyclists ? I feel the only way out of this chicken and egg situation is for the council to lead by example . There is a frame of mind that may be apparent in WCC of ‘cycling is a great idea so long as someone else / the public does it’. But the public can see that the council doesn’t practice what it preaches in a highly visible way . 

As the city’s largest employer and the organisation charged with delivering sustainable travel and increasing levels of cycling, Wolverhampton City Council is in a unique position to take charge of increasing the levels of cycle useage . How ? Workplace cycling , staff commuting and staff travel. 

Cycling families like mine cannot do more miles or run more promotions, rides or campaigns than we are already doing. Wolves on Wheels members cycle thousands of miles of utility trips a year each - even some of our sons and daughters ride huge total distances as tandem stokers! E.g. Hundreds of Wulfrunians will have stopped to point at the Hopkins or Holman families going to school by tandem and trailer. 

However if the council and its employees started cycling more in the course of their duties and to and from work, then we could make some real progress. 

As an employer, it has a duty of care to its employees and a regard for their health and safety. So some of the effects of leading cycling by example would be very positive.

I believe that the council needs to promote staff cycle training to kick start the WCC cycle training service. Pete Rollings heads a WCC team of CTC qualified instructors who can turn anxious adults into vehicular cyclists – riders who have a presence on the road, can assert themselves, get good positions for safe manoeuvres and negotiate a safe passage. Do you know any key figures who could take the new course ? 
Police officers and Street Crime Wardens already get trained at the Wildside Activity Centre to be competent road going cyclists as well as in specialised techniques! We just need more civilians taking the WCC courses !

Making the city safer and more convenient for trips by bike would become more important to the council itself. With trained staff and cycle fleet cared for perhaps by the new workshops in Blakenhall community centre, inter-office travel [in the city centre at least ] by bike should be a normal choice especially on dry days. 
Workplace Cycling within the 20 mph city centre should be easier than it is. It’s harder to ignore a member of staff, councillor or a colleague telling you that e.g. the banned right turn from Lichfield Street into Princess St makes no sense for cyclists, or why haven’t those upstanding, new kerb stones at the entry to Old Hall Street been blended in after 18 months or Cleveland Street is a real barrier to cycle travel and ought to permit contra-flow cycling etc. Travel planning for the authority would become easier. A council ‘Cycle Users Group’ should be relatively easy to set up and could make some real contributions to the development of the network. More regular riders in more departments means more [healthier] employees who can see the cycling angle. It could snowball in a very positive way leading to a much more liveable city. 

Looking at the City Centre Action Plan, there are going to be a lot more pedestrianised streets in the centre , so driving around or making deliveries is going to get harder by motor vehicle. Certainly WCC ought to be considering cycle couriers for deliveries and use of freight cycles in the city centre [ although the rangers in West Park are my favourite candidates for a Brox quadricycle instead of their current diesel vans] . 

So a Wolverhampton that is safe and convenient for the Council, its employees and their trade unions to cycle around in will be good enough for everyone else. Have you any better ideas ?


Swelling Cllr Jaspal's post bag 

Thursday, September 2, 2004

by David Holman , Campaign Officer WoWcc

Cllr MilkinderpaL Jaspal is the present portfolio holder for transportarion and regeneration at Wolverhampton Council. He is also the Chairman of the new City Cycle Forum. He complained that there were hardly any letters in his post bag on cycling issues at the last Forum. He said that he acts on these letters. 

His address according to his webpage is 3 The Grove, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton WV11 1RW. Please send WoWcc a copy of your letter. We can follow these up at the City Cycle Forum or in the Forum Sub Groups.

If you're a ranger group member or Sustrans supporter then a letter on the progress to open the NCN could have some benefits. E.g. no cooperation apparent between WCC, South Staffs/ Staffs CC and British Waterways to plan getting it open to at least Interim Standard by next year. We've surveyed the whole route so WCC can't be short of improvement ideas see this website under Documents. Cllr Jaspal made some pledges in the W'ton Chronicle on 5 August about the route. So get writing as you may be pushing against an opening door!

Other topics that WoWcc suggests for letters could be :-
1 Working with neighbouring local authorities on cross border cycle travel 
2 Ideas for promotion of cycling [education, enforcement and encoragement] 
3 Liveable streets - Queen Street is mentioned in the City Centre Action Plan wish lists for pedestrianisation 
The city centre action plan may seem wishy washy but it 's full of potential threats and opportunities for cycling e.g. Pedestrianising Princess St, Market St and Garrick St then adding the city centre tram loop is mentioned as an idea. That's the main North - South cycle route for all vehicular cyclists! Check 3.128 for the Wolverhampton Revolution centre - an idea for a cycle museum and cycling centre in low level station - fairy tale stuff but ..... 
4 Access to the transport interchange. We want to help plan it for cycling. 
5 Cycling and the new tramways. Jaspal hasn't grasped the threats and opportunities for cycling of the city centre loop and 5 W's lines of the Metro that are coming. No dialogue with Centro either. So , unlike Nottingham NET and Spokes cycle campaign's cooperation, we aren't finding a way in to get our voices heard.

6 Annoying bits of cycle route and risky junctions.
7 Places where rework is not done e.g. the new cycle slip between Railway approaches and Lichfield Street needs the dropped kerb width widening. Or why are there still one inch high upstands at the entrances to Old Hall Street after 18 months since it was laid out ? It should have signs for two way cycle traffic too at both ends
8. Plugged streets that could be converted to through cycle traffic.

What letter ideas do you have ? If you don't ask .....



Major new planning applications - Goodyears and the Shopping Quarter 

Thursday, September 2, 2004

** Campaigning matters **

It's well worth popping into the second floor of the civic centre at present to look over two major schemes. 

First there's a display including the developers model of the new shopping quarter. The end of through traffic on Cleveland Street and some major re-arranging of roads. Public consultation to follow. 

The second is the Goodyear factory re-development. The factory is contracting to the southern third of the present site. Homes and small businesses will occupy the middle third and the social club and sports facilities look like they're remaining. BUT the roads within the site are opening to the public. Major opportunity here for cycle friendly routes between Oxley, Bushbury and the Science Park hence easy links from North of boro' to centre via canal towpath / NCN81. It's well worth going to look the plans over and write a short note to Costas Georghiou, head of Planning. Please mention that the Goodyear island needs remodelling to Continental design geometry per TAL 09/97 with full sightlines instead of the jungle in the centre and that the speed limit within the estate should be 20 MPH preferably with a Home Zone. The design appears to promote rat-running at present. You'll get an eight inch high pile of drawings and papers to look over so allow 30 minutes. Viewing ends 9 Sept.



Wolves on Wheels Events calender. 

Thursday, September 2, 2004

** Social rides and Events including major national conference !!!!! **
Such variety! Please come along to the conference. It's a biggy and we have to put on a good show. Martin the chairman is leading the project to stage it

Our most popular events roll on. (all dates on Friday)
10 Sep Codsall Station

8 Oct Beacon Hotel, Sedgley

12 Nov (pre-conference social) probably either the Newhampton or Great Western

13 November THE CTC / CCN AUTUMN CYCLE CAMPAIGNING CONFERENCE, LIGHT HOUSE WOLVERHAMPTON HOSTED BY WOLVES ON WHEELS CC. 100 plus delegates expected. Evening meal at the Spice Avenue , Broad Street. 

19 Nov Old White Rose, Bilston

10 Dec Christmas buffet, Combermere, Chapel Ash


14 Jan Beacon Hotel, Sedgley

11 Feb Combermere Arms, Chapel Ash

11 Mar Vine, Wednesfield

(Easter Sunday is 27 March this year)

8 Apr Barley Mow, Penn Common

13 May Codsall Station

10 Jun Bell , Trysull

next year's Bike Week and Bike2Work promotions. Confirmed dates are 11-19 June 2005

12 June Picnic Ride to Chillington Hall with flying display by the Red Arrows !!! Provisional.

15 Jun Cinema Night (provisional)

17 Jun Mid-summer / Bike Week ride to the Seven Stars, Beckbury, Shropshire Provisional
8 Jul Swan, Brewood

12 Aug Summer special ! Ma Pardoes / The Swan, Netherton - this ride starts in Penn at 16 Woodhall Road

9 Sep Codsall Station

14 Oct Beacon,Sedgley

11 Nov Old White Rose, Bilston

9 Dec Christmas buffet, Combermere, Chapel Ash

David Holman

Annual General Meeting 

Thursday, September 2, 2004

** AGM **

This is on Weds 29th September 2004 at the Great Western starting 8pm. Please come early and influence your campaign's activities for the new year. There will be an election of officers and nominations are sought for all the usual posts. Reports will be made by the chair Martin Lucy and the treasurer Pam Niklas. Please refer to the constitution on our website under documents other stuff. Ideas for new campaigns sought. Nominations and AOB by email to Martin [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.] . 

** Carver Marathon Cycle Ride - this Sunday ** 

Thursday, September 2, 2004

Are any of you going to ride the cycle ride for the Wolverhampton Marathon ? If so tell me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Ian Fardoe (fards [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]) as we'd like to ride around with a group of friends on our most eyecatching cycles and hand out WoWcc leaflets. I think it's a huge occasion which offsets the payment to ride around the city streets. It's the city's top cycling event.

You can register in Park Road West on this Sunday morning from 7am to 9am for a 9-20am start. Modest 13 miles. 

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