January 2005

WoWcc stages the National cycle campaigning Conference

WoWcc events 

Sustrans New Regional Manager gets stuck in. 

Wolverhampton Cycle Forum 


WoWcc stages the National cycle campaigning Conference 

Friday, January 14, 2005

From CTC Cycle Digest Winter 2004 edition. 
(Apologies for not putting a report in news a while ago)

CTC/CCN Autumn Cycle Campaigns Conference, Wolverhampton: Report 

Wolverhampton’s Campaign Group, Wolves on Wheels (WoW), hosted a superb conference on 13th November, devoted to transport integration. 

The day was launched by local MP and Wolves on Wheels CC Hon. President, Rob Marris, who stressed the importance of keeping up campaigning pressure on, for example, train companies and on the LTP process. 

Dr Malcolm Read, Chief Officer for Regeneration & Transportation at Wolverhampton City Council explained how difficult it was to please all transport groups all of the time, because of their different perspectives and needs. He said progress towards improving things for cyclists and walkers is inevitably slow, particularly in view of ever-increasing car use, but Wolverhampton is tackling the situation – for example, the town centre is now considerably more pedestrian friendly and there are plans for a major redevelopment of the rail station. 

Simon Talbot Ponsonby reported on Sustrans’ Safe Routes to Stations project and what needs to be done to encourage more people to cycle: reliable information in the right places, high quality parking and unimpeded, convenient access routes are vital. Peter and David Simpson of the Tandem Club described their dauntless campaign for better on-train provision for tandems, often chosen by those with disabilities. They maintain that demand is there and carriage entirely possible - First Great Western is the best! Steve Jacobs of Jason Engineering Systems gave an enlightening talk on the use and potential of installing bike trailers behind buses, why some initiatives work very well, and why others don’t. Dave Holladay, CTC, spoke about the interaction of bikes and buses and where the potential for hazard lies, (see also page 5). 

Kristopher McGowan of Holme Lacey College spoke about a successful project targeting students on a sustainability course, obliging them to stop driving on campus and use a bike issued to them from a bike pool instead.

Dene Stevens, Walking & Cycling for Health Development Worker of Rowley Regis & Tipton Primary Care Trust, focussed on measures to promote cycling in Sandwell, including the delivery of cycle training to a wide range of settings, such as workplaces, schools, physical activity referral, neighbourhood renewal and adult education. 

John Franklin, of Cheltenham Cycle Campaign, described a novel approach to cycle maps, as demonstrated by the new production for Cheltenham: each road is colour-coded to reflect the advisable level of cycling ability needed to use it. Cyclists are not directed only on to selected ‘cycle routes’, so the message in the map is that all roads are open to cyclists. 

The Highways Agency’s Graham Bowskill, Divisional Director, Traffic Operations (West Midlands & South West) outlined what the Agency is doing and intends to do for cyclists. 

His presentation led to some debate on on-road versus off-road provision and over the decision to divert funding away from a dedicated programme to improve crossings for non-motorised users over Agency roads (see www.ctc.org.uk – live issues for more on this). 

(WoWcc comment - Mr Bowskill got a roasting! We think he put up a good defence, He and his organisation had not grasped the type of features different abilities of cyclists need. Huge Thanks to all 90 people who came and were involved in all apects of the conference)


WoWcc events 

Friday, January 14, 2005

Tonight is the WoW social ride - a real favourite with members - to the Beacon Hotel, Bilston Road Sedgeley. It features a steady climb up the hill dubbed Col de Balaise by our linguist members. Meet 7pm at the man on 'is horse, Queen Sq, W'ton 7pm for 7-15 pm departure or see you there !

The next campaign meeting is at the Great Western , Sun St, W'ton on 27 th January 8pm. 

February social ride is on 11 February to the Combermere Arms, Chapel Ash . A stunning half a mile from Queen Square! 

Good cycling and tailwinds!


Sustrans New Regional Manager gets stuck in. 

Friday, January 14, 2005

Perminder Balu is Sustrans new Regional Manager for the West Midlands. 
He's already making a difference with discussions opening between Sustrans, Wolverhampton City Council and British Waterways over National Cycle Network Route 81 Sandwell - Wolverhampton - Codsall. 

WCC officers have been for a ride with him along the Essington Canal in support of Safer route to a Wedsnesfield School and on the Brum main canal towpath. A historic event ? He's been out for a W'ton to Smethwick ride with members of our ranger group and is now advocating our Route 811 survey to British Waterways as the basis of improvements to the NCN route. 

Surface improvements to the towpath between Top lock, Broad St basin and Cannock Road bridge are programmed in for this year. 

Will a section of Route 81 open in Wolverhampton borough to interim standard this year - the year of the opening of 12000 miles of the NCN ? It's looking better - wait and see.


Wolverhampton Cycle Forum 

Friday, January 14, 2005

Wolverhampton's new City Cycle Forum is showing promise. 
The Forum is chaired by Cllr Jaspal - portfolio holder for transport and regeneration. 

The open-minded who have attended so far have commented on WCC's enthusiasm for Cycling projects and trying to get more riders out and about.The sceptical think it's the same old council doing lip service. WoWcc are giving the forum and sub-groups full backing but we need your help.

Any Cycle user or potential cycle user is welcome to attend and put their ideas over. Ditto organisations keen to see increases in cycling. The forum originates in the ideas in the WoWcc report on Cycle Forums - see documents. 

The Date of the next meeting of the full cycle forum is 
10th February 2005 – 6.30pm Aldersley Stadium in the clubroom off the bar. 

Before that there are two sub-group meetings where the detail is fleshed out. :-
Thursday 20 January 2005 – Aldersley Leisure Village

PR - LEISURE AND TRAINING GROUP ………………6.30pm – 7.30pm
The group will create new publicity for leisure rides in the City and develop the adult cycle training scheme based at Aldersley Stadium.

The group will have the opportunity to have an input into the City’s revised cycle network leaflet to be reprinted in 2005. 

There is also an infrastructure working group which met yesterday and looked at how to prioritise the cycling portion of the £500K Road safety budget. If you want some features to ease cycling problems, a shortcut or a whole new route come and chip in. 

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