Wolverhampton Cycle Forum
19th October, 6pm
Conference Room, Council Office,
Victoria Square, Wolverhampton
2. Minutes of the last meeting (18 July 2017)
3. Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda
a. Black Country Cycling Forum
4. Bikeshare scheme
5. Infrastructure Ongoing
a. City centre:- contraflow route improvements - Raglan Street -Westside development - new market site - rail station rebuild – canal tunnel lighting - Penn Rd signage
b. Springfield Campus phase 2
c. Canal towpaths (MST2)
d. Stafford Road
e. M54 Junction 2
6. Infrastructure Proposals Under Development
a. A454 Willenhall Road and Junction 10
b. Birmingham New Road
c. Wednesfield Road
7. Promotion of Cycling
a. Velo 2018
b. Led Rides
c. Cycling Co-ordinator – Cycle Hubs - Wheels for All
d. Aldersley – Dudley Railway Path
8. Wolves on Wheels
10. Canals & Rivers Trust
11. Any Other Business
a. Forum Meetings 2018-19
Wolverhampton Cycle Forum
Thursday 19 October, 6pm
Conference Room, Council Office,
Victoria Square, Wolverhampton
Present: TP, MJ, NS
Apologies – Councillor Martin Waite, David Wilson, Dave Clare, Julia Brant, Win Sutton, San Worrall, Jon Rice, George Reiss, Dan Robertson (Sustrans), Steve Young
Minutes of the last meeting (18 July 2017). It was noted that Win Sutton was listed as both present and absent. In fact she was absent and gave apologies in advance. Aside from this the notes were accepted as a true record of the meeting.
Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda
Black Country Cycling Forum. TP advised that officers from the four Local Authorities had discussed this proposition and agreed that the existing local Forums were ideal as opportunities for dealing with local infrastructure issues. However, they also agreed that engagement with businesses and the voluntary sector needed stimulus and the notion of Black Country-wide stakeholder engagement was considered. The officer group will continue to meet to explore this and other matters of collective importance such as signing protocols.
Bikeshare scheme – WMCA has approved this and we will be going out to tender Dec/Jan. Seeking to appoint a provider on a 5-year contract. Scheme launch in Spring or Summer 2018. Anticipated 3,000+ bikes on street across West Midlands within the first year. CoWC will work with the provider to identify viable routes and docking station locations as required.
MJ and NS welcomed this and said there were clear market groups that would be interested in using hire bikes, particularly from transport nodes such as the Interchange or car parks.
City centre - Penn Road shared use route - alterations to signage have been agreed so that the route is clearer for both cyclists and pedestrians, should be in place by January Forum meeting. City centre contraflow route – alterations to signage agreed to clarify cyclist exemption to “no entry” signage, highlight to traffic approaching from side roads the presence of the cycle lane, and indicate shared use where the route crosses wide corners at Bilston St and St George’s Parade. Should be in place by January Forum meeting. MJ and NS agreed the route helped to validate the presence of cyclists and that the green surface seemed to be respected as a cycle route better than in some other places. Westside development – an outline planning application has been received, for determination by end of December. Cycling routes mentioned although not fully detailed as yet. WOW responded to consultation on this although acknowledged there was limited detail on which to comment. Advised there was a need to cater for different cyclist needs, and a need to ensure coherent cycle route infrastructure, segregated where possible. TP advised his main concerns were to secure consistent cycle routes through the city centre and around Ring Road. New market site – cycle parking must be provided as a condition of the planning approval, still waiting for the detail of this. MJ commented that ideally there would be proper cycle access built in as well. Rail station rebuild – works expected to start in earnest in January 2018. In addition to temporary cycle parking being provided in replacement for the parking currently on the forecourt, the works will require temporary relocation of the on-platform parking. In the long term, the intention is to retain the parking on the platforms and provide an enhanced level of parking on the station approach as part of a Cycle Hub. Comments on the station building were forwarded to the project manager. Lighting of canal tunnel – agreement in principle has been reached as to how this can be delivered, yet to be authorised. Currently awaiting confirmation of the ownership of the tunnel structure under the station car park.
Springfield Campus phase 2 – Funding now secured for this. Programme includes provision of a Toucan Crossing on Cannock Road at Cambridge Street, Shared Use along Cambridge Street footpath, enhancements to pedestrian crossing - Wednesfield Road/Culwell Street junction, undercarriage bridge lighting on the Broad Street rail over road bridge and footway surfacing. To include facility for cyclists traveling between Culwell Street and the Ring Road to join and use the southern footpath under the railway bridge.
MST2 – the programme of works for 2017-19 is Mainline Canal Galton Bridge to Bromford Road (Sandwell), Wyrley & Essington Canal Horsley Fields to Bentley Bridge, Mainline Canal Bromford Road to Albion Road (Sandwell), and Mainline Canal Dixon Street to Deepfields Jct (Wolverhampton). Consideration also being given to improving the overland link between the ends of the Coseley Tunnel.
M54 Junction 2 – options were explored with Highways England. The route across the roundabout using the signal crossings is signed and continuous, although requires multiple stages. Option exists to reduce stages by using uncontrolled crossing points at the “on” ramps to M54 but obviously at a risk. The only option for improving this would be cosmetic, e.g. wider paths, cut back vegetation. New access to the canal towpath at the i54 link road was considered because there was evidence pedestrians were doing this anyway. But there is already a nearby option for this so it was not considered good value. The option to improve the towpath between i54 and the A449 at Coven Heath was considered but deemed outside the remit of the project, this may be revisited if a suitable opportunity arises. A longer route via Brinsford Lane/Cat & Kittens Lane was considered but there are multiple challenges in this and the scale of works required would need to be part of a bigger programme. It was noted that such a scheme would join to an existing isolated cycle route in Brookhouse Lane leading to Featherstone, this may be revisited as a suitable opportunity arises.
Infrastructure Proposals Under Development
Willenhall Road – Phase 1 (Horsley Fields to Hickman Avenue) designs are still being developed and tested, it is anticipated proposals will be available by the January Forum meeting. M6 Junction 10 design has now been circulated for consultation. Cycling is catered for by provision of a shared use route and toucan crossings. As with M54 Junction 2 this is multi-stage but safer than routing across uncontrolled on-ramps.
Birmingham New Road – Following a workshop on the whole route from Birmingham to Wolverhampton, a report is being prepared setting out options. It is hoped that more detail can be presented to the next Forum meeting in January
Wednesfield Road – no progress except for improvements mentioned earlier in relation to Springfield Campus.
Promotion of Cycling
Velo 2018 - Following the success of Velo 2017, there is a Combined Authority intention to capitalise on this in 2018. This aims to engage with communities and interest groups to create a range of activities and involvement around the event.
Led Rides – The Wildside Centre has established a programme of Led Rides which the Council is promoting through social media.
Lesley Easter, Cycling Development Officer for Cycling UK is tasked with setting up new Community Cycling Clubs. Looking to engage The Way youth centre with Wildside’s cycling activities. She is also aiming to establish a local centre for Wheels for All which offers activities to adapted bike users. It was noted there was regular activity around West Park Hospital which seemed to be in connection with stroke recovery.
Aldersley – Dudley Railway Path – no progress. The group agreed this route had a lot of potential and indicated it would be good to progress any improvements or promotion.
Wolves on Wheels
Wolves on Wheels are continuing with the process of simplifying their organisation and procedures and held the Annual General Meeting on 11/10/17. At this Steve Young was elected as Secretary, Mike Jenkins as Campaign Chair and Jon Rice was appointed as Financial Secretary. Campaign Priorities for the coming year were agreed as widening the supporter base and monitoring planning and development proposals, particularly those affecting the City Centre.
In the last quarter WOW have responded to consultations on the new station building and the Westside development and attended the public consultation event held for the development of the former Royal Hospital site.
SY has made contact with Dan Robertson of Sustrans – regional co-ordinator based in Nottingham. DR asked to be notified of Forum meeting dates and will be invited to join the mailing list.
Canals & Rivers Trust
No report over and above information included under MST2.
Any Other Business
Consideration of cycle routes. MJ asked if the city had a clear plan for cycle routes in the city centre. TP advised there was no published plan but he was working towards a complete circuit of the ring road, along with significant through-city works. He noted Victoria St, Cleveland St, Lichfield St and Cleveland Road connection to Royal Hospital had all been mentioned in connection with improved cycling and walking projects.
Forum Meetings 2018-19 Proposed dates:- 16 Jan (Tu),19 April (Th), 17 July (Tu), 18 Oct (Th), 15 Jan 2019 (Tu)
The January 2018 meeting will be in Victoria Square, it is hoped that from April the remainder will be back in the Members’ Suite.