Wolverhampton Cycle Forum

Notes of Meeting

Tuesday 17 July, 6pm

Committee Room 2, Civic Centre,

St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton

In attendance: Councillor Martin Waite (chair), Win Sutton,

Dave Clare, Lesley Easter, Mike Jenkins, Tim Philpot

  1. Apologies David Wilson, Steve Young, Julia Brant, Lissa Evans, Richard Preston, Gary Passmore, Carol Bailey, Tom Holness

  1. Minutes of the last meeting (19 April 2018)

It was agreed these were an accurate record of the meeting.

  1. Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda

    1. Royal Hospital TP advised that although there had been consultation on proposals for the Royal Hospital development there was as yet no planning approval.

  1. Cycling and Walking Investment Plan (LCWIP)

TP explained that the West Midlands Local Authorities are working together to produce a regional investment plan for walking and cycling (LCWIP). The plan is based on selection of strategic routes where it is believed cycling growth can be stimulated by provision of high-quality facilities. Government funding has been secured for this purpose and Atkins (consultants) are supporting development of the plan. The Plan is to form the basis of bids for future funding for cycling infrastructure.

LE asked what sort of cycling facilities were being considered. TP said circumstances would guide what was suitable for each route, but we would be looking for a high standard of facility to suit a range of cycling abilities. CMW asked if the consultants were being informed about proposals for development along these routes. TP replied yes. WS asked will the cycle map be updated, TP replied yes.

  1. Air Quality Standard Compliance

TP advised that the Black Country was preparing a plan for improvement of air quality in line with DEFRA requirements. In Wolverhampton the plan is focused particularly on the north-eastern quadrant of the Ring Road and the Black Country Route. The plan includes measures to promote cycling and walking as modes of transport.

CMW advised that the information underpinning the need for a plan may not be complete. Also, ironically there is some evidence that using pollution data as a means of persuasion results in the opposite effect, in that parents won’t let children walk or cycle because they fear greater exposure to pollution. MJ said he had read of an initiative which had achieved some success in getting parents to stop their engines while queuing near schools. CMW indicated he thought air quality would be the next major public health concern. TP noted that poor air quality had been directly linked to at least one death recently in a high profile case seen in the national press. DC said that schools have varying levels of success at moderating the behaviour of motorists. LE said that secondary schools like St Matthias have achieved some success. CMW expressed that concern that bikes used by children to get to school were often prone to theft. MJ asked why the thieves were not challenged? TP suggested that many social issues were loaded onto schools and it was important to ask whether schools were the only problem? MJ noted that once the charge came into force for emptying of the green waste bin It was likely more green waste would be burned.

  1. Wolves on Wheels

WOW have had a number of internal issues including making procedures GDPR-compliant. SY has managed to resolve these, and the focus has now returned to campaigning.

MJ attended the Wheels For All open day and WMCA design guidance training session and has kept supporters and followers informed on a range of cycling issues. These included cycle parking at the new station and market, and the Bike Hire scheme.

The new park at Akron Gate (Goodyear site) has attracted interest because of the shared use path passing through it. This forms part of a low/no traffic route from the Science Park up to i54. TP explained that the route through the park would eventually be lit, and where it passed through the new housing estate it would be signed, but this is awaiting completion and adoption of the highway.

MJ noted that Wolverhampton Bikeshed in Bradmore offer a low-cost bike maintenance service. They used to do some complex repairs but have scaled back to basics more recently. Wildside are about to start maintenance classes. They also run rides using their own bikes for families, sometimes using the Smestow Valley path and canal towpath. LE said she had set up a community cycling club at Wildside and wanted to promote it.

Highway problem reporting – MJ noted that he had reported a cycleway/footway obstruction to the Council’s general customer services facility but had not received a proper response on it. In the end TP helped to sort the matter out but this was an indication of a system that didn’t work properly. It was suggested that the Report-It app was a more effective means than the general customer services facility for getting results. Another useful option is Fillthathole.

MJ asked if Utility companies were required to give a warranty for reinstatement of highway repairs in case they fail? CMW thinks they do, but such issues need to be reported in order for action to be taken.

MJ asked about the old Sainsbury store site development at St Georges. The site is owned by the Council and currently leased for car parking but is to be sold for housing. The aim is to retain a pedestrian and cycling route through the site linking the Royal Hospital site to the city centre

  1. Infrastructure Ongoing

    1. City centre:- Westside Link is the route between the Transport Interchange and the Westside Development. There is to be a consultation on public realm improvements along this route. TP has sought to ensure cycling is reflected in the proposals.

    2. New market site – covered cycle parking is now in place.

    3. Rail station rebuild is poised to take place. It was queried whether there would be facility for passengers wanting to put their bike safely in the station while getting a drink/going to toilet while waiting to take bike on the train.

    4. Metro extension works are in progress, temporary traffic arrangements are in place

    5. Cycle hub – negotiations still ongoing about this. Interchange is in Cllr Reynolds portfolio.

    6. Canal tunnel lighting – no progress

    7. Penn Rd/Great Brickkiln St signage issues – work imminent to resolve these.

    8. Springfield Campus phase 2 – work scheduled for this year to extend shared use footway along Cambridge St to an enhanced crossing place on Cannock Road

    9. Stafford Road Northern Gateway – work progressing as planned

  1. Infrastructure Proposals Under Development

    1. A454 Willenhall Road – Proposals are being developed for this major scheme. TP aims to ensure the needs of cyclists and pedestrians are represented in these. It is likely consultation plans will be available in September

    2. A 4123 Birmingham New Road - draft proposals were shown to the meeting as indicative of the type of cycling facilities that were being sought along the length of this corridor. There was broad approval for the aspiration shown.

    3. A4124 Wednesfield Road – Nothing to report

  1. Bikeshare scheme –

We are preparing to survey bike hire dock locations for Wolverhampton in advance of a consultation exercise. Anticipated date for local implementation of the scheme is now January 2019.

(cont’d over page)

  1. ESIF Bid

A bid for European Social funding has been put in for solar marker lights on towpath edges. We are awaiting the outcome.

  1. Promotion of Cycling

    1. Velo 2019 – This will now take place in May, a route will be made available shortly

    2. Wheels for All – LE told the group about this project. She is trying to establish a facility for disabled cyclists to enjoy cycling. An open day was held recently to gauge interest in the project and to showcase it to potential funders, the open day was considered a success. It was noted that West Park Hospital is still operating an activity using adapted bikes.

    3. The status of cycling in West Park was queried. It is unclear whether or not it is permitted.

    4. Bikeability

  1. Any Other Business

    1. Forum Meetings 2018-19 proposed dates – July 17 (Tues), October 18 (Thurs), Jan 15 (Tues), April 25 (Thurs)

    1. LE advised that in her role she was seeking to set up Community Cycle Clubs near to infrastructure e.g. canal towpaths. She may be able to offer support to Bikeshed. She intends to look for opportunities at the University and Hilton Hall

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