NOTE: These are my (Mike) recollections of the meeting. There may be errors, there certainly are omissions. They are intended only as an aide memoire until the official minutes come out.
Notes from Cycle Forum Meeting held 25/04/19
Civic Centre 6 - 8 pm
Tim Philpott (WCC Transportation)
Cllr. Martin Waite
Dave Clare (Wolverhampton FoE)
Win Sutton, Rob Marris (Residents)
James Pearson-Jenkins (Cyclist)
Julia Brant, Jon Rice, Mike Jenkins (Wolves on Wheels)
2.Minutes of last meeting
a.Accuracy: British Cycling meeting comment by JB rather than MJ? WOW chair report omitted. Lissa Evans omitted from attendance list
b.Arising: MJ reported use of Market cycle parking increasing, 4 bikes and one motor scooter last Friday. TP explained the problem with access had arisen because the cycle parking had been moved away from the wall to give adequate clearance but the markings for adjacent car parking had been left as the original plan. He would contact Planning again, MW offered assistance if required. WS raised matter of lack of public cycle parking at front of St Marks Sainsburys now that hire bikes are there; TP said this was now on council list of sites to consider.
3.Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in agenda
Westside Link. TP reported that this would proceed, no major changes from previous proposals following consultation except that the Queen Sq. section is being referred to June Scrutiny Panel because of pushback from bus companies.
Nothing further to report on 'No Limits to Health' initiative.
4. TP: There was £23M available from Transforming Cities Fund to use for cycling projects on strategic routes in the West Midlands. There was no particular deadline (but some pressure to use within 12 months). Routes would be as high quality as possible; on verges rather than on road. They would be alongside main routes (eg A4123) rather than back streets; pros are high 'visibility', direct, they are familiar. Cons: poorer air quality.
In answer to JR: WCC had no current plans to introduce Congestion Charge/Clean Air Zones.
There will be £250K available for each Local Authority from the Better Streets Project to improve neighbourhoods to encourage cycling and walking.
5.TP: A further 25 locations for Bikeshare docking stations have been consulted on and these should be installed in a couple of months. Usage of the initial installation was not expected to be high as this was really only symbolic to prove the concept; however use and subscriptions are slowly increasing. Happily, there has been no significant outage due to vandalism or theft. MW reported he used the bikes frequently and was disappointed that the proposed docking station in Penn was not successful. TP will check on the reason for this. RM thought that Penn Library would be a good location as it has space on an under-used car park and one of the justifications used to keep it open was that it should become a community hub.
6.Wolves on Wheels have not started any new campaigns or responded to any consultations since the last forum meeting. We have continued to put out publicity on items of local interest such as the improvement work being carried out along the Smestow Valley railway path.
7.JB had provided some photographs of Route Signage and Markings in Cheltenham; she and RM had conducted an email discussion with TP on this subject. RM was particularly concerned that on-ground markings (cycle symbols, lane markings) were not renewed or reinstated after resurfacing work. This is a responsibility of the Highways Dept and MW will raise concerns with the appropriate head of service. He advised particular examples of obliterated markings should be raised via Customer Services in the first instance.
There was a wider debate about the need for consistent standards of marking and signage nationally. In the absence of action from DfT MW would raise the subject with the Local Government Authority.
JB suggested more use of technology to protect cyclists eg solar powered warning signs to alert drivers at side turnings of cyclists approaching on the main road.
JPW saw a 4th Industrial Revolution connection and questioned why this did not appear in council planning documentation.
8.Progress is being made on design and space allocation for a Cycle Hub (with 200 parking spaces?) on the present grassed area by the Station.
9.A454 Eastern Gateway. Of the options presented at the last Forum 'D' (the most cycle friendly) has been approved. This includes 2-way cycle paths on either side of the road.
10.A4123. Nothing to add than what was discussed in '4'.
11. Cyclist training. Bikeability standards are being revised in May. Current instructors will have 2 years to comply.
12.No report received from Sustrans.
13.No report received from Canals & Rivers Trust. JPW asked about surfacing of the Wyrley & Essington Canal towpath all the way to Bloxwich. In his experience it was well used by 'ordinary' cyclists despite its somewhat meandering nature; and was vastly preferable to the main roads in that area.
MJ to email link to 'Cycle Travel' route planning website for distribution to forum members.
MW to extend an invitation to Andy Street in his capacity as Mayor of the WMCA to attend the Cycle Forum.
TP to consult on date for the July Forum.