Record Note of Wolves on Wheels Meeting held 08/11/17 at the Lighthouse Media Centre
Those Present: Steve Young, Nick Squires, Mike Jenkins
Apologies received: David Wilson
Feedback from Cycle Forum 19/10/17
BikeShare: WoW to consider suitable locations for bike docking stations to suggest to Tim Philpott.
New Market Site: SY & MJ had received details of the cycle parking, which appeared unsatisfactory. Both had responded to Tim Philpott.
Royal Hospital Planning Application
MJ reported that this was now visible on the planning portal of Wolverhampton Council's website. Provision for cyclists was conspicuously absent. SY emailed the planning department to query the lack of a travel assessment. MJ would prepare a draft response and invite comments from WOW supporters before submission.
SY will email (once only) 'lapsed' members who appear on the old membership list drawing their attention to the new free supporter option and inviting them to the December Social. Their details will then be deleted.
Agreed groups to invite, SY will contact BikeShed, Wolverhampton Wheels (committee only), West Park Stroke Group organisers, Cycle Speedway, BikeRight; MJ will contact WolvesBUG. All will be offered opportunity to bring their own fliers to put out.
Venues for Future Meetings
SY will contact The Chindit for January's meeting.
This is the WOW response that has been sent to the council planning officer in respect of this development.
Article giving Background Information
Wolves on Wheels Cycle Campaign objects to this application because of the inadequate provision for cycling, particularly in respect of cycle parking. This is a lost opportunity given the location of the development:
- Sited alongside the ring road means residents would have easy access to the city centre and supermarkets by bike. At the public consultation event held earlier in the year the representative of the developer that we spoke to seemed well aware of this and the potential that good cycling and walking links afforded the site.
- It is close to an on pavement cycle lane alongside the Bilston Rd which leads to the canal and the opportunity for leisure rides within a short distance.
In detail our objections are:
Absence of parking for customers of the cafe
There is no cycle parking for the cafe shown on the drawings, or mentioned in the applicants Travel Plan as far as we can see. CoWC guidelines (1) recommend a minimum of 2 spaces for this sort of establishment, which we would regard as adequate for the size of the cafe. They should be sited on the pavement at the front of the cafe in full public view (for security) in a location that allows for expansion should this prove necessary in the future.
Absence of cycle parking for employees of the cafe
Again, there is nothing shown or referred to. Employees cycling to work will want to park their bikes under cover and away from public access. Drawings show the internals of the building to have little spare space but there is a locked and fenced compound at the rear for bins. We recommend that a locker with space for two cycles is provided in here.
Inadequate cycle parking for residents of flats
We disagree with the calculation for the number of cycle parking spaces presented in section 4.8 – 4.12 of the Travel Plan. The consultants appear to have based these around the current figure (2.5%) for local modal share and then applied a multiplier to allow for projected growth and compared this to the number of dwellings in the residential blocks to arrive at 4 & 8 spaces for the Nursing Block and Main Block respectively.
We think this is incorrect. The figure that should be used is the proportion of the population that OWN bicycles (and hence wish to have a secure place to store them). Currently, the national modal share for cycling is well known at 1% (2); the proportion of people aged 5 years and over who own a bike is put at 42% (3).
This is presumably what is behind the requirement of one cycle parking space per dwelling given in (1) and we recommend that this is adhered to.
Residents' bikes are likely be stored on-site for a large part of the time, certainly overnight. The parking provided should be:
- In a covered enclosure.
- In a convenient location
- Well lit. Residents arriving back after dark will want to feel secure.
- Secure; accessible only by residents, eg by the same key/code they use to access the outer door of the residential blocks themselves. Within the enclosure there should be individual racks to which residents can lock their bikes.
- Have some racks with more room, for cargo bikes, trailers etc.
Even if some of these bikes are only used for a weekly ride along the towpath in good weather, or taken on car racks for an occasional day out on Cannock Chase this is still physical activity and in line with the council's desire to increase the physical activity undertaken by the population of the city. Providing insufficient or unattractive cycle parking will hinder achievement of this aim.
No indication of any traffic calming on the roads within the estate
The new build houses are shown with gardens, some quite large. It is clear that these have been designed with families with children in mind. This being the case we would expect that measures be taken to make the roads within the estate suitable for children to walk and cycle in safely.
The entry/exit roads are referred to as 'priority controlled' in section section 4.3 of the Travel Plan, but without further explanation. We would recommend that the possibility of speed restriction within the estate be considered.
No indication of any improvement for cyclists travelling along Cleveland Rd
This development, and the one on the old bus depot site, will inevitably lead to an increase in motorised traffic on Cleveland Rd. We recommend that there is a continuous cycle lane provided for the whole length of Cleveland Rd from its termination points at Steelhouse Lane and Ring Rd St Georges; both for the benefit of residents of the new developments and through traffic from the city centre to the Bilston Rd.
The development is in other respects a good one; providing housing and preserving and reusing an interesting building. If the points raised above can be satisfactorily addressed then WOW would be able to support this application.
(1) CoWC Highways Technical Technical Guidance Note Part 3 Section DG16
(2) Road Traffic Great Britain (TRA 0104 & 0402), quoted in Cycling UK statistics page
(3) Government's National Travel Statistics (NTS 0608) quoted in Cycling UK statistics page
(I sent this response in on 13/10/17 using the form on the planning portal - which promptly mangled it by stripping out all the formatting, so I emailed it anyway.)
Application No: 17/01102/OUT
|Address:||Land At Salop Street/Peel Street/Pitt Street/School Street And Ring Road St Marks Wolverhampton|
|Proposal:||Outline application for leisure (Class D2), food and drink (Class A3), hotel (Class C1), retail (Class A1), drinking establishments (Class A4), multi-storey car park and public realm|
Wolves on Wheels Cycle Campaign supports this application on the basis of it providing new facilities for the people of Wolverhampton and the employment opportunities it creates. We do have some concerns on how it will affect cyclists in the area and comment as follows:
The provision of good cycle parking facilities sends an encouraging message. We urge the council to ensure that the number of places provided regards the numbers set out in their own guidelines (1) as a minimum, not as a maximum grudgingly allocated by the developer and whittled down as the design and build progresses. Consideration should be given to the different expectations of someone paying a short visit to a shop, visitors to a restaurant or cinema at night, and employees.
The removal of the section of Peel St running parallel to Ring Rd St Marks would imply that the western end of Salop St (between Fold St & School St) would become one way. If this is the case we would recommend that the redundant west bound lane be allocated for a two way cycle lane, physically separated from motorised traffic with a kerb or similar and separate from the footway. We feel this would be welcomed by both pedestrians and cyclists.
Drawing 14109 121 'Pedestrian & Cycle Route Plan' shows pedestrian/cycle routes in and around the development area. It is not clear what type these are; 'shared' or 'segregated'. Our experience of both types around the city centre is that problems can occur with either. For the path running parallel to Ring Rd St Marks we would recommend that serious consideration be given to having completely separate paths for cycling and walking as cyclists wishing to bypass the development will want to travel faster than would be possible on a 'shared' or 'segregated' path (where the only segregation is a line of paint). Such a separate cycle path could then link with the on-road facility described in (2) above. For the routes within the development area, where cyclists will be be slowing down as they reach their destination then a 'shared' path may be acceptable.
We have concerns over the routing of the cycle/pedestrian path shown crossing Ring Rd St Marks. The triangular refuge at the top of Great Brickkiln St is adequate at present for the numbers and type (pedestrian, pedestrian with buggy, mobility scooter, cyclist) of user crossing there but additional users coming from a different direction may lead to congestion and the danger of a user being stranded on the road when the crossing lights change.
The route Great Brickkiln St, Peel St, Salop St/Cleveland St is currently one that is popular with cyclists approaching the city centre from the West or South West. These are areas that were identified within the council's Active Travel Strategy (2) as being 'near market'; ie people within these areas who already cycle for leisure would not need great persuasion to take up cycling as a means of travel for utility or commuting.
We urge the council to make sure that the facilities (principally parking and cycle paths) provided by this development are attractive and provide a stimulus to residents taking up cycling as a means of active travel with all the benefits that provides.
Chair, Wolves on Wheels Cycle Campaign
CoWC Highways Technical Technical Guidance Note Part 3 Section DG16
'An Active Travel Strategy For Wolverhampton'
In brief, the former Royal Hospital buildings will be converted to flats and a cafe, new houses will be built on the previously cleared land.
Wolverhampton Cycle Forum
19th October, 6pm
Conference Room, Council Office,
Victoria Square, Wolverhampton
Record Note of Wolves on Wheels Meeting held 11/10/17 at the Combermere Arms
(Note of the informal meeting which followed on immediately after the AGM)
Those Present: As AGM
Apologies received: As AGM
MJ would send a response on behalf of the campaign.
Public Consultation – Housing Development at Royal Hospital site
MJ attended this. His note (1) on the event was tabled.
Items to raise at Cycle Forum 19/10/17
Overall plan for cycle accessible routes inside the Ring Rd
Cyclenation Campaigners Conference, Oxford, 10/11th November
Agreed to fund train fare and entry ticket for one WOW to attend if there is anyone willing/available/interested.
Future Meetings & Communication with Supporters
Meetings would be second Wednesday of the month at least as far as February 2018. These dates (with venue TBC) are shown on the website calendar.
November meeting is expected to be at The Lighthouse Cinema, but SY awaits confirmation.
Normally send out two emails per month. One a week before meeting, one later in the month. Make this clear on sign-up page so prospective supporters can be confident they won't be swamped with emails.
Note following Consultation Event for Housing Development on the Royal Hospital Site.
Held Wednesday 20/9/17 at All Saints Community Centre.
Event was staffed by Tweedale (the architects preparing the planning application). Around half a dozen residents there while I was there, no cllrs or council staff as far as I could see.
There was a small display, not much more than the artists impressions already available and an overall site plan of the proposed development.
The planning application will be a 'hybrid'; one application covering the whole site rather than individual detailed applications for re-use of the remaining hospital buildings (presumably because conservation status) and outline application for the new housing.
If the application is successful then the land will be sold on to a developer to carry out the actual work.
Most of the housing will be new build on the currently cleared ground. Town house style for those facing Cleveland Rd to be in-keeping with the appearance of the Hospital Building; conventional individual two storey for the rest (drive, gardens, garage?). The impression was that these would be large houses, which appeared to be causing some dissent from the residents present who wished to see a greater proportion of affordable housing.
The Hospital Block will be converted to apartments. This will be within its own (gated?) perimeter fence. Tweedales said there was provision for communal cycle parking although it was not shown on this particular drawing.
They are aware of the council's plans for a 'gateway' into this side of the city centre (ie across the car park of the old Sainsbury store) and realise that making it attractive to get into town on foot and by bike would be a selling point to prospective residents. I pointed out that it was important to look both ways along Cleveland Rd; an easy link up to the on-pavement lane alongside the Bilston Rd makes it easy to get to the well surfaced canal towpath giving access to Smestow Valley LNR (for example).
Mike Jenkins 22/9/17
West Midlands Rail are seeking views from local communities regarding
- facilities at their local railway station
- priorities for station improvements
- how the station could better serve the wider community
The stations they are currently seeking views on are:
Smethwick Rolf St, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Sandwell and Dudley, Dudley Port, Tipton, Coseley, Bloxwich, Bloxwich North, Landywood, Cannock, Hednesford, Rugeley Town and Rugeley Trent Valley
If one of these is your local station, they invite you to take part in this survey. Although none of these stations are in Wolverhampton, wow supporters may regularly visit these stations.