Attenders: Jaime* (chair), Dave, Peter, Sallie, Anna, Wendel, Clare (note-taker), Neil*, Nicola, Andy F (* indicates committee member)
Jaime reminded the meeting that we’ve been talking with the Council about safer cycling on London Road for a couple of years, including an onsite meeting with Peter Soulsby, and it’s been slow going. There are divided opinions on the option to use New Walk as an alternative although it does have strong support (see last meeting’s notes).
Nicola (who is involved with Evington Cycle Club) had witnessed the accident involving Sam Boulton; she is an architect and is willing to help draw up new ideas. She attended the Cycle City Workshop with Andy Farndale, other attendees were Andy Salkeld and a Council note-taker, Dave Warnock, Mike Gamble and reps from the two universities. The design for the new cycle lanes (two way, on one side only) was basically rejected, with calls for a path on each side (featured in some of the earlier designs). No notes yet from this meeting or another earlier one with Council, family members, LCM representative, etc.
Andy F had spoken with the City Enforcement Officers (aka traffic wardens) about enforcement. There has been increased presence at the station and they are telling people to move on. There is an issue of some missing signage that the Council is dealing with – the signs are now on order – to enable full enforcement.
The Police and Crime Commissioner Willy Bach is intending to attend one of the monthly Cycle City Workshops in the near future.
- Anna, Mat and Jaime to work on letter to Council asking what they are doing in long-term and short-term to protect cyclists, especially what can be done immediately, eg. enforcing traffic/parking regulations at the station. Some things to mention might be around their financial commitment, the involvement of experienced designers in the current proposals, and a proper media campaign around awareness of cycle safety.
- Dennis to put together a checklist of the kind of information we would be wanting to gather, to do some of our own monitoring/data gathering at the station. Anyone can use it in their own time and bring results to meeting.
- Encourage use of the Love Leicester app for parking issues, including people dropping off outside station. Dennis to draft a postcard-size flyer explaining how to download and use the app and circulate it for comment.
- Ask Adam Clark (Assistant City Mayor) what happens with data from Love Leicester app – how can we use hashtags, etc, effectively to ensure there is useful data?
- Encourage people to report incidents like dangerous driving, near misses, aggressive/abusive behaviour towards cyclists, to the police using 101. In the case of a collision, insist on them making a report and get the case number. Tweet central police, council. (Include info/advice on LL flyer)
Other Suggestions/possible actions:
- We should be pushing for designs that meet London Cycling Design Standards – perhaps do a comparison between any design we get shown and the standards and get it published in the Mercury. Adam Clarke has already suggested bringing Brian Deegan, who worked on the Standards, to Leicester to meet with council staff. Alternatively, encourage Council to take some engineers down to London to see what is being built there. (Standards are available online on the TFL website)
- Collect stories from people who have experienced accidents or near misses
- Have a regular meeting with Adam Clark (in addition to the quarterly cycle forum)
- The bike which was decorated at the SkyRide is going to Sam’s school for the children there to contribute to. A suggestion is being considered to design posters to break down barriers between users of different forms of transport – eg. showing a taxi driver going home and thinking ‘I just want my kids to be safe’. This should involve Sam’s family and so needs to happen at the right time for them. It should be promoted by the Council, with funding to put up posters across the city.
- Consider ways to pre-empt a pushback from businesses on London Road in relation to putting in cycle lanes (as happened on Welford Road and Belgrave Road).
A small number of people did the bulk of the work, for which the rest of us are very grateful. We signed up 40 new members and spoke to lots of others. Jaime will write a letter to the allotment society to thank them for the use of the gazebo and table. It was good to have something to draw people in (the decorated bike for Sam). In future: consider posting a big bold statement on the stall, eg. ‘Use the Love Leicester app’.
Discussion with Adam Clark (Assistant Mayor) postponed after London Road incident now set for October. Dennis to update evidence he put together earlier. It would help to draw up a comparison between what’s been done and what would be recommended by the London Cycling Design Standards. To be discussed at next month’s meeting.
Consultation closed last month. Outcome expected next month.
DMU / Mill Lane / Gateway Street
Pedestrianised streets through DMU being worked on now, parts of Mill Lane due to be finished by end September, Gateway Street later. Original plans shown at Cycle City Workshop some time ago, with ‘meandering’ cycle path between areas of grass, benches, trees and pavement. Not clear whether this is still the design, no recent discussion at CCW. (Later, Clare put photos on Facebook showing more detail given in a poster on campus, cycle/pedestrian paths appear less winding.)
Wendel expressed concern over reconfiguration of junction of Granby Street with Rutland Street/Belvoir Street, including removal of all traffic lights. Changes introduce an area of ‘shared space’ with lack of clear priority intended to make drivers to slow down. Wendelwas not convinced this would be safe especially due to buses using stops on Rutland Street. Changes should be monitored once completed – may be appropriate to raise concerns related to cycle safety with Council.
Different approaches to cycling in London vs Leicester
Neil shared photos of cycling infrastructure (cycle superhighway and ‘quiet ways’) from recent visit to London. Reflecting on differences of approach between there and Leicester, he concludes that London treats cyclists as traffic while Leicester treats us as pedestrians. Treating cyclists as road users gives better results, eg. priority at junctions, not being squeezed up against pedestrians, prevents parking on cycle paths. Suggestion to adopt a slogan such as ‘Get it back to us when it’s on the road’ when responding to future plans/consultations related to cycling infrastructure, although some wondered whether this might be seen as saying that we’re happy enough cycling on the road. Discussion to be continued…
Anna reported that Mat has been working on the online membership sign-up and that it should go live tonight. Clare will post link on FB.
Parking Improvement consultation
Council consultation on parking is live until end of month. Clare to post reminder on FB.
Date of next meeting
3 October 2016