After seeing some of the negative comments on the Leicester Mercury website in response to the article about our Get Behind the Bike Box campaign, our press officer Eric Ludlow felt compelled to respond. Here’s his letter to the Editor (or you can click here to read the full text in a Word document).
Author Archives: ClareS
Present – Jaime, Neil, Peter, Clare
Sat 30th March confirmed. Brian Deegan to speak. Secular Hall. Jaime to ask at Uni. Of L. about other attendees (e.g. cycle safety, air quality; AP). Neil to book lunch nearer to the time (AP). Jaime to send all members email 30 days before meeting (AP). Claire to get in touch with other East Midlands colleagues to invite (AP).
- Adam Clarke meeting
Jaime gave brief update on meeting with Adam Clarke in early January. Decision to try to ensure more regular meetings.
- Hospital letter
Needs following up. Neil to update at next meeting (AP).
(Lack of) Markings and width of lanes make some of these junctions very dangerous for bikes. How do we tackle these issues? Neil to email about issue to forum and get ideas (AP). To be brought up with Adam Clarke at next meeting or at Cycle City Workshop.
- Anstey Lane
Questions on what plans are as there are trees missing and it could suggest new cycle provision but currently nobody knows anything. To enquire at CCW?
- Date of next meeting: April 1 2019
Attenders: Clare, Elizabeth (note taker), Eric, Kevin, Jaime, Steve
1. Putney Road/Evesham Road
Was a major campaign to stop Putney Road going through to Aylestone Road when it was first built, and agreed then that it would never be two-way along the full length.
Originally discussed opening it for match days to clear traffic parked in the King Power. King Power have bought the land across the road from the stadium and the old gas works and are working on EON. They probably want to cut parking and create a match day village.
Concerned this will encourage more people to drive to matches.
What is the strategic plan? Ours? The Council’s? The population is growing, how do we put forward a vision where people have housing but don’t drive? Council always say they will put in provision for cycles, but then don’t. Actually, the scheme is being done for cars and that will discourage cycling.
We understand that making more space for cars encourages more driving. Therefore our first position is that the Council not undertake road building and expansion. Good viable alternatives – better infrastructure for walking, cycling and public transport – should be the first priority. If the Council decides it must go forward with a plan likely to encourage driving, we will consider and respond to issues that we think will affect cycling such as the position and quality of cycle lanes and placement of the road generally.
2. East Midlands Forum and LCCG AGM
9:00 – 10:00 LCCG AGM including election of committee.
10:00 – 12:00 East Midlands Forum
12:00 – 13:00 Healthy Air discussion – also perhaps speaker
Brian Deegan has not (yet) responded to messages regarding speaking. (Since the meeting, Brian has agreed to speak.)
12th and 13th April is the Transforming Cities conference. Steve will request (free) tickets for LCCG.
Seems to be coming to Leicester as a pilot. Waiting for a tender to come out. Leicester were talking about a dockless scheme. Question regarding what the tender is for – guess is access to data and targeted advertising via mobile phone app. We would like input as to where bikes are placed and perhaps length of the pilot period to assess.
4. Cycle City Workshop
London Road – most responses to consultation were positive. Many with the same wording. Hurrah – shows the success of campaigning.
Plan for Sustrans routes to integrate with city centre infrastructure. Considering linking to Clock Tower as a ‘hub’. Would like the routes not to have conflicting number systems. Commended Bristol / Derby / Edinburgh bike ‘tube map’ and colour coding.
5. Summer Plans
Main festivals: Riverside (first weekend in June) and City Ride (early August).
The City is trying for 5 car-free routes related to City Ride – last Sunday of each month.
- Riverside might be sparsely attended by us – suggest having LCCG t-shirts and clipboards and going out to talk to people.
- May be option of standing with bike parking sites and/or Sustrans.
- Need someone to do a little coordinating!
6. Date of next meeting
Monday 4 June 2018, 7pm at The Exchange.
4 March 2017
(with sincere apologies for the delay in posting these)
Present: Jaime McCutcheon, Mat Scull, Anna Scull, Elizabeth Barner, Neil Bastock, Steve Massey, Brendan McGrath, Peter Everard
Apologies: Clare Scott, Eric Ludlow
10:00 Meeting opened.
- Minutes from 2016 were accepted.
- Item 4.4 of constitution was amended from “Individual, family and affiliated memberships shall be renewable 12 months from the end of the month first joining, and every 12 months thereafter.” to “Individual, family and affiliated memberships shall be valid for life.”
The process of raising money was discussed and it was decided that, as a group, we can encourage members to give donations if we have especially important campaigns or if funds are needed for any other purpose.
Motion was accepted
- Jaime presented Membership Report showing 79 new members in 2016.
- Elizabeth presented Treasurer’s Report.
- Mat presented Campaign’s Report detailing activity within 2016 and attendees discussed planned infrastructure for the coming year.
- Steve led discussion on coalition building with different groups with overlapping goals, e.g. on air quality.
- General discussion and small groups work on ideas for revitalising the group and meeting, e.g. focus on different areas of city, public engagement/education etc.
- Election results presented with elected committee members as follows: Jaime, Elizabeth, Anna, Eric, Mat, Neil.
13:00 Close of Meeting
The text below is LCCG’s response to the plans to improve the area in front of the station on London Road and to build new cycle paths from the station out to the roundabout with Mayfield Road (corner of Victoria Park). If you’ve not seen the plans yet, you can download them here:
We would be very grateful if you would send the Council your views on the plans. You will need to send an email to: transport-strategyenquiries@ leicester.gov.uk (there is no online consultation form this time).
Please feel free to use all or part of our response when writing your own. The Council count numbers of responses for/against/other so even if you only send an email saying “I support the viewpoints submitted by Leicester Cycling Campaign Group” that will be very helpful to our cause.
The deadline for responses extended to FRIDAY 10th NOVEMBER.
Official response from Leicester Cycling Campaign Group to London Road proposal
LCCG are impressed by the plans offered for the London Road redevelopment and believe that this design is by far the best that has been drafted to date. Particular points that we are in support of are inclusion of cycle lanes on both sides of the road, cycle gates at major junctions, and priority given to cyclists at minor junctions.
However, we have highlighted a number of issues with the plans that, if not addressed, will limit the success of the scheme for all users. Four major points are outlined below followed by more detailed issues.
- Separation of different modes of traffic
We are strongly in favour of separating cycles from both pedestrians and motor traffic. Currently, the plans and artistic impressions show a worrying lack of adequate separation between bicycles and motor traffic. For London Road, the optimal solution, as advocated by Brian Deegan, is kerbed separation with cycles at carriageway level. This has a number of advantages over other options including:
- Safe, protected space for cycles away from cars, trucks, and buses, as well as the feeling of protection
- Prevents parking on cycle tracks (a major problem on Newark St and Welford Rd)
- Better for pedestrians, especially those with disabilities, as there is clear segregation
- Problems associated with cycles going up and down kerbs at junctions are removed.
The design as presented represents our third choice of segregation, and we do not think it will work. Please note that we do not want to see the cycle lanes built, and then protection from parking added. This has not worked on Newarke St. and needs to be addressed from the start with upright segregation, ideally in the form of kerbed separation as is common in London. A detail of the kerbed segregation is drainage and avoiding grates in the cycle lanes. Given conversations at consultation events, we feel it important to point out that there is no evidence that kerbed separation is a trip hazard, especially on an arterial route like London Rd.
- Implementation of cycle stop gates
The cycle stop gates proposed at the major junctions are an innovative solution that we applaud. We are fully in support but want to make sure that care is taken when implementing these so that they are effective. This means careful consideration of timings at junctions and ensuring that there is visible continuation of the cycle track (e.g. with coloured asphalt) through the junction. We have a concern about the timing for left turns onto University Road and the possible conflict of cyclists arriving at a green light allowing them to proceed downhill while the light is also green for cars to turn left.
- Priority at minor junctions
Providing cycles (and pedestrians?) with priority at minor junctions is a vast improvement of these plans, relative to other recent developments (e.g. Welford Road and the A50). To ensure that this priority functions well, it is vital that engineering measures are taken to alter the behaviour of motor vehicles, for example, raising the table and tightening the corners to force drivers to slow down and consider crossing traffic. This is especially important at certain junctions (e.g. Conduit Street).
- Connecting to existing infrastructure
It is essential that cyclists are able to easily access the new cycle tracks and that it makes sense to use them. The trickiest parts of the route are at either end – by the Mayfield Road roundabout at the top and in front of the Station at the bottom. These sections need to be carefully thought through as they could easily end as too inconvenient to use, e.g. for those continuing south beyond Mayfield roundabout. An addition that would support cycling in the area would be a connection from Granville Street / De Montfort Hall area to the proposed cycle way along Victoria Park.
- Front of station: We see advantages and disadvantages to bus stops in front of the station and to drop off/pick up space in front of the station. We think that the clear, designated cycle path in front of station is important, very much better than unmarked shared space. Maybe include railings to prevent pedestrians walking willy-nilly across the cycle track where they don’t expect faster vehicles. While we appreciate the idea that drop-off/pick up space in front of the station may mean that only professional drivers actually drive out of the station and across the footway and cycleway, would the drop-off space in Option 2 be enough to allow this?
- Provision of adequate cycle parking by shops along London Rd will reduce likelihood of bikes attached to random poles and railings.
- The chicanes around bus stops are very tight as displayed on the plans. We are concerned this will lead to conflict with pedestrians and lack of visibility around the bus stops.
- We are concerned that parking bays appear to intrude onto the cycle lane, but recognise this could be an appearance rather than actuality.
- We are concerned about the kerb at Granville Street, both continuing toward the station from the south, and turning from Granville St onto the cycle way. As above, we believe the best solution would be a kerbed separation that leaves the cycle track at carriageway level.
Overall, as stated at the beginning, these are very good plans. We hope that careful consideration is given to the points raised in this response as there are still a number of important engineering decisions that will significantly affect the effectiveness of this scheme. We believe that the issues we raise will not just be of benefit to cyclists but, in fact, will make the scheme more successful for all users.
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
A group of a dozen or so gave the cycle lane a tryout before our June meeting. We would have to say that responses were mixed – some of it is good – it’s there, for a start, and it’s segregated, which is what we have campaigned for on these kinds of projects. And there is metered parking along sections of it, which hopefully will mean it doesn’t become a carpark (as Newarke Street does occasionally).
Some was not as good as we would have like – no priority at junctions means cyclists have to keep stopping and starting and the ends are not great, but we do know that more will be done at the Welford Place (city) end once the replacement for the New Walk Centre is finished. And there will be some more work done at the other (prison/Tigers) end, once the entrance to the new A&E is completed.
So, all in all, a mixed bag. We have arranged a meeting with Adam Clark, Assistant City Mayor for Energy and Sustainability (which includes transport) at which to raise our concerns and identify any improvements that can be made.