Author Archives: ClareS

Notes of Quarterly Meeting – 5 March 2018

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.

Discussion:

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.

Position:

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

14 April

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.

3. Sharing

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.

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AGM 2017 Minutes

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.

  1. Minutes from 2016 were accepted.
  2. 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

  1. Jaime presented Membership Report showing 79 new members in 2016.
  2. Elizabeth presented Treasurer’s Report.
  3. Mat presented Campaign’s Report detailing activity within 2016 and attendees discussed planned infrastructure for the coming year.
  4. Steve led discussion on coalition building with different groups with overlapping goals, e.g. on air quality.
  5. 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.
  6. Election results presented with elected committee members as follows: Jaime, Elizabeth, Anna, Eric, Mat, Neil.

13:00     Close of Meeting

 

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Our response to London Road plans

London Road plans 2017 - impressionThe 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:

London Road plans 2017 – Option 1

London Road plans 2017 – Option 2

For more information, see the Council’s website here and 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.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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).

  1. 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.

Additional points:

  • 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.

 

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5 September 2016 – meeting minutes

Attenders: Jaime* (chair), Dave, Peter, Sallie, Anna, Wendel, Clare (note-taker), Neil*, Nicola, Andy F (* indicates committee member)

London Road
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.

 Actions

  • 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).

SkyRide Report
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’.

Welford Road
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.

Belgrave Road
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.)

Granby Street
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…

Website
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

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What do we think of Welford Road?

A group of a dozen or so gave the cycle lane a tryout before our June meetingLM Demo. 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.

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1 August 2016 – meeting minutes

17 people attended, including representatives of Leicester Critical Mass and some new members.

Updates from previous meeting:

  • Welford Road: the meeting with Assistant Mayor Adam Clarke had been postponed to tomorrow evening (2 August). Not sure what is on his agenda but we want to try and cover the general issues of consultation with the council and communication with planners.
  • Meeting with Police & Crime Commissioner: contact made but no date set for a meeting as yet (likely to be October/November)
  • Cyclescape.org and email discussion list: people still not finding it very intuitive to use, although it should be really good for recording and monitoring issues, with lots of accident stats available through it. People encouraged to sign up and keep trying it. Discussion list email is working better since bugs were fixed. If people had problems with it, should be encouraged to try again.
  • Belgrave Road Consultation: closes on Thursday (4 August). Need to keep encouraging people to respond as numbers matter. There is a page on the website with response from LCCG, posts on FB and Twitter. Neil got 30 people at Friday’s Critical Mass to complete a paper copy of the survey, visit to Cossington Park produced a dozen more. Clare to repost on FB.
  • Mayor’s (now Assistant Mayor’s) Quarterly Cycle Forum: latest one was on the day of the fatal accident on London Road. Those attending still consider forum to be useful although with less clout than when chaired by the City Mayor. Belgrave Road consultation was covered – only two options on table now, third with cycle lanes was dropped a while ago. Consultation process indicates not enough people are requesting cycle facilities to warrant building them. London Road cycle path plans discussed: proposal for two-way segregated track on inbound (west) side, linking to Victoria Park at the top. At the bottom end there are three options under consideration. Still in early design station not ready for consultation yet. (In the meeting with Adam Clarke on 2 August, it was made clear that the earliest possible date for a path would be 2018, given funding requirements and practicalities of scheduling major infrastructure works.)
  • Skyride: Jaime to set up doodle poll for message to go out to Discussion list, Dennis to check on reprinting of tee-shirts and arrange pick up of stall material with Neil, Clare to contact Andy Salkeld re: pitch.
  • St Matthews Parks Day: we had been invited to have a stall on August 12th but not enough people available to run it
  • St Georges Churchyard (opposite Curve): consultation on redevelopment closes Wednesday (3 August).


Fatal accident on
London Road: discussion with representatives of Leicester Critical Mass

  • Background: on Wednesday 27 July, a young man suffered a fatal bike accident in front of Leicester Railway Station. He was hit by someone opening the road-side rear door of a taxi and knocked into the path of a van. (At the time of our meeting, his name had not been released to the public; he has since been named as Sam Boulton.) On the following Friday, Leicester Critical Mass passed the station and stopped for a ‘bike lift’ to acknowledge Sam’s death and highlight the risks to cyclists using London Road. The majority of the Mass riders also cycled down New Walk in protest at the prohibition on its use as a cycle route.
  • Members of LCM have engaged with members of Sam’s immediate family who are happy to put a decorated bike (done by Sam himself) by the site of the accident. We would have a strong ally in his fiancée in calling for faster action on a safe route. LCM were planning a press release on the day Sam’s name was released. They will also advise LCCG when the decorated bike was to be placed, so that we could ask our members/followers to attend a public demonstration with press coverage focusing on the issue of cars stopping outside the station.
  • LCM have also spoken with James Bowie, owner of the Belmont Hotel and a leading member of Friends of New Walk, (his son is a cyclist and member of Leicester Forest club). He would be another ally in pressing for a safe route that did not involve New Walk.
  • Rebecca Pritchard has launched a change.org petition (https://www.change.org/p/leicester-city-council-stop-cycling-tragedies-bike-lane-on-new-walk-leicester) calling for the ban on cycling on New Walk to be lifted, with the creation of a cycle lane.
  • It is clear that the problem that needs fixing is the danger posed to cyclists using London Road and a possible solution is to allow cycling on New Walk, at least in the interim while something is done about London Road.
  • In a straw poll, the majority of those at the meeting were in favour of calling for New Walk to be available to cyclists, given the lack of a safe alternative to London Road. Such a move would be at little or no cost and would immediately create a safe route, whilst plans continue to build something more long-term on London Road (which is going to take years to complete). People are already using New Walk to cycle on, mostly for reasons of personal safety, and those who are cycling considerately are more likely to be stopped and questioned/fined than those who are not.
  • Those against the idea pointed out that it is already heavily used by pedestrians and we want to take space away from cars (to reduce traffic and to make better use of road space). LCCG have been talking with the Council over a long period about a safe cycle path down London Road, including attending a site visit with Peter Soulsby to consider options. Our strategy is to encourage the building of segregated cycle paths along arterial roads, rather than pushing cyclists onto alternative routes.
  • New Walk has a road traffic order prohibiting cycling as well as being a footpath, so no cycling at present. The Council cannot change the status of the footpath but could allow cycling, although this would probably require a public enquiry for someone (LCCG?) would have to pay.
  • The issue on London Road is not one of traffic congestion but of chaos, which is putting cyclists at risk. We need to press the Council to sort it out, possibly with an urban clearway outside station, to reduce use by cars dropping off/picking up passengers.
  • Need to let Adam Clarke know of feeling of meeting and to ask how fast London Road can happen (see earlier comment). What are the alternatives if this is not fast enough? We and others will take action to put on the pressure.
  • Suggestion of a half-day conference to discuss the matter, rather than leaving it all to consultations taking place in offices.

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4 July 2016 – meeting minutes

11 members present, apologies from 2.

  1. Kidical Mass: this had taken place the day before the meeting, cycling Bede Park-Abbey Park-Bede Park. It would be repeated in another few weeks.
  2. Park survey: Brendan to send the surveys to Clare and Dennis.
  3. Hospital BUG (Bike Users’ Group): Neil has been trying to improve cycling provision at University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL). UHL is trying to set up a Bike Users’ Group: the contact is ruth.ward@uhl-tr.nhs.uk
  4. Email system: eemail seem to have fixed glitches which were causing problems in the recent past. Jamie has set up an alternative, and is testing it with a small number of members – initial results are promising. It was agreed to expand use to the rest of the forum members. It was agreed to seek user feedback for the next meeting – everyone should post at least one message.
  5. Braunstone Gate: Charlotte discussed developments at Braunstone Gate, and invited members to a public meeting on July 06 at The Laundry Bar. Clare would publicise the proposals; feedback to Charlotte on 07833 057 595; charlotte.jones@sustrans.org.uk; particularly valued would be views from residents and regular users of Braunstone Gate.
  6. Rutland Street – Neil to contact the council expressing concern about car/cycle conflicts as cars exit the car park.
  7. Belgrave Road: the consultation is open (https://consultations.leicester.gov.uk/communications/belgrave-road/consult_view). A number of members had been to the two days of exhibitions and were not impressed. There was a two lane option and a four lane option, neither had segregated facilities for cyclists. Members would be encouraged to submit comments – Mat had suggested some points; Dave agreed to expand these to a model response and circulate to members.
  8. Welford Road: There had been issues with cars parking and signs being placed in the new cycleway, and one car driver had been filmed using it to “undertake” other cars. Elizabeth and Eric would discuss it when they met Councillor Adam Clarke. Members to post on the Facebook site and comments for Councillor Clarke.  Eric agreed to invite Councillor Clarke for a ride along Welford Road.
  9. It was agreed (Eric?) to ask for a meeting with the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (Willie Bach).
  10. AOB: Leicester City Public Access Forum is still looking for someone to represent the cycling interest – contact paul.standley@leicester.gov.uk if you are interested.
  11. It was agreed to have an LCCG meeting as normal on Monday August 1 (no summer break).

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