Category Archives: News

London Road Sept 2016 update

The death of Sam Boulton on London Road on 27th July highlighted the lack of space for cycling on London Road. There were two Critical Mass rides, one of which ended up at an exhibition of Sam’s art at the Parcel Yard. A petition was started to allow cycling on New Walk with 1034 signatures at time of writing.

The city council took the (unprecedented) step of sharing its early plans for a two way cycle track on the inbound side of London Road. They were discussed at the August Cycle City Workshop meeting which agreed unanimously that a two way track on one side of the road isn’t good enough, and that there should be tracks on both sides of London Road.

The cycle campaign supports calls for tracks on both sides for the following reasons –

  • Cyclists are put in danger when they are (legitimately) riding on cycle tracks against the flow of traffic because drivers turning out of and into junctions frequently fail to look for or see them – try riding along Granby St past Northampton St towards the station for an example. Cycle tracks should run in the direction of general traffic (but allow use the ‘wrong’ way where necessary).
  • London Road is a destination with shops, businesses and other routes on both sides. A cycle route on one side only will make riding here less attractive and lead to pavement cycling.
  • Routes each side will be easier to build at an appropriate width than one two way one.

As ever, the detail of any design is critical here. Schemes in Leicester tend to treat us as fast pedestrians who don’t mind giving way at every opportunity. We would like to see the planners treat cyclists as vehicles which need priority when passing side roads and design a safe, continuous and direct route along this busy road.

The plans released by the council are said to be at an early stage. We need to lobby for tracks each side as a matter of priority. The campaign will be in touch with Adam Clarke (assistant mayor with responsibility for Energy & Sustainability) to press this point and will continue to lobby for an first class route which will be an example of what can be done.

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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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Belgrave Road Consultation June – Aug 2016

Belgrave Road Consultation

belg rd

Space for cycling : none

The Leicester Cycle Forum meeting on 27th July discussed the changes on offer for Belgrave Road, from Belgrave Circle to the Loughborough Road turn. In short, the options on the table are as it is (2 lanes in each direction) with a few trees to prettify it and some changes to crossings, or one lane in each direction with bigger pavements (and changed crossings).

Neither option offers any safe space for cycling or does anything to reduce the pavement cycling seen as a problem in the area.

This is not acceptable and the council needs people to feed into the consultation to make the point that we need separated space to cycle.

We are encouraging all our members to complete the consultation as we know that the number of responses on each side is what they care about most. Your response really will count!

It only takes a few minutes to complete and can be found here: Consultation link

Here are some suggested responses.

belg 2

Space for cycling : none

Question 1
Which option do you prefer?

Option B – two lanes

Question 2 (this is the only space to add comments)
Please let us know if you have any comments on either of the options

Belgrave Road is a major route into the city. At the moment, it is a place where only the fast and the brave will cycle on the road – others choose the pavement, with the usual problems. The Mayor has expressed a desire for cycle tracks on major routes and Leicester has recently been lauded as a forward-thinking city for cycling. Despite this, there is no separate space for cycling included in these plans. The idea that people will cycle amongst the cars and buses (as shown in the artists impressions) is a whimsical fantasy and cycling levels will continue to be as depressed as they are now. This is contrary to the council’s plans re cycling – would you take children to school on Belgrave Road as pictured? If there is room for four traffic lanes and a central reservation, there is room for two traffic lanes and separated cycle tracks on each side.

Questions 3,4,5,6,7 – monitoring questions.

We know that numbers count in this consultation. Thanks for you help.

 

Update 20th Oct

There is a piece in the Mercury on the outcome of the Belgrave Consultation. It’s light on detail – in short, the four lane “keep it as it is” option doesn’t have a massive majority.

screenshot-from-2016-10-20-201811It’s not an ideal situation – we’d have liked a resounding mandate to enable people to cycle safely up and down Belgrave Road. However, not rebuilding four lanes now does leave the door open for something better in the future.

Thanks to all who responded.

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Is Leicester a bike-friendly city?

Leicester Mercury article reporting on the Cycle City Active City conference (19-20 May 2016), quoting LCCG’s Eric Ludlow on our view of the progress being made towards ‘making cycling normal’ in Leicester.
LM on CCAC 2016
 

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2 May 2016 – Meeting minutes

Present: Eric, Brian (new), Andy B, Neil, Clare, Steve (Chair), Elizabeth (minutes)

Brian is based in Loughborough, coordinating a Sustrans group there.  Not planning to be a regular member but keeping in touch.

Assistant Mayor’s Forum

Steve and Dave went (thanks)

  • Connecting Leicester:  Canals and Rivers trust has done a lot of work improving canalside paths and a new path at Abbey Meadows (near Space Centre).  Andy B had written to the Council asking what should have been in place for cycling and walking diversions during the works; now putting in complaint as no response received.
  • ‘Townscape Heritage Initiative’.  Marble Street – will continue to be closed at the Newark Street end, but will be paved to look like other semi-pedestrianised areas.  Friar Lane, New Street, Wycliffe Lane will follow, completed by September 2017.  All car parking spaces will disappear.  We discussed the possibility of adding bike parking later.
  • London Road.   Work starting soon.  Will be two-way on the south side of the road.  Will be shared use at junctions, but floating bus stops.  Sounds as though it will go beyond Victoria Park roundabout, possibly to county boundary.  At the meeting our representative pointed out the junction sharing and lack of priority didn’t meet current London standards.  We have requested that they paint cycle priority on the junctions at a minimum.  Not out for consultation yet.
  • Belvoir Street – single lane out of city.
  • Belgrave – lane out of the city 1.5m wide segregated on left hand side.  No lane coming into the city. Promising that traffic flows will be alleviated
  • Future Cycles moving to Horsefair St 20 May
  • Ashton Green Development.  Out for consultation at the moment. A bit of a mess.
  • Lidl near the Phoenix will put in cycle racks; Staples is moving but will not at new site.

Cycle City Active City Conference – 19-20 June

Eric and Elizabeth will attend on behalf of LCCG.  All please give feedback on initial handout draft previously circulated on email list, and things you would like to have included.

Westcotes meeting with Sarah Russell and Andy S

Neil and Jaime met with Cllr Russell and Andy Salkeld (City Cycling Officer).

  • Still promising a cycle rack on Briton Street.
  • Discussed a cycle lane on Wilberforce Road and Western Road.  Idea falls apart a bit when crossing Upperton Road and at Paton Street.
  • On Wilberforce Road, agree would like flower beds that close roads to come out as they collect rubbish and make the cycle route annoyiing, but they do effectively close the roads
  • Andy S suggests going to wards for any money.  Elizabeth to go to Braunstone/Rowley Fields to request bike racks at the Coop / Wilkos at Imperial Road.

Welford Road cycle lane opening

  • Council have agreed they would like it, suggest week after Cycle City Conference; we have decided against this date.
  • We aren’t sure the lane is of good enough quality and not well enough connected to warrant a ‘celebration’.
  • There is some work at the end of Lancaster Walk at the prison that is incomplete – will eventually cross the street toward the Royal Infirmary.
  • Floating bus stops – used to be protected by 4m wide bus lanes.  Having lost that, people are waiting much closer to the road and will get covered in spray when it rains.  Also, the floating bus stops are used by people who are visually impaired and attend a clinic at the Royal Infirmary.  Appear to be missing tactile paving in important places, and a worry about people needing to cross the cycle lane.  There is concern that it is poorly designed for visual impairment.
  • Before monthly meeting on 6 June, we will meet at 6:30 at Welford Place to ride the cycle lane and form opinion on final quality and finish.  We could move from a celebration to a ‘get to see this and comment’ ride, etc.
  • Jaime – please add this to Riverside invitation to all members.

Riverside Festival

  • Neil will sort out banner and what things we own, retrieving it from the Council on 10th May.
  • Steve will email to organise a place (Andy Salkeld)
  • Need to update a lot of our photographs and clippings.
  • Suggestion: bicycle locking information, and where exactly people would like more racks.
  • Suggestion: our log of worrying places in the city – can we show it to people at Riverside?
  • Suggestion: collect info on yellow routes for the cycle map.

Communication

  • Lccg-discuss email address inconsistent with bounceback.
  • Suggest trying a test Google Group with various email addresses – Clare will give it a try.

Braunstone Gate

  • Concrete and wooden planters and white lines due to happen.
  • Charlotte would like feedback from cyclists about how it affects their journey once it happens.

Regent Road

  • Message from cyclist who had been hit on Regent Road.
  • Clare requested information on whether it was infrastructure related (beyond having to mix with cars) or solely due to dangerous driving.  Suggested using Lancaster Road (Route 63).

Cycle Map

Date of Next Meeting – 6 June 2016

  • 6:30pm at Welford Road cycle way (which should open that day) – meet at Welford Place
  • 7:30pm at the Exchange

 

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Welford Road – plans, consultation open

belvoir-street

The long-awaited plans for Welford Road and Belvoir Street are online at http://www.leicester.gov.uk/news/news-story-details?nId=88388 and http://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council/city-mayor-peter-soulsby/my-projects/connecting-leicester/new-proposals

Welford Road – even with its bus lane – is a horrible place to cycle so we welcome plans to make space for cycling on this important route.

We know that weight of numbers matter, so even a “I want to see a safe, high quality route here” email is useful and will help.

Please take 5 minutes to send a supportive email to transport.strategy@leicester.gov.uk

Thanks

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AGM Report, 28 February 2015

Chairing: Elizabeth Barner and Clare Scott

Minutes: Anna Scull

Introduction: A brief introduction about LCCG and plan for the meeting. Committee that has been in place over the previous year introduced to the AGM.

Treasurer Report: Full report of in and out goings given out as a hand out. This year’s running total is £210. This money is from membership and donations primarily carried over from the previous year.

Campaigns Report: Mat Scull gave a talk on the main campaigns and consultations the group have been involved with over the last year. (Notes will be added soon.) Questions from the room included:

  • What are we doing about dangerous side roads/junctions, in particular Newarke Street – Marble Street and Granby Street – Northampton Street? The group continue to push these issues. In a meeting with the Mayor we discussed the dangerous junction on Newarke Street, highlighting the Cities own safety audit which clearly states there is an issue there. We were assured by the Mayor something significant was going to happen, we are still waiting to see what this would be. Given the difficulties in visibility at the location, our request was to block off Marble Street.
  • As a group are we being listened to / taken seriously by decision makers? This is dependent on who we are talking to, some officers are very good and are willing to meet and discuss our thoughts, however some are not. We have a good relationship with the Mayor which helps when we come across a difficult officer and often go straight to the Mayor.
  • Are we being successful with producing consultations to share with our members in the hope they will send more in to increase numbers? (numbers do count in the process) We have always managed to get an LCCG consultation in on time, however when possible we need to share the document earlier with the group so it can be cut and paste by more members as numbers do count.

Business Section: A request made to make two small changes to the constitution:

  • Change the date of the AGM from October to February/March and subsequently change the date for submission of proposed resolutions – no objections, all in agreement.
  • Change the name of the group: our constitution currently says Leicester Cycle Campaign Group, however our bank account says Leicester Cycling Campaign Group. Therefore we propose the constitution be changed to be in line with our bank account – no objections, all in agreement.

Both changes are agreed and the constitution is duly amended.

Voting procedure for the new committee: There will be slips of paper at the front of the hall for candidates to be proposed and then seconded.

Break

Films: Two short films shown. The first briefly shows 20 top infrastructure projects around the world, the second by Streetfilms looks at America’s Love Affair with Great City Streets – Discussion followed

Attendees at the AGM were invited to write their responses to four questions:
1.  Why are you a member?

  • To bring together support that is out there, but may not be heard over the negativity
  • To improve cycle facilities and environment in Leicester City, to counter the car lobby.
  • To represent me in ways and in things that I may not have time to do individually.
  • To gather information, collate and lobby for better cycling facilities – so I can find out infrastructure news from one place instead of several.
  • Because we can achieve so much more together than we can as individuals. It’s really important to me to hear other people’s opinions and experiences as I form my own opinions on things related to cycling.
  • The more members the stronger the mandate the groups has when lobbying.
  • To be part of a bigger group – with lots of expertise, and more hope of achieving things.

2. What do you hope the campaign group will achieve?

  • Normalise cycling
  • Safer cycling
  • Create safe pleasant routes and a nicer city to live in
  • Joined up continuous, wide, safe cycle lanes throughout the city and feeder routes from within the shire.
  • Leading to greater numbers of people cycling and fewer cars on the road.
  • Make cycling more safe and friendly road users
  • More cycle friendly (8-80), space all across the city – right out to the edges.
  • Promote the inventors favourite invention for more normalising of bike use for all ages and classes.
  • Simply more bums on bikes around the car free city centre
  • To encourage planning and services etc to think about cyclists at the planning stage – more joined up.
  • Changes attitudes towards cyclists
  • Fix cycle city workshop to be more than just a council PR job.
  • Better cycle facilities on out skirts.
  • A nicer, safer city

3. If you were Mayor for the day what would you do to improve cycling in the city

  • All one way streets to have contra flow cycle lanes
  • More cycle lanes
  • Have a forceful conversation with Clive Loader to ensure the police effectively enforce traffic behaviour, cars and cyclists
  • Maintain our existing cycle routes, repaint road markings, cut back trees and bushes, fill pot holes, and resurface Forest Way.
  • Free bikes for the unemployed
  • Car free one mile radius of the city centre
  • Make everyone ride a bike for a day – would help change people’s attitudes to cyclists
  • Car free Sundays – start at DMU, Bede Island, then expand.
  • Bike parking in every city park.
  • Improve/develop Western Road, Wilberforce Road – bike lane and take cyclists off Narborough Road footpath.
  • Open a city centre bike maintenance coffee shop for the unemployed.
  • Close the centre ring to all private cars.

4.  What should we do for the elections in May?

  • Stress that we don’t just want to make biking look good on paper, be adventurous get out on your bike – all ages, all classes.
  • I plan to work for Peter Soulsby re – election campaign, so I am biased, but as a group we should publicise our support for the improvements in Leicester over his term, including cycling.
  • Get every candidate to give a statement on what they will do to make the streets in their area safer and healthier
  • Get a large group of cyclists together and have a demo in town demanding safer cycling
  • Ask all council candidates to tell us their vision / views on cycling in the city and publicise their answers, i.e. are you in favour of more segregated cycle lanes in the city? Are you in favour of reducing car use in the city?
  • Ask my Councillors to sign the new Bennion Road cycleways.
  • Ask councillors to sign up in support of a cycling manifesto for the city and publicise who has.
  • Support the Mayor but not too obviously.

Appointment of new Committee: The constitution allows for up to eight members of the committee. As only seven nominations were received, there was no need for an election.

Candidates:

  • Elizabeth Barner – proposed by Peter Everard / Seconded by Dave Warnock
  • Jaime McCutcheon – proposed by Steve Massey / Seconded by Dave Warnock
  • Mat Scull – proposed by Anna Scull / Seconded by Steve Massey
  • Eric Ludlow – proposed by Clare Scott / Seconded by Anna Scull
  • Neil Bastock – proposed by Clare Scott / Seconded by Steve Massey
  • Anna Scull – proposed by Dave Warnock / Seconded by Elizabeth Barner
  • Dave Warnock – proposed by Mat Scull / Seconded by Anna Scull

Vote taken, group happy with the seven new committee members, one space is still free.

The meeting ended and attendees were encouraged to join Healthy Air Leicester and Leicestershire (the alliance of which LCCG is a member) for the launch of their Healthy Air Manifesto in Orton Square from 1pm.

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