10 Oct 2012 - CYCLEWight

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10 Oct 2012

Campaigning > IW Cycle Forum

                    Present:
Mark Blanchard (MB) Vectis Roads
Alexander Hopkinson-Woolley (AHW) Bembridge Wheelers
Margaret Hopkinson-Woolley (MHW) Bembridge Wheelers
Alex Lawson (AL) Cyclewight & Wayfarers
Valerie Lawson (VGL) Cyclewight & Wayfarers  
Rachel Mills (RM) IWC Highways– Integrated Transport
Tanja Rebel (TR) Orchards, Cyclewight
Tim Thorne (TT) Cyclewight Chairman
Donna Vose (DV)
Tracey Webb (TW) Road Safety Officer IW Fire & Rescue
George Wilks (GW
1.
Introduction
Apologies were received from Cllr Edward Giles, Claire Critchison, Martin Gibson, Andy Newman, Nick Farthing, Steve Goodman, Wendy Rust.
Previous minutes were discussed. IW Mountain Bike Centre: various events have taken place successfully. The Cycle Festival experienced weather described as “tidal”, unfortunate as visitors were attracted to the island for the event. However cyclists did complete the hills challenge and other events, and the week was successful.  
2.
Local Sustainable Transport Fund
Rachel Mills for the Council said that a meeting of the Cabinet Members committee will shortly finalise plans. The funds will then come through from the DfT. LSTF launch events have taken place with interested parties invited.
Route decisions in detail are subject to land procurement and on-going negotiations with landowners. The principal routes are as follows.
Newport to East Cowes: progress made with landowners. There are environmental issues
Newport to Shanklin route 23: work planned at Alverstone to deal with flooding.
Shanklin to Wroxall: some work in progress.
Sunshine Trail : minor improvements made & further work planned.
Yarmouth to Freshwater: improvements.
Brading to ST Helens: landowner issues are blocking progress.
At Shanklin school playing fields a cycleway had been built to improve access to Shanklin Railway Station.
At Ryde Esplanade to Seaview it is hoped to introduce mixed access cycling & walking, once all the Parish Councils have debated the issue.  The route would start from the skate park & pavilion.

The Council is open to further suggestions: these would need to reach RM soon to be included in the  infrastructure planning.  RM added that there are discussions with the Environment Agency regarding the work at Alverstone as there are water voles in the area. If consent is given then work could proceed, possibly on 22 October, and the route would be closed for about 2 months.  

TT said Bembridge Parish Council had contacted him about Brading to ST Helens. MHW said the house in question is for sale. AHW suggested that the Council could purchase the property and use it to provide practical training in catering for Isle of Wight College students. RM said the property department only considers land value in such cases.  

GW asked if most of the LSTF was to be spent on promotion, rather than on the ground. RM replied that the funding was constrained to be 60/40 revenue / capital. However the Council was providing a further £1.25 million from matched funding, to go towards the infrastructure work.

The work at Alverstone is from this year's budget.

Looking ahead, RM said the Council will appoint a Green Tourism Travel Officer who will work with the Destination Management Organisation (DMO) (the public-private partnership arrangement).
3.
Bikeability
The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service is providing Bikeability training at schools. Providing an update, TW said the scheme was going well, with lots of schoolchildren signed up. Teachers and parents very happy with the scheme, and IWFRS staff are keen to participate. Funding is available for a further two years.

Over November to March sessions will be restricted by the hours of darkness, although some schools allow cycle training during PE sessions. Some schools do not have suitable areas on-site to permit training: however IWFRS now have a trailer available for bikes, and organise a mini-bus to a training location. Half term courses are being arranged (Shanklin) and again next Easter. Training is given to pupils of age 10 upwards, i.e. those starting year 6 just prior to secondary school. The ability to cycle is required of pupils. However bicycles are checked and there is liaison with bike shops to ensure that machines are suitable.

TT said training can also be provided for adults, while Go-ride provides training for younger children. TT will follow up with British Cycling, and TW will enquire how many schools still run Go-ride.  

VGL asked who to contact to receive training. TW said the fire service HQ or web site can be contacted, or TW by email. The Council website and schools websites cover it. http://www.iwight.com/fire/  following link for cycle training.
4.
Road Safety
MB, Chairman of Vectis Roads Cycling Club, discussed the inquest held last week regarding the death of Kathryn Hollis at Brook Shute two years ago. He and other Vectis Roads members  who had attended the inquest were upset by the verdict of accidental death, and by the County Press report and headline that the Council was not to blame for the condition of the roads. These members believe that there was a pothole concealed by water, and that the Council had been informed by phone. Also they believe the inquest verdict was wrongly influence by evidence about speed from a motorist rather than from a cyclist who was present and from other experts and investigators. Copies of the CP report, the relatives case as stated to the Cycle Touring Club, and the response from Roger Geffen of the CTC were circulated.

While acknowledging that no other vehicle contributed to the tragedy, MB said there were increasing numbers of sportive cyclists on the Island, and the possibility of injury or worse, leading to adverse publicity to the Island. He was concerned by poor road maintenance and also by the behaviour of some motorists. He noted that Highways policy is to drive each road at least once per month, but said the reporting system seems to have failed.

MHW said that Bembridge Wheelers take photos of potholes, which they report. CTC has a web site : fill that hole. http://www.fillthathole.org.uk/      TW said that there is a link on the Council web site which  should be publicised.   http://www.iwight.com/online/reporting/highwaysDefects/  She added  that the IWFRS helps to enforce road-worthiness of bikes. Any further safety campaign ideas would be welcome.    

TT said that Hampshire Police had launched a cyclists safety campaign:  
http://www.hampshire.police.uk/internet/news-and-appeals/2012/october/Steer-Clear-campaign-aims-to-keep-cyclists-safer-in-Hampshire  In response to an increase in cycling road casualties they are placing road signs to raise awareness  by motorists of dangers posed to cyclists. They have printed a leaflet aimed at cyclists giving safety tips from Cycling plus magazine. There are discount vouchers for safety equipment valid until 31 December. Although invited to this forum the police had been unable to attend.

Both MB & AL said the leaflet seems to be aimed at cyclists rather than motorists. More should be done to address motorist behaviour and make them aware of cyclists' vulnerability. AL said that when motorists are at fault and are convicted the punishments are inadequate. CTC is campaigning to amend the law:   http://beta.ctc.org.uk/tell-your-mp-criminal-justice-system-isnt-working       

TR said potholes are highlighted by paint but asked for how long this is left before the repair is carried out. She asked that the Forum should make enquiries to the Council. Also she was appalled by the large numbers in Britain who had never been on a bike.

TW said motorists have a lack of awareness of cyclists and may not leave adequate space or perceive cyclists at junctions.  GW asked if IWFRS had contact with driving schools. TW said they are making efforts in this direction. In response to AHW she said they had investigated driving simulators, but they were too costly for anything worthwhile.

DV asked if Bikeability trained young cyclists  to assess road surfaces and conditions. TW said  this is covered but is not major part. She was  looking into online publicity and wants to launch Road Safety Facebook & Twitter pages.  

MB re-iterated his concern for cyclist safety on the Island in the future, and noted the need for more notices to cyclists at the top of hills such as the one already at Blackgang.   
5.
Traffic Sensors and cycling
There have been complaints that traffic lights at Newport do not respond to the presence of Cyclists taking the bus lane from St James Square to South Street. There is also problem with the traffic lights at Shalfleet where cyclists may not have time to transit the one-way system.

TT has been in touch with Highways to suggest improvements. Peter Hayward has provided a document (circulated) to explain the cycle detector technologies used. There is an inductive loop system which detects a disturbance to the electromagnetic field over a buried coil. There is an above ground radar vehicle detection system. There are advantages and disadvantages to each system, but there is always a balance between false alarms from a lower threshold, and detection of cycles which may be carbon or travelling at insufficient speed. Both systems are in place at the lights in Newport.

It was noted that detection thresholds at Newport were to be checked. At Shalfleet traffic lights notices have been provided to motorists warning that cyclists may still be in passage.    
6.
Forthcoming events.
Cyclewight AGM 30 November 2012, 730 pm, Newport C of E Primary School, Hazel Close, PO30 5GD.
7. Any Other Business
TR said that the Carbon Cycling festival launch at St James Square was successful and thanks to those that helped.  VGL commended the Bardon Vectis road safety display which showed the drivers blind area in front and at the side of an HGV when at traffic lights.

AHW said that diversions where provided for cyclists were often too narrow. At Seaview there is one example.  AHW to provide photo to TT. **AHW**
8.
Date of next meeting
Thursday 7 February 2013 6pm, Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service HQ



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