Isle of Wight Cycle Forum Minutes
12 February 2014 @ 6pm
Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service HQ, Newport.
Alan Bennett (AB) Cyclewight
Ross Edmunds (RE) Island Cycle Adventures
Jennine Gardiner (JG) IWC Public Rights of Way Officer
Alexander Hopkinson-Woolley(AHW) Bembridge Wheelers
Margaret Hopkinson-Woolley (MHW) Bembridge Wheelers
David Kitching (DK) Vectis Roads Cycle Club
Alex Lawson (AL) Cyclewight & Wayfarers
Val Lawson (VGL) Cyclewight & Wayfarers
James Lord (JL) West Wight Gentleman's Cycling Club
Andy Newman (AN) Wayfarers & CTC
Tom Ransom (TR) Visit Wight Project Manager
Tim Thorne (TT) Cyclewight Chairman
Tracey Webb (TW) Road Safety: IWF&R
George Wilks (GW) Sustrans
Apologies were received from Police Sergeant Dave Sanderson, Mari-Louise White, Rhys Williams,
Robin Lang, Martin Gibson, Margaret Young, Dave Young, Rebecca Tuck, Alec Broome, Mark Breakey,
2. Visit Isle of Wight
Tom Ransom explained the plans for the Visit Wight brand. The Island would be marketed as a
destination where you could have a great holiday without a car. One slogan was “Drive Less, See More”.
Their analysis found more income from tourism when longer routes and trails were available in an area.
Pub lunches and overnight accommodation were part of this, together with the trend to taking more short
breaks rather than a single long holiday.
The “Round the Island” route is the best asset in this respect. There are many other attractions including
off-road. Tom showed trial marketing posters with the vintage style, promoting “Red Squirrel Trail”, “Wight
Ridge Ride” and others. He has discussed ideas with ferry marketing people, who think it is important for
routes to be graded for steepness, surface quality and traffic-free nature. Visit England assess Quality in
Tourism by categories such as Pet Friendly and Cycle Friendly. Indoors or lockable cycle storage is
included as part of the latter category.
AL said that toilets are important for touring cyclists. Some had already been closed on the Round the
Island route and others were kept open by volunteers. Visit Wight should impress on the IWC the need
to provide toilets.
TT said CycleWight have been asked by Councillor Luisa Hillard to help publicise the grant funding for
cycle racks/infrastructure amongst pubs, café’s, hotels and B&Bs. The grant funding is being distributed
by Community Action IW, and cycle racks and lockers can be installed at no cost to these businesses if
they apply to Philippa Daley firstname.lastname@example.org.
TR said they were focused on building a new industry on the Island and that B&Bs in particular need a
VGL asked if Alan Rowe's maps of the Island had been considered. TR said they wished to promote their
Island brand based on the “vintage” style. VGL also said that route 23 was to go “Eye to Eye”, that is
London Eye to the Needles.
RE suggested linking with companies offering sailing holidays on the Island. TR said this could be
followed up. In Holland you can holiday by boat & take a cycle break.
VGL asked if a link with New Forest cycling would be beneficial. TR said he wants his platform to be
available to other, private ventures to link into and he is keen to record how much is invested in this way.
Tom said he intended to find out how much use is made of the bikes that arrive on the Island on the back
of cars. He hopes to provide cheap safe mainland parking, which could perhaps be in Lymington. He
said that 20000 visitors per year who stay overnight could spend as much as 400000 day trip visitors to
the Camel Trail.
He is organising a 'Bicycle Island' cycle tourism workshop on 18 February from 1130 to 1400 at the
Bargeman's Rest, aimed at the tourism sector on the Island. Any comments and suggestion are welcome
for this event.
TT asked if there are plans to reprint the Round the Island map, as there are only a few hundred left. TR
said there are no plans to do a free map. There is a mainland company which is interested in producing
such a map.
3. Off-road routes on the Isle of Wight
TT passed on a report from Alec Broome, who is IWC Sports Development Officer. “Work is continuing to
map and mark a number off circular off-road routes (approx 10) including a 50 mile round the island
route. The plan is to order the way markers by the end of February and start positioning them soon after.
The long term plan is to advertise these routes through Visit IW web site, including downloadable maps,
with information on points of interest, overnight accommodation, cycle friendly cafés and restaurants
AL passed on a report from Robin Lang who is National Trust Manager on the Island. “I have again put
forward the permissive bridleway works and re–surfacing of BS88 between Mottistone Common and
Mottistone Down, to the LSTF fund. I hope this is successful and if so would like to do the works in
March this year, provided the ground conditions are suitable. When it is finally completed I have been
talking to Tricia Merrifield (BHS) about the idea of having an official opening to promote it. It would be
great if the Cycle Forum could be involved with that please.”
AL noted that the Trust also had a proposal for Tennyson Down to provide routes for horse riding and for
cycling which the local council had opposed. Given that Tom Ransom and David Thornton are promoting
to the hospitality industry the benefits of cycle tourism this might be a scheme to be encouraged. VGL
said the opposition was based on a misunderstanding as the routes was designed to take cyclists away
from the existing footpath.
JG confirmed that the IWC Rights of Way department are in touch with Robin Lang and with the British
4. IW Mountain Bike Centre
James Lord said the Mountain Bike Centre was building a “Pump Track”, a new track designed for
younger riders. This should be finished by Easter. There was a new dedicated visitor car park, and a flat
approach area to the rides. Signposting would be added next month. Parallel tracks for running and
cycling were also in place.
A slalom event will be held on 28-29 June on a dual slalom track which allows head to head races. This
is organised by Wight Mountain, and camping will be available.
JG asked about visiting. JL said you can turn up and pay £2 to use the site. Island residents are
encouraged to take out seasonal membership. There are 2.5, 4.5 & 8.5 mile routes to follow. Any sort of
bike can be used from a child's push-along bikes upwards. There is no café on the site. A map is on the
TR said a link to this will be added to the Visit Wight website
TW asked about first aid cover which JL confirmed is provided. The mountain biking is open from April to
October. Note there is also shooting on the site in the winter season which ends on 1 March.
5. Cycle Track maintenance
TT has heard from Rebecca Tuck of Island Roads. Some re-surfacing work has been done on a like for
like basis. The question was raised about improvement schemes. TW said they will not go beyond their
remit built into their commercial contract. JG stated that requests for change are added to a wish list,
which will be reviewed for feasibility then prioritised by councillors and considered for funding. This is
known as the Network Integrity and Improvements Register.
TR said that road resurfacing may result in faster motor traffic so could be more dangerous for cyclists.
TW said any safety issues can be raised through the IW Safety Forum.
TW noted that the Bouldnor Road will be closed to vehicles for work to be carried out, but it is planned to
maintained passage for cyclists. 3000 pothole repairs have been carried out by Island Roads.
VGL praised Island Roads for rapidly clearing fallen trees from the Newport-Sandown track following the
storm last year.
AHW expressed the view that vehicles that were too wide for some narrow island roads should not be
using them. VGL said the freight forum had been planning to provide recommended routes for larger
lorries arriving on ferries to deliver goods.
6. Traffic & Cycle Safety
Police Sergeant David Sanderson was not present but will arrange to meet TT fairly soon. TW said that
Portsmouth have received government money for road safety purposes in response to a high accident
rate, and the intention is to follow through on the IW. There has not been a significant number of serious
cyclist casualties on the island. TT said there was a perceived danger and this needs to be challenged. If
the LSTF encourages more people to cycle there is a need for them to feel safe.
There should be mutual respect between drivers and cyclists, but it is a challenge to achieve this.
The police now have the power to issue fixed penalty notices to cyclists without lights. TW was not
enthusiastic about the use of this power, but when they tried handing out free bicycle lamps there were
still lots of cyclists without lights.
TW asked for suggestions for promoting safety which would be effective without too much cost. She has
safety posters available such as “Look out for Cyclists at Roundabouts”.
TT suggested adverts on buses asking motorists to make room for cyclists.
VGL said that reading the Highway Code should be promoted: it contains everything people should be
AL said Mark Breakey had sent his apology for non-attendance & reported that new Steve Porter
Transport vehicles were equipped with cameras showing view all round and in the cab. The footage
highlights errors made by all road users and could be useful for training. TW commented that it could
show cyclists going through red lights, which is something she gets complaints about from motorists.
TW asked if many more touring cyclists would present a risk. TR said standard of driving was poor but
the hope is that the presence of more cyclists should make driving safer as motorists learn to expect
RE said motorists need to see cyclists as people. JG said a little patience was necessary.
AN asked if driving instructors can be reached to give learners advice about cyclists. TW said the Safety
Forum had discussed more training for learner drivers, such as night driving or driving in wet conditions.
The Safety Forum has been held for a number of years after the emergency services realised that they
were duplicating effort and doing good things in isolation. It helps liaison over training and engineering
work. Co-ordination of budgets etc. takes place at a higher level.
VGL asked how to contact the forum. TW said it might be possible to attend a meeting.
AN asked if he could have a definite contact with the Road Policing Unit with respect to the Wayfarers
Randonnée, as he has never heard back in the past. TW & TT said they would try to arrange this.
# Jennine Gardiner of IWC Public Rights of Way said there were many landslips and mud everywhere. It
was difficult even get to areas affected & it would be a good few months before it would be sorted.
Closure notices are circulated, including today the Seaclose to Island Harbour section which is in fact on
the LSTF projected route.
# Ross Edmunds is part of Island Cycling Adventures, with Will Downer and James Dunford. They
provide guided rides along with accommodation if required. They advertise on Facebook and aim at offroad
mountain bikers. He believes it is more enjoyable with a guide and without getting lost.
MHW said having services of a guide is very beneficial. The Bembridge wheelers have booked a trip to
Jersey and have booked a guide to take them round.
TR added that Island Cycling Adventures are at the more extreme end of cycling on the Island.
The website is www.i sland c ycling a dventures .co.uk
# TR asked for comments about the Visit Wight promotion posters in which not all riders are shown
wearing helmets. He has received criticism for this. All children and technical mountain bikers and some
adults are shown with helmets.
TT said that most British riders will wear helmets when hiring bikes but continental riders will not. VGL
said it is not a legal requirement so his approach is good. AN said the CTC is against compulsion in
helmet use: in every country where this is enforced cycling has gone down. TR confirmed that in New
Zealand where compulsion had been introduced cycling had plummeted. AL said parents should make
children wear helmets as developing brains are more vulnerable to injury. TW said the IW Council policy
is to do everything possible to promote safety.
8. Date of next meeting
…......…... June 2014, 1800, Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service HQ
A.Lawson (minutes) email@example.com
T.Thorne (Cyclewight) firstname.lastname@example.org
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