CYCLEWIGHT AGM 25th November 2011
The 2011 Annual General Meeting was held on Friday 25th November at Newport C of E Primary, Hazel Close, off Sylvan Drive, Newport, PO30 5GD. 39 members attended. Apologies were received from Councillor David Pugh, Councillor Edward Giles, Councillor Arthur Taylor, Councillor George Brown, Councillor Cousins, Councillor Susan Scoccia, Isle of Wight Council Chairman David Williams, Clare Critchison, Chris Wells, Malcolm Ross, Sally Evensen, Dave Kitching, Tigg, John Graham, John Dear, Brian Brodhurst.
REVIEW OF YEAR: Tim Thorne
The year saw the adoption of a formal constitution for Cyclewight. There was the Christmas Mince Pie Ride and participation in the Cycling Festival with the Bicycle Bell Orchestra. The Wight Wheels Challenge and Bike to Work schemes were supported. Cyclewight made submissions to the Council Local Transport Plan and the LSTF consultation, and saw the adoption of cycle routes 22 & 23 under the IWC Highways' Private Finance Initiative. We also gave a response to the Travel to St Mary's Hospital consultation. Although as there is no longer a Cycling Officer, Tim was contacted by the Council and its officers regarding cycling affairs.
Three Cycle Forums have taken place in the year. As the Council no longer carry out the organisation this is done by the participants. However Council Cabinet leaders, Councillors, and senior officials attend to meet with representatives from cycle clubs, cycle shops and interested parties. Agenda headings have been # 106 money # Off-road cycling # Signage # Youth cycling.
Progress with the Cross-Newport part of route 23 has seen the completion of the Blackhouse Quay link. The Coppins Bridge / South Street work was starting that night and the East Street section was to start on the following Monday. The funding is from a considerable grant from Sustrans and from 106 money from the planned superstore.
Cycling on the Island was increasing: the counter on the Newport-Cowes track which 4 years ago registered 56,000 had risen over 90,000, and estimated off-road rides from 125,000 to 180,000 in three years.
The Island Games included a successful cycling event at which Tim as marshal flagged Nigel Mansell to a halt. Best in Travel Lonely Planet 2012 identified the Island as one of the ten best places to cycle.
Cyclewight is affiliated to Sustrans, CTC, Cycle Nation, and IW Council QTP via Cycle Forum. Treasurer Colin Boon added that the finances for the year are satisfactory.
The way forward includes a new logo and a re-invigorated website, participation & support to the 2012 Cycling Festival and to the Bikeability scheme for youth cycling. There should be more awareness of sources of funding and more co-ordination of the various cyclists' groups on the Island. Tim noted that there are 400 CTC members on the Island.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
A Lawson took the chair temporarily and asked for nominations for Chairman. Tim Thorne was nominated by Steve Goodman and seconded by Tanja Rebel and duly elected. A Lawson was then proposed as Secretary and elected. Colin Boon was proposed as Treasurer and elected. Derek Jackson was proposed as Membership Secretary and elected. Committee Members will be co-opted according to the constitution. A Lawson asked for new volunteers in addition to previous committee members.
GUEST SPEAKER : Ian Warby, CTC Mountain Biking Officer
Ian had run Aston Hill, a location developed for off-road biking, before becoming the CTC officer with responsibility to encourage mountain biking. If this is seen as a product then funds and people are the foundation. The Scottish Enterprise Economic Survey estimates cycling revenue as £119M in 2009, and jobs created as 3400. Estimates applying to Cornwall were for £81M and £129M for day trips and for stays respectively. Thus countryside revitalisation provides one reason for funding, along with sport and recreation, transport and health, social inclusion, and crime reduction in urban settings.
Ian gave two examples where regional organisations exist: firstly 1SW covering the South West. Its membership includes certain local and city authorities, NHS, National Trust, Forestry Commission etc. Guidance is available to businesses, clubs and individuals as to the best way to be involved. There are a number of hub sites where MTB facilities are focused. The web site is 1SW.org.uk.
His second example is the DMTBinS (Developing MTB in Scotland), which has 11 members including those promoting tourism. The MTB facilities are organised by regional clusters. Glen Tress in the borders has 300,000 visits per year, and Event Scotland runs a world class MTB competition at a location near Fort William.
Ian listed features of importance to MTB locations: accessibility, publicity, suitability for short but regular visits, public transport access, availability of hire bikes, availability of training facilities, rides of progressive difficulty, suitability as holiday venue, accessibility to minority groups, sustainability and carbon neutrality. He emphasised the importance of web sites and of Twitter for publicity and communication to potential users.
Alan Bennett demonstrated content for the cyclewight.org.uk web site, which he had under development on the Vectis Cycle Club site vectiscc.org.uk which he also runs. It is now online replacing the current content. The Cycle Forum minutes, the latest Cyclewight Committee minutes and the Newsletter are downloadable. There are links to clubs, cycle shops and transport information. A calendar includes the Wayfarers and Autumn Tints runs. Suggestions & feedback can be sent via the contact facility.
Questions & discussion
Mike Stephens asked if there is conflict with ramblers where paths are shared. IW explained that trails concerned are mostly dedicated to mountain biking. Derek Jackson asked if the land on the Island is to be developed for MTB. IW confirmed this is at a very early stage.
Mike Hoath asked about progress on the Newport to Yarmouth route. TT replied that this had not been included in the Local Sustainable Transport Fund bid as it could not realistically be achieved. It was hoped that the Island bid would come good, but only 1 in 8 bids was successful. No ownership or control existed on the land involved, the problem being at the Newport end.
Jennifer Smith (Director of Public Health) asked if mountain biking facilities are made available to youngsters from all backgrounds. IW confirmed that this was the case and said many have gone on into competition cycling. He said that urban facilities are welcomed by police who say they at least know where people are. TT added that Bikeability are providing training and riding opportunities to youngsters on the Island.
Further discussion took place on the state of cycle tracks on the Island. Andy Newman then said highways problems affecting cyclists were not being dealt with. He hoped the Cyclewight web site could help to co-ordinate information and to improve the infrastructure.