Sep 2013 - CYCLEWight

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Sep 2013

Campaigning > IW Cycle Forum

                    Present:
Will Ainslie (WA) IWC LSTF Project Manager
Steve Archer (SA) Cyclewight
Mark Breakey (MB) Road Haulage Assoc. + Steve Porter Transport
Alec Broome (AB) IWCouncil Sports Unit
Louise Gray (LG) IWC Health Promotion
Alexander Hopkinson-Woolley(AHW) Bembridge Wheelers
Margaret Hopkinson-Woolley (MHW) Bembridge Wheelers
David Kitching (DK) Vectis Roads Cycle Club  secretary
Alex Lawson (AL) Cyclewight & Wayfarers
James Lord (JL)  West Wight Gentleman's Cycling Club
Councillor John Medland (CJM) IW Council Member, Deputy cabinet member for sustainability
Andy Newman (AN) Wayfarers
Tim Thorne (TT) Cyclewight Chairman
Rebecca Tuck (RT) Island Roads   
Tracey Webb (TW) Road Safety: IWF&R
Mari-Louise White (MW) IWC Events team
George Wilks (GW)  Sustrans
Margaret Young (MY) Vectis Roads CC Just4Fun
David Young (DY) Vectis Roads CC Just4Fun
1. Introduction
Apologies were received from Sergeant Dave Sanderson, Jennine Gardiner, John Allen, Alan Bennett, Val Lawson.  
2. IW Council: LSTF
Will Ainslie has been appointed project Manager for the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The government gave approval in July 2012 for £5 million funding for the IW Council bid. The primary object is to attract tourism to the Island, which would be sustainable and therefore bringing more cars. He outlined the project components:
Integrated Transport Hubs: at travel interchanges. These would provide schedules & real time service status as in place at various cities. SMS to mobiles will be provided. This would be backed up with maps and signage of walking and cycling routes. Cycle hire is also part of the scheme.
Infrastructure: Newport to Folly, Newport to Ryde, Sandown to Wroxall, Brading to St Helens cycle & shared use routes are in advanced stages of planning and construction.  
Public Transport subsidies: Southern Vectis coastal services given additional funding so that they are 4/day. Carriage of bikes now available on some services.   
Destiny Management Organisation:  Marketing and Promotion of island as a car free destination.
WA noted that other National Parks such as the New Forest receive funding, and Visit Isle of Wight needed similar funding. However we are in year two of the LSTF and a large chunk of money must be spent by March 2014.  
CJM asked if the cycle hire will be like Boris Bikes. Would there be sufficient demand for a large public scheme?
AHW suggested that Andrew Turner MP could be approached to ask Boris Johnson to help in promotion.  
MY said that cycling in France is made very easy: Books available from Amazon have all the necessary information for cycling in one place. Signs on routes by canals are numbered in correspondence with the Voie Verte guides. It is very easy to book accommodation online.   
TT said that Round the Island maps are invaluable to cycle hire shops but stocks are running out. He added that 3 different holiday companies have congratulated Cyclewight on its website and asked to advertise.
SA asked how much investment would be for public schemes, how much would be passed to private hands and how much control would remain with the council ?
CJM said there would be a mixture, and the council don't expect to retain control of private improvements. SA accepted it would be in the nature of priming to get things going.

AL said he had understood the route from Newport to the Folly would be part of a scheme linking to Osborne House and to the Red Funnel ferry service where bikes would reach the Island. AB said he thinks it will link through to East Cowes seafront. CJM said he sees the link into Cowes as an aspiration.

CJM went on to say the Brading St Helens route is still uncertain. Some discussion took place on this issue, which WA is grappling with in his short time in post. RT has had some past involvement and took a gloomy view of the outcome. However the Laundry Lane exit onto the road will be sorted.

WA continued that Fishbourne Lane to Lady Walk will be resurfaced soon. Also Island Harbour owners are keen for their section from Newport to be provided and this will be commenced soon. WA is in discussion with owners in the Folly area.
3. Future Island ….
Tim Thorne said a meeting took place with Councillor Medland to provide an introduction to Cyclewight and cycling on the Island. CLM was very happy with the LSTF concept but was keen to see long term plans in place to continue when the project ends. TT added that funding opportunities often have a 90 day application window so plans must be in place in advance. Accordingly cycling associations and individuals on the Island were invited to present their suggestions and priorities (in three minute slots!).

Andy Newman is chairman of Wayfarers Cycle Touring Club and Cycle Touring Club (CTC) Right to Ride representative.  His priorities are
1. Quiet traffic free routes especially Ryde to Yarmouth
2. Specific cycle provision should be part of any new road scheme
3. High standard of maintenance for minor roads
4. Extension of quiet lane network and 20mph limits in residential areas
5. Education of driving public e.g. Driving schools to include cyclist awareness
 
James Lord said the off-road cycling at Cheverton Farm Mountain Bike Centre was developing well. Numbers had risen in the two races run this year. They need more help in marketing the events, although they have found a couple of people who will help next year.
They are aiming to recruit teenagers over the winter period. The “Pump track” – a 100 yard track, and a larger circular BMX track are being constructed. These require riding techniques rather than power.

George Wilks said priorities for cycling routes on the Isle of Wight were safe routes from Newport to West Wight, and from Newport to Wootton.

Dave Kitching is chair of Vectis Roads Cycling Club. He noted a huge increase in interest this year: participation in time trials had risen from 20 to 50. Next year they will run more events to cope with the popularity. They have evening rides which cannot be larger than 40 so there will be more of these.
They would like to see an oval track constructed from tarmac or concrete.
They would like to see an off-road track for cycle training.
They would like to see better facilities on ferries for cycles, rather than corners exposed to salt spray.
He noted that a lot of effort goes into the organisation of their events, and they are always in need of volunteers as marshals and for other tasks.

Mari-Louise White from the Isle of Wight Events team said they urgently need more leaflets. They are running out of Round the Island maps.

Tracey Webb organises the training provided to schools by the IW Fire & Rescue Service. She said they
are considering a follow-up event after training which would involve parents and show off the skills acquired by the schoolchildren. This would be based on the cycling instruction and should engage the interest of t he pupils. It would be off road but with some on road component.

Mark Breakey represents the Road Haulage Association. Steel ??? training
He said that London Councils require all professional drivers in their service to take the cycling element as part of the training curriculum. This means they have 5 hours devoted to cyclist awareness. He said that drivers want to be able to see cyclists when they emerge at junctions. The junctions could be more visible with improved road markings.      
Help for Heroes volunteer supporters could be asked to help cycling events. These events are heavily signed when they take place in other council districts.

Alec Broome is from the IW Council Sports Unit, and he noted they can be contacted to provide support for rides and events.
There is a lack of provision for junior cycling. Once basic training is completed there is no club to join. He would like to see something happen but has no answer to how to go about it.
TW agreed that there was a gap, but pointed to the issue of responsibility for young riders when on the road. She suggested that off-road or cyclo-cross would be the way to go. MY added that track cycling would be another way.

Steve Archer is on the Cyclewight committee and is in touch with West Wight Marketing.
# He would like to see a cycle route developed from Newport to Five Houses.
# He is concerned about safety of cyclists at various road junctions on the Island, and would like layouts to be re-engineered with cyclists in mind: e.g. the staggered cross-road junction at the top of Wootton.  
# Back roads on the Island need more attention with respect to safety of cyclists. e.g. Brook Shute.
RT responded that maintenance is planned although she is not sure when Brook Shute is to be done.   

Alex Lawson is on the Local Access Forum an IW Council statutory body which monitors Rights of Way, and which brings together users including ramblers, horse rides and cyclists with landowners and farmers. There was a will to provide more access and to share more use subject to co-operation and agreement. There was a list of footpaths which would make links and avoid dangerous road sections if upgraded to bridleways. This would benefit horse riders and cyclists. In particular the Marks Corner to Whitehouse Road would provide a safer alternative to the road from Northwood to Thorness. The LAF was also seeking to improve bridleway/highway junctions so that users and drivers were visible to each other.      

John Allen of Wight Cycle Hire was attending the planning enquiry that evening regarding use of the former Yarmouth rail station for cycle hire purposes. On his behalf TT emphasised the importance of cycle routes that were continuous, not a patchwork of safe sections with main road links.

Facebook TT had used Facebook as a vox pop. Priorities were road safety, cycle tracks and off-road tracks, and junior cycle clubs.

Tim Thorne for Cyclewight, said priorities were
1. Cycle tracks
2. Safe route from Newport, through Parkhurst to Coleman’s Lane.
3. Newport to Ryde
4. Children's circuit in parks
5. Round the Island off-road linking sections upgrade to bridleway (Adrian Wheeler)
6. 20mph in urban areas and 40mph in rural roads
7. Cross Cowes route
8. Freshwater to Freshwater Bay joint use path
9. Green Lanes
10. Bikeability for adults
11. Tourist attractions to be cyclist friendly
12. Educating drivers – work with police & IW F & R
13. Improved signage
14. comprehensive map

TW said with respect to driver education that each party blames the other.   
4. News from IW Council and Island Roads  
Rebecca Tuck, Communications Officer for Island Roads, said there is a program to upgrade roads on the Island. Wherever possible this is to be carried out between 10 am & 3pm, or overnight, avoiding commuter peaks. There is an availability matrix for this, with current & 3 monthly schedules, via postcode entry on the website. The County Press has a travel page and feed.
The first two years are maintenance with no planned upgrades. They will cycle all cycle routes to monitor condition, and will deal with hazards that are reported.
AN asked how to make such a report and if there is a reference number allocated. RT said the phone line is staffed 24 hours. An app is being developed & should be available in a few weeks giving map entry, which will allow you to see if a pothole has already been reported.
TT asked about the pavement/cycleway alongside Fairlee Road where the hedge overhangs. Also Birchmore Lane. He had reported both these hazards in April. He added that these are of importance to tourists visiting the Island over the summer.
AHW said the Sunshine Trail goes via Shanklin railway station where you actually have to go down steps.
WA asked who is responsible for signage for cycle routes? RT replied there is a review underway. CJM said there is an alphabetical list available: he would send to WA. AB and RT added there is a lot of information shared between Island Roads and IW Council.
AHW asked why there were 'cyclist dismount' signs where cars are allowed to pass. TT said the blue cyclist dismount' signs were advisory.
MB said speed advisory signs are invaluable to lorry drivers.
5. Isle of Wight Cycling Festival
TT offered congratulations to Mari-Louise & the events team for another successful festival.
MHW said well done for two weeks full of events.
MLW said Rob Flello MP Chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Transport had attended & had met various people.
The weather had been poor – the Hills Killer took place anyway and the weather was not as bad as last year. There were 300 on Cycle the Wight including 300 from the mainland. Chevy Chase Enduro was popular.
Cycling Cinema in Seaclose Park on the last Saturday was very successful with nearly 100 of all ages present, and gained media coverage by the County Press and by mainland magazines including Cycling World.  The LSTF paid for the hire of the equipment and the film which was ET.  
6. Island cycling club reports
Andy Newman reported on the Wayfarers' Randonnee on Sunday 5th May which had 1800 registered. It is believed more than 2000 cyclists did the ride as many were observed to go straight past checkpoints. The large numbers on the roads are a concern. The direction used to alternate each year but has been fixed clockwise as this spreads out the load on the floating bridge over the course of the day. He said it is difficult for a small club to run an event so large, and they expect to cap the numbers again next year.
TT said the Randonnee was a great advert for the Isle of Wight, and many people come back from year to year. DY pointed out that the Gridiron now caps numbers also.  
AN said it was the 29th year it had taken place and they are reluctant to let it come to and end. It is free to enter unlike the Gridiron, and the club breaks even on the costs. At Yarmouth and Bembridge tea and cakes are provided by the parent teacher associations and considerable income is achieved. Many other charities are supported by sponsored rides and other means.     

Dave Young said he would like to see closed roads racing on the island as was done for the Island Games and as had been done on the distant past.  
Margaret Young said she sees few local children out on the cycle track, and there is no sky ride on the Island. Alex Broome said it is difficult to deliver events on the Island as people don't volunteer. LG said the Park Run event was started & funded by the IW Council.

Louise Gray said the Health Promotion function is now part of the IW Council and integrates with other local authority functions. She said people don't realise how much benefit comes from fitness and health via participation in sports and activities. As well as the obvious benefit to physical health, social isolation is reduced and mental health is improved. AL said research shows that lower rates of crime in an area result in more people walking.

Alexander Hopkinson-Wooley of Bembridge Wheelers said IW Tourism should offer the best possible services and should have an overall plan for this. The roads are too narrow for the vehicle that try to use them now, and someone should organise restrictions on which types of vehicles can use which roads. There are always motorists who have no intention to behave sensibly.

Dave Kitching said the Vectis Roads Cycling Club had run 10, 25 and 50 mile time trials over the May bank holiday weekend. They have car stickers promoting the VRCC.    
  
TT for Cyclewight said a Newport to Shanklin Cycle Track 10th Anniversary ride had been held on 22 June, during National Bike Week. Refreshment stop were organised, and certificates awarded.
He had recently met Sergeant David Sanderson to discuss cycling matters.  TT noted that when she was IWC Cycling Officer Sue Cracknell did try to bring a closed road ride to the Island but she was outbid by Southampton.  

Alec Broome said the IWC Sports Unit are keen to support sports cycle events. They can assist with any events that people are planning and they are always contactable to give advice including funding sources.

AL said an off-road Round the Island route had been identified, but connecting sections were on footpath so that cyclists would have to walk. Agreement and funding could be negotiated to widen and make safe these sections but this would require cycling clubs to get together.  

WA welcomed the information from this meeting about the Brading St Helens route, and they would need to look into this more. He said he agrees with gap filling as an objective for the LSTF. He asked for further suggestions for LSTF projects – these could be low cost but worthwhile.

AHW said an updated map of the Island would be desirable. TT said clubs could pull together on this. DY asked about a footpath alongside the Bembridge Trail.   
7. Date of next meeting
February 1914, Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service HQ


 
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