Southampton Cycle Forum - September 2018 Minutes

Southampton Cycle Forum Minutes 

Date: 4th September      

Time: 6.30pm

Location: Southampton City Council, Conference Room 3

Attending: Cllr Eamonn Keogh, SCC; Hannah Chivers, SCC; Carolyn Ireland, SCC; Jenny Babey, Sustrans; Su White, Cycle Campaign; Hugh Davis, Cycle Campaign; Jim Probert, CTC; Federick Molyneux; Lyn Brayshaw, Cycle Campaign; Jon Bingham, Cycle Campaign; Lindsi Bluemel, Cycle Campaign; Liz Batten, Clean Air Southampton; Dale Hardstaff, SCC; Angela Cotton, Transition Southampton; Ruth Miller, British Cycling; Ruth Magennis, Cycling UK.

Apologies: Natalie Martin, Sustrans; Greg Churcher, SCC Linda Bratcher, SCC BUG group, Carrie Dickson, Hants Fire, Colin Mac Queen, Clean Air Southampton

 

Review of last mins 

* It was noted that the minutes have been updated to reflect Liz Batten’s suggestion that advice should be issued for contractors and builders that work on roads or that end up obstructing cycleways or pavements to be considerate of cyclists and pedestrians.

 

Update on Love to Ride – Cycle September campaign by Hannah Chivers, project manager for sustainable travel programmes in the council.

* The website for Southampton is here: https://lovetoride.net/Southampton

* An overview of what Love to Ride is and the Cycle September campaign is here: https://www.lovetoride.net/southampton/pages/info?locale=en-GB

* The website is available all year round but there are four key campaigns: Ride to work week (March), Bike Week (June), Cycle September (Sept) and Winter Wheelers (Dec). 

* The first thing people need to do is register as an individual.

* The FAQ’s section here covers a couple of ‘How tos’ on website with details on how you can register your workplace if it’s not already registered.

* You can also register as group by visiting your Love to Ride profile. Click on join club/group to follow instructions on how to join or register. 

* The prizes on offer are here and the results table here. If you click through the tabs you can sort the results by organisation, individual or group.If you already use Strava, Edmondo or Ride report you can connect the two apps in your profile settings. If you are planning on downloading one of the apps to use, we would recommend ride report as it gives us the most detailed insight into how people are travel through the city and how they would rate the facilities.   

Requests:

* Please promote the campaigns and the app through your friends’ workplaces and colleagues. There are digital resources on the website, but we also have some leaflets and posters in the office if you would like one. 

* Please register and help us grow the community on love to ride, you can do this by ‘High fiving people’ – Click on the hand to high five. Please also add photos if you can.

* Any problems, please feedback to Love to Ride as they are happy to help.

 

Review of Let's Ride – Ruth Miller, British Cycling

* Let’s Ride Southampton took place on 17th June this year. It is a family friendly event by British Cycling and Southampton City Council, with a 5.5 km long closed road circuit open to just cyclists. This is the rebranded name from the long running Sky Ride events. There were several points of interest as well, with the meeting point and stalls at Guildhall Square, bike demos and activities in the Common, and community stalls in East Park. 

* This review is to collect immediate feedback from the day, lessons learnt and suggestions for next year. However, several layers of review are taking place with stakeholders in Southampton – formal review will happen with the council and local stakeholders as well after this informal review.

*  Still two events to happen in other cities, but British Cycling are trying to plan dates already for next year so getting feedback as soon as possible is helpful - hopefully have a rough idea at the end of the month of date for next year.

* Aiming to continue with the branding and advertising that features local landmarks and has a distinct ‘Soton’ flavour. Still have six more yearly events planned through the current partnership with Southampton City Council.

* Buzzwords used to capture the event, as well as describing it as a ‘cycling festival’, were culture, inspiration, localisation and legacy etc. Want to find out whether the key elements okay e.g. route, date and time? 

* Main feeling from the forum was that the route was good, however for regular cyclists it wasn’t much a novelty as most of it consisted of parks, which you can ride in all year round. This contrasted with previous years, for example, the Sky Ride event that included a route round the docks - was good as you could go somewhere where you didn't normally go.

* British Cycling tried to get consistent length of route between the different cities. The initial brief was to aim for around 5km across all cities but recognised that there may be good reason to shorten/extend to visit a landmark etc. The exception was Bristol, where the event was combined with a road series event, where the route had to be 8km. In Southampton, organisers also aimed to have equal coverage between parks and a smaller loop round the Common was provided, so as not to exclude people who would struggle to cycle a longer route, such as children and people with disabilities.

* However, this is now the point to discuss whether the route could be longer, or if this would be too exclusionary.  

* Could the route include more sections of closed road? Some cities had completely closed roads for the total of the route. This is up for discussion now with the road management agencies but must bear in mind that more closed roads need wider feasibility study to weigh up the benefit verses its impact on residents and other stakeholders in relation to objectives of the event.

* Good to feedback whether the group think that longer routes are appropriate to Let's Ride event, or whether there should be a longer route for a separate cycling event. 

* Members expressed that they understood the issue of providing a shorter route, however the event should be making a statement over taking back the city centre from cars and giving priority back to cyclists, Confidence and safety concern is the major reason why people don't cycle. Perhaps Southampton City Council should also encourage monthly ‘Car Free’ events to show what the city centre could be like without cars.

* Liz Batten got approval for a road closure in the Old Town, however this wasn’t followed through. She followed up this suggestion of a car free event for Clean Air Day at full council - leader of the council indicated that they could consider a car free event in the Old Town, possibly to link in with the Mayflower commemoration in 2020.

* It was asked whether there could be more group rides to lead people into the city centre for Let’s Ride – there is no limitation to the number of bike rides that British Cycling could put on, it just depends on volunteer capacity. 

* What about the date - seem to be a consensus that early summer is a good time. Ruth explained that the date is chosen through working with the events team to determine a good date, from a traffic management perspective and what other events are on at the time.

* Could the route be changed to showcase other parts of the city, perhaps linking Weston Shore for example? Response was that network and road traffic management wouldn’t come up with routes – any routes need to be submitted to SCC for consideration.

* A question was asked about what level of people are still cycling after Let's Ride and is this data collected? 

* Ruth has those numbers, so can pass them on to this group. Around 3,000 people pre-registered for the event, and around 1,000 people permitted British Cycling to email them afterwards, but there aren’t large numbers of post-event respondents. *Update* this information was collated by British Cycling and is based on the responses of 146 people:

o The most popular reason people gave for attending the event was that it was a traffic free route (75%). Other factors included; the location of the ride, to be active and to spend time with friends and family. 

o 98% said the event was fair, good or excellent. 

o 28% of participants attended Let’s Ride for the first time.

o 72% said they would recommend the event to a friend. 

o 43% were non-regular cyclists, cycling less than once a week.

o 27% of respondents said that HSBC Lets Ride had encouraged children to ride their bike, 23% said the event had encouraged them to take part in British cycling’s recreational activities, 38% said the event had encouraged them to look up local routes in their area and 45% said the event had encouraged them to encourage others to attend. 

o 41% said that simply attending the event has encouraged them to cycle more frequently. 

* Could you couple the Let’s Ride event with local bus and taxi companies to promote the fact they have done Safer Urban Driving courses in the run up to Bike Week and Let’s Ride.

* Ran out of time for this year but want to explore more Close Pass and HGV blind spots awareness activities for next year.

* Need more local musicians and volunteers to get involved, so pass suggestions on to Ruth for people and groups to get involved next year. 

* It was suggested that the cycling bibs should be changed, as they would most likely be just used on the day and binned afterwards - the coloured jackets would be a waste as it's not used afterwards, as opposed to previous bibs that were high viz yellow, and some are still being used by commuters cycling around the town. 

* Ruth conceded this point but explained that the reasoning for not having high viz giveaways was that you want to get away from wearing high viz on a closed cycling routes and the notion of cycling needing ‘special’ clothes. 

* The group emphasised that regardless of any criticisms, they thought it was a brilliant event that was a good opportunity to showcase cycling. 

* Action: to email feedback to Ruth Magennis directly to pass onto Ruth Miller, especially proposed alternative routes.

 

Lindsi's update on city centre working group with Southampton Cycling Campaign.

* Came out of the ’10 Dangerous Locations’ document that the Cycling Campaign had produced. 

* Set up to advise on issues within the city centre as a separate issue. 

* Inspired by Leicester cycling improvements - planners thought that their city centre should act as a 'showcase' for cycling.

* The group cycled around the city centre to observe what cyclists in the city were doing, how they were using infrastructure and looked at things like signage, especially for visitors for the city.

* Cycle Campaign realise that there is no Dutch style infrastructure coming shortly, but there could be lots of improvements that would make the city centre less difficult and wouldn't be too expensive to solve e.g. dropped kerbs, toucan crossings, negotiations with existing landowners to improve throughways

* There are several urgent improvements that need done quickly that the transport planners are aware of already e.g. 

o junction between Asda and Polygon.

o Top of Kingsbridge Lane.

o there is a service road opposite Leisureworld and Town Quay - service road doesn't lead the whole way down so have to cycle the wrong way down a one-way road to complete the journey.

* It was felt it was useful to watch ways that cyclists were navigating the city, as some cyclists were using interesting routes to get about that could be easily adapted to make cycling routes e.g. one cyclist used Portland Terrance to get down to the West Quay area. 

* Signage - need more signage to show people where to go. There is meant to be new signage going in as per updates given in a previous cycle design hub at the start and end of major routes. However, in the meantime it would be easy to put up signage that could be put in place, such as the Sustrans signs for their National Cycle Network, which are stickers affixed to lamp posts.

* Theme emerged that, due to the ring road, would be that pedestrians and cyclists need to cross dual carriageway at various points to navigate the city. Some of these crossings are very intimidating.

* There is a conflict occurring - fast moving traffic is intended to be kept moving quickly, especially coming out of the Red Funnel and docks area. This is causing a conflict with pedestrians and cyclists in a way that is unsafe, and this conflict needs to be resolved. 

* Desire lines of cyclists - Hugh is compiling desire lines of cyclists in the south of the city as he believes as study of how best to get around this city by bike needs to be done – it seems that this has not been carried out for cyclists, although it has probably been carried out for pedestrians.

* Next week the group are looking at the East Gate location of the city centre but need to obtain plans to see what cycling facilities are going into this new city centre development. The question is, how do you talk to developers to get cycling and walking consideration included at an early stage of building plans? 

* Question to the council - what is happening at the new Bargate development? Campaign are worried that the new development will not include provision for cycling and it will all be done.

* Action for Dale - will bring this question back for consideration. There may be areas of new schemes that may have been missed and links not added up that could be addressed.

* Response - transport in the council are currently looking at around how to redevelop the city centre for all modes of transport and to reduce the dominance of the car, which cycling naturally feeds into through the Liveable Streets principles laid out in the LTP. Now the transport team need to outline what that will look like in terms of routes and the desire for cross city routes that all match up with the routes proposed in the Cycling Strategy.

* Happy to meet up with the working group to find out the areas of work that they have identified and see how they can work it into the plans to lay out the city centre. 

* Action for Ruth, to help facilitate this.

Infrastructure update – Dale Hardstaff, Transport at Southampton City Council

* As part of signals upgrade at Stoneham Lane / Stoneham Way junction refuge islands will be widened to cater for cycle use as well as Toucan crossing push button facility on Stoneham Lane arm and Stoneham Way (east) arm. Footway will be widened to improve route into car park currently being used by cyclists. Works to be delivered October to December. SCC currently forming bid for further funding to deliver an improved cycle route along Stoneham Way to Wide Lane and on Mansbridge

Road. If successful, this would deliver on much of the issues raised in the last Cycle Design hub meeting on this route. 

* Previous cycle lanes introduced on Stoneham lane continue to be monitored as all schemes would be. On this scheme, cyclists are being given consideration as there is little existing provision.

* It was asked if the council would be doing anything between Stoneham Way and Stoneham Lane. Dale responded that a cycle friendly scheme is being finalised and will also be reviewed at the Cycle Design Hub. 

* Cycling Campaign members reiterated that they needed to make recommendations to the plans as they are being designed rather than informing them of what’s happened after the fact.

* Question: could invitations to cycle design hub be sent to main members of cycle campaign so they can decide between them who should attend? Response: Wade Holmes (transport delivery, not in attendance) highlighted that there is a long-standing agreement meaning that that Cycle Forum can nominate two representatives to attend the Design Hub. These representatives then have the responsibility to inform all other member of the Cycle Campaign.

* Cycle strategy delivery update – Several Quietways schemes are proposed for the city, the first one will be in Sholing. Have done consultation through community events facilitated by Sustrans to look at issues and negotiate throughways in the area and how to link important links through the community centres such as Valentine's School. Currently in design with Balfour Beattie consultants and be looked at through the cycle design hub. The end of Botley Road and Bursledon Road is a trouble spot but dealing with that as a separate issue.

* Southern Road - awaiting signs to improve route between central station and the police centre.

* Lovers Walk – consulting internally on Common Strategy before going back out to planning permission. Action: the cycle forum recommended that the council conduct local consultation with Highfield Residents Association first before the plans are put in place to assuage residents’ concerns about turning Lovers’ Walk into a ‘cycle superhighway’. 

* Campaign made the point that on some public rights of way it is needed to make clear that cycling is allowed, either with signage or with cycle signs painted on the ground.

* Southern Road – still awaiting signs to be delivered to improve signage between Station and Southern Road toucan crossings.  

* Glen Eyre junction – due to other commitments, work at this location will not resume until the 2019 financial year.

* The Avenue and Portswood Road corridors – still awaiting first draft of design ideas from Balfour Beattie consultants based on site visits. Greg Churcher from Transport to provide these options for comment when they become available.  

* St Denys Corridor – consists of formal two lanes on carriageway with merge markings on St Denys Road just east of Thomas Lewis Way. This is to improve queuing at this junction. The merge will come in before existing cycle lanes at Kent Road so no loss of cycle facility.  No current time frame for this one but expecting it to come up at the cycle design hub soon.

* Campaign members raised concern that the phasing of the traffic lights is an issue – this crossing is very difficult for pedestrians as well.

* South side of the Thomas Lewis Junction going west is very bad for car drivers getting frustrated at cyclists, as there are two narrow lanes. The road markings tell cyclists to feed into the left, zig zag across, wait for a whole phase of traffic lights and then go into a waiting area to get across the junction. Cars think you shouldn’t be in the left-hand lane to go into the waiting area, and therefore get frustrated. Cross hatch needs to be painted green to link the crossings. Action for Dale to pass this on. 

* Would preventing no right turns into Bitterne solve the issue? As part of this scheme, Dale said that it might have been considered in the modelling for this area and to see if it’s feasible.

* There is a school next to the road, St Deny’s Primary, so it should be a priority to consider how to make this road and junction safer. 

* Quayside Road – Balfour is undertaking design of this scheme. 

* Cycle Minor Works. Three locations are being taken forward: 

o SCN4- Western Esplanade- reinstating the Toucan crossing lights and call button south of Central Station 

o Portland Terrace to Harbour Parade- cycle route alongside the pedestrian route at the side of Asda 

o Woolston Station/Garton Road to Bridge Road- providing cycle access to Victoria Road and other developments 

o BBLP have commenced design and these locations will be presented to the cycle design hub shortly. 

* Western Approach 

o Second Avenue – the scheme is signed off and the planning application issue has been resolved. Construction is Oct- Nov. 

o Third Avenue – the road has just been resurfaced. The preferred cycle route will be announced in the next couple of weeks. Construction is April - May 2019. 

o  Millbrook Road East – preparation for resurfacing is taking place this week. Resurfacing to be completed by end Oct. A letter drop on the preferred scheme will take place next week. This will likely include elements of the public consultation including: 1) a road closure to vehicles at Park Street junction, 2) exit only onto Shirley Road. 

* Highway Resurfacing Programme 

o  Methuen St, Liverpool St, Dover St, Bath St, Castle St, Southcliff Rd (Inner Ave, Bevois) – Aug- Dec 

o Defender Road, Wharncliffe Road, Tankerville Road (The Itchen Estate) – Complete 

o  Evenlode Road (Redbridge) – Sept  

o  Lower Brownhill Road – Dec  

o Warren Close (Shirley Warren) – Not complete.

 

AOB 

* Note that Highways England didn’t inform cyclists that the footbridge was closed to cyclists with signs in advance – this contrasted with the Western Approach resurfacing that took place recently, where pains were taken to provide an alternative route with signage for cyclists. Reminder: if there are any roadwork or signs blocking cycleways or pathways, take a photo and send through to transport in the council.

* Parking in cycle lanes – Portsmouth have an app which you can report cycling infractions to, but there is a limit to what the council can do, as it’s time bound – depends on getting a team out to ticket the vehicle before it moves out. 

* Reminder to inform local councillors if there are any issues spotted, as September is a good time for councillors to inform transport of ‘quick wins’ such as dropped kerbs etc. due to a small pot of money for small works.

* ‘No Vehicle’ signage is still up in Bitterne Precinct even though there were assurances that cyclists could go there. 

* Travel Time Platform app – a platform for demonstrating how many mins that it would take to walk/cycle to places within the city boundaries: https://app.traveltimeplatform.com/#

* Could we adopt the Dutch style of looking after cycle routes – could the electric cleaners be issued with orders to clean the cycle ways of debris. Likewise, with any vegetation that is overhanging the cycleways. There are four endways of the handrails on the Boardwalk that need to be replaced, they’ve been removed, and it is now quite dangerous, especially for sight impaired people and others that rely on using handrails.

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