Present: Kate, Barry, Sue, Paul, Jon
Thanks to Sue for hosting the first meeting. Paul wondered what air quality is like in the town and how traffic affects it. Jon checked online and found that Charnwood Borough Council have air quality assessments (http://www.charnwood.gov.uk/pages/airpollution).
ACTION: Kate to ask one of her colleagues at the University how air quality is monitored in Loughborough
Barry talked about options for cutting fuel consumption in cars and modifications he’d made to spark ignition engines many years ago to improve their performance. He used to have a cottage industry making small batches, even for use in motorbikes. He pointed out that the people he’d shown it to were more interested in fuel costs, rather than reducing consumption. Modern engines are much more efficient than they were 10 or 20 years ago.
Jon asked if we could do practical measures to get more electric vehicle support infrastructure in the town (ie public charging points). There’s lots of research and development groups at the University looking at EVs and other low carbon fuels (such as fuel cells).
ACTION: Jon to map where all the current electric vehicle charging points are in Charnwood.
Kate pointed out that many towns and cities have “cycle hubs” which are secure places to store bikes and could be a centre for repair help, promotion, etc. These can be run as social enterprises. She suggested having a “repair cafe” in the town would be quite useful, which could include cycle repairs as well as other sort of repairs.
Sue said that she’d met with Nicky Morgan (our local MP) to look at some of the town’s pot holes, poor cycle path marking, junction layouts, etc. One point that came out was the cyclists obeying cycle routes can sometimes appear to car drivers to do surprising movements. A result of this may hopefully be a meeting with the relavent department in the council. Paul said that county councils used to have people who would adopt footpaths – maybe something similar could be done with cycle routes. Paul suggested we could help organise mass cycle events. Jon mentioned
ACTION: Sue to follow up with Nicky Morgan.
Sue said we also need to talk about buses (and trains?). Paul mentioned that getting information about bus routes and times is difficult for some people.
ACTION: Sue will be talking to Terry Kirby about bus issues in the town.
We talked about cycle hire facilities – things like Boris bikes in London and Brompton bike hire at various railway stations. Quite a lot of towns have commercial cycle hire facilities near pleasant cycle routes and/or public transport hubs.
Sue mentioned bike shops in the town. Steve at the Bike Shed on Cumberland Road is now making ice-cream type tricycles. Sue suggested putting together a leaflet listing bike shops, sustainable transport support organisations, etc.
ACTION: Everyone to contribue contacts and information about such shops and organisations.
Jon then read out some information from Jane Hutber who had been talking to Cllr Robert Sharpe about cycling issues – many of which were the same as Sue has independently just raised with Nicky Morgan.
ACTION: Paul to contact Cllr Robert Sharpe about our meeting and Sue’s meeting with Nicky Morgan.
Paul said that John Storer house have an electric (or possibly hybrid) minibus to help local unemployed people access employment opportunities.
Sue reported Loughborough has benefited by £60K from UK Government funding for pedestrian and cycling improvements on Epinal Way and Beacon Road.
Date of next meeting: Wed 11th June 7.30-9pm at Sue’s house