Transport Group Meeting on 11th June at Sue’s House
Car Parking & Sustainable Transport for Scrutiny Panel:
Charnwood Borough Council have scrutiny panels to allow councillors to investigate various aspects of life in the area. They’ve set up one such panel around car parking issues. Action for a Better Charnwood (ABC) and Transition Loughborough (TL) have both been invited, with a meeting on 1st July for which agenda papers are required by 19th June. Sue will represent TL and Tony (ABC chair) will be going on behalf of ABC. The scope for the scrutiny panel excludes public transport and anything not to do with private cars. Sustainable transport, bike parking in the town centre/Beehive Lane, ideas from other towns, etc are included. ABC have a travel expert called Terry Kirby.
There’s a contradiction between the BID (a business development group) and the low carbon desires of TL, ABC and the council’s own carbon reduction strategy. Tony presented the idea of having mini-park-n-rides along the existing bus routes – such small car parks are already in some villages around the town. Jon said that whatever happens the infrastructure decisions probably have a 10-15 year lifespan due to fuel supply issues and/or self-driving vehicles. ABC will talk to scrutiny panel about controversial bus routes. TL could talk about community transport options, dial-a-ride funding issues, EV charging points, pollution zones with tiered parking (fossil fueled vehicles parking further out and cleaner EVs, bikes, etc parked closer to the town), balancing different car park usage demands (eg popping into the shops vs parking all day for employees). Briefly discussed use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and banded parking charges as used on Uni campus.
Examples of initiatives working in other parts of country to reduce the use of the car. Paul suggest a bike hub-cum-cafe in Derby. Brompton Dock. State of roads and planning of cycle lanes. Car sharing schemes, with appropriate target to existing car users. Beehive lane could have secure bike parking. Jon said Loughborough College has a set of bike hutches.
Germany, Netherlands & Denmark all have good infrastructure, with some US citites starting to catch up, especially as young adults are less likely to be car owners than a generation ago. Need to ask panel how TL could be actively involved in doing positive transport supporting projects on the ground (eg adopt a bike lane). Going to be hard for councillors to please all community members due to conflicting or ill defined goals. Need to remind them about wider planning issues/developments which will impact on parking and transport.
Collation of information about Sustainable Travel Options
Paul passed some information from Shelthorpe’s Cycle Trax shops on Park Road. Sue had the Bike Shed leaflets from Steve Palmer, who also makes custom bikes. Jon mention Cogz on campus, Kate said about getting D-locks from Uni Security gatehouse. There’s an electric bike company called 50 cycles. Pedal Power on Ashby Road (who bought up all the spares from Beacon Bikes). There’s a bike shop in Shepshed. Talked about where to target the information and decided to concentrate just on cycle information.
Barry showed examples of his CT Spark Trembling Coil Ignition/Active Coil (Patent app 8911768-3/89). Was a cottage industry but needed businessman to take forward. Barry said the idea could have reduced fuel consumption of older cars but was obsolete now.
Kate still following up information on CO2 level monitoring the town. Nicky Morgan’s staff had contacted Sue saying they’d talked to the council about the “state of the roads”: Sue is going to talk to them to stress that it isn’t just about roads and pot holes.
Date of Next Meeting: Wed 9th July, at Sue’s House at 7.30pm