Present: Steve, Sue, Barry, Jon, David
Cycle infrastructure for Ashby Road/Storer Road/Radmoor Road junction meeting
Sue met with Martin O’Connor who is part of the Engineering and Design group in the Leicestershire County Council highways department. LCC have no extra money for “capital improvements” – they have £75m until 2018 and then their budget will be cut to £56m in 2018/19 (which adjusting for inflation is roughly a cut in half in real terms). General condition of the road (eg potholes) are responsibility of a different section. They tend to look at potholes more in the middle of the road rather than towards the sides where cyclists tend to be.
Martin explained that a bike lane on a road should be 1.5m wide, with a car lane of 3m, which means a single carriageway road with cycle lanes either side needs to be 9m wide. This explains why cycle lanes often disappear just as you need them when the road is constricted. He agreed that the cycle path markings are too faint – hopefully they can be refreshed.
He also said that he was willing to look at routes that are currently marked on the cycle maps that we thought might have better alternative routes. He described why some of the suggestions we might make have issues – Sue showed us a diagram and talked through some of the options that were discussed. Sue said she would discuss with Loughborough & District Cycle Users’ Campaign (LDCUC) members. Steve and Barry said that its always a relief to get on a separate cycle path away from vehicles.
Martin said they have a database of potential improvements for cyclists and pedestrians and has offered to put our suggestions into this. Steve said that in New Zealand he had seen signs with pictures of cars & bikes with a message of “Please share the road” to remind people of the alternative forms of transport around. Steve also suggested that in some situations the signage should clearly indicate if bicycles have the priority. Also talked about the reverse cycle lane in Baxter Gate and whether it is a good or bad thing (opinion divided!).
ACTION: Jon to email Sue with details of poor shared cycle path markings alongside University on A512 Ashby Road.
ACTION: Steve to contact Martin O’Connor with his ideas.
ACTION: Sue to get views of LDCUC.
Sue asked Martin how we could physically help the council with sustainable transport provision. We can’t be trained to paint lines or help cut back vegetation unfortunately. If they do have to offer training for anything then they would want to make sure that we were in it for the long haul, as training would be expensive for them (and they’ve hardly any budget for it).
One of the main problems that they have with cycle paths is increases in complaints about punctures after vegetation has been cut back: if they could have volunteers who would help sweep up after hedge cutting as that would help reduce punctures. They would also be happy for us to clean signs and inspect routes and report issues. Steve said he would be worried if volunteering did people out of jobs, but Sue said many of the jobs have already gone.
Cycle maintenance workshops
Jon has looked at the Edge Fund and we might qualify, but they don’t currently have funding available. Sue had spoken to Alison Barlow who works at the University donations and the Inside-Out fund has a deadline of 8th May. This is open to applications from members of the University who want funding for projects in the Charnwood. Sue has also contacted Pedlars Arms and they are all volunteers who do the teaching, which lead to unpredictable opening times and it wasn’t clear what sort of organisation they actually were (some contradiction between a workers coop and a social enterprise).
ACTION: Jon to put a proposal together for cycle maintenance workshop support and submit it to the University Inside-Out scheme.
Feedback on solar panels for Park & Ride
Jon had talked to the Green Fox people to asked if they were actively interested in new community energy projects, and gave them David’s suggestion of solar panels on the park and rides around Leicester. Alan from Green Fox has replied to say that they are keen on such schemes, including the park and ride. Jon will keep talking to them about it.
David said the Midland Mainline railway line will go right through the middle of a proposed solar farm.
Steve suggested that we take part in the “No Car Day” in September – Sue suggested that should be an agenda item for next meeting. Jon said he’d ask around the University to see if they were keen on taking part.
Date of next meeting: 21st April 7.30 at Rosebery St. Peters.