Cycle Forum makes deputations to Portsmouth City Council meeting
At the longest Traffic and Transportation Decision Meeting in living memory on 24 July, decisions on four proposals were reached and not all of them popular with the audience.
The least contentious proposal was for traffic calming in Henderson Road, Eastney which is long, straight, wide and has a frequently flouted 20 mph speed limit. Contrary to the recommendation of the officers, Cllr Ken Ellcome, Cabinet member for Traffic and Transportation, agreed to press forward with a hybrid scheme with the involvement of local residents and ward councillors. Cycle Forum Secretary and resident of Henderson Road spoke in support of traffic calming to deter speeding motorists.
Palmerston and Osborne Roads
More contentiously, the southern section of Palmerston Road from Osborne Road to Villiers Road will be re-opened to northbound traffic as opposed to being fully pedestrianised. Cycle Forum chairman, Jon Spencer, made a deputation stating that whichever option was selected then the road should remain open to people riding bicycles as it is today. This scheme was funded by central Government with the aim of improving connectivity of walking and cycling to the south of Southsea town centre and to improve the experience for pedestrians in the form of a pedestrianised zone. Banning cycling would certainly be contrary to the spirit of the funding. The changes will be temporary with a review after 12 months.
Osborne Road is to get a make-over with planters, widened pavements, new bus stops etc but no changes to traffic flows.
And finally – Residents’s Parking Zones MB and MC
Despite nearly 20 people speaking against the proposed changes and not one member of the public speaking in favour, Resident’s Parking Zones MB and MC will be suspended from 1 September tor an experimental period. Strangely, Cllr Ellcome chose an option which was not listed in the report to the meeting – it had been proposed to suspend MC and change the hours of operation for MB. The reasons for the decision were stated as being that of parking displacement caused to other areas. Anyway, this is not a cycling issue although the quieter streets of Central Southsea will once more become cluttered with vehicles making cycling less attractive.
With 206,000 residents in Portsmouth, 110,000 registered vehicles and the prospect of 40% more by 2040, this new administration has yet to show any signs of addressing the needs of the citizens of the future. Gridlock will happen – it’s just a matter of time.
We had another successful public meeting on 10th July with presentations from Hampshire Police and Portsmouth City Council. The meeting was held at the John Pounds Centre in Portsea.
Maria Joliffe of Hampshire Police kindly stepped in late in the day to present on community speedwatch. Community speed watch is an initiative that allows citizens to volunteer to operate traffic speed monitoring equipment. The volunteers record speeding motorists who will then receive a letter exerting them to mend their ways. No fine can be issued but it does enable police to identify areas that may need enforcement by officers.
Concern was expressed that enforcement of cycling offences is done by paid professionals whereas speeding – which is a factor in many more casualties – is being enforced by volunteers. However, if you’d like to get involved volunteers are currently being recruited in Portsmouth. Contact us through the contact us page and we’ll put you in touch with the right officer in the civic offices.
James Roberts - Portsmouth’s new active travel officer – described the work the Portsmouth City Council team are doing and what they are planning. He talked about the physical challenges in the city to getting people to travel actively. Recent successes include the Cycle Hub, new cycle parking, the Park and Ride and wayfinding boards. They also propose to improve Pilgrims Way. James is responsible for all rights of way in the city.
James’s presentation is available to view / download here
Oliver Willcocks – Road Safety Officer at Portsmouth City Council – then took the floor to explain how PCC is tackling the very high rate of cycle casualties in the city. The focus is on KSI – Killed, or Seriously Injured (i.e. requiring at least one night in hospital). There is a high proportion of accidents involving taxis and private hire vehicles, even allowing for their numbers. OW produced a large number of statistics and analysis. His priority is the A2047 London Road/Fratton Road as this has 35 casualties per mile (the city average is 9/mile). Improvements include moving back Give Way lines and surface treatment at junctions to indicate to motorists presence of cyclists.
Oliver’s presentation is available to view / download here
Once again Clr Ellcome, now the cabinet member for traffic & transportation, attended the meeting. Cllr Ellcome explained that previously he was in the police traffic division so he has experience in road safety. He noted he has to deal with cyclists, taxis and buses, often with conflicting views, but he has regular briefings with stakeholders. He noted that the department has had a £1million cut. The My Journey funds will finish in April 2015 although they are applying for an extension. Cllr Ellcome committed to updating the Portsmouth City Council cycle strategy.
Read the formal minutes of the meet here
Cllr Donna Jones
On Wednesday 25th June members of the Portsmouth Cycle Forum Committee met with the new leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Donna Jones, and her cabinet member for Traffic & Transportation Cllr Ken Ellcome.
The purpose of the meeting was to ask PCC to develop a strategy for cycling, both to address immediate issues, …
Continue reading Meeting with the Leader of PCC
Cyclist and HGV Incident in Hilsea
Do you cycle in Portsmouth? Perhaps you would like to cycle in Portsmouth but are nervous about the roads?
Last month Portsmouth Cycle Forum revealed that Portsmouth’s roads are amongst the most dangerous in the country for cyclists. If you think the roads in Portsmouth need to be safer for cyclists …
Continue reading Open Meeting: Safer Cycling in Portsmouth
If you live in the Portsmouth and Havant area you now have a choice of safe, well-marked cycle routes to Southsea and Hayling seafronts or up to the South Downs. Roger Inkpen is a local ranger for Sustrans – the charity creating a national cycle network. He says: “all of these routes follow cycle tracks, quiet …
Continue reading Sustrans National Cycle Network Update
As well as our manifesto for cycling, we asked each candidate to respond to 2 specific issues related to cycling in their ward. Now we need to follow this up with the candidate elected in each ward! Continue reading Ward issues
Following last yesterday’s elections how do the newly elected Councillors appear to stand on cycling? We asked all candidates before the election to support our cycling manifesto, and many did. How many of these bike-friendly candidates got themselves elected? Here’s our initial breakdown: Continue reading Post-election manifesto support
Cyclist & HGV collision Hilsea May 2011
For the second year running Portsmouth is the most dangerous place in England outside of London. Government statistics show that Portsmouth suffered 832 cyclist casualties per million population in 2012.
This is despite a very welcome improvement from the terrible figure of 983 per million, in 2011.
On Portsmouth’s roads, over …
Continue reading Portsmouth still has worst Cyclist Casualty Rate outside of London
The responses to our manifesto for cycling from election candidates are coming in thick and fast. Detailed comments from candidates (where provided) are linked from the table – some are very interesting. Comments received from senior Councillors (where they are not themselves up for election) are included below the table.
As well as our manifesto for cycling, …
Continue reading Manifesto Responses
Join us for our next open meeting on Thursday 15 May at 7pm in room SEM5 of the Student Union building on Cambridge Road. The meeting will cover:
Local Election Roundup: We have written to candidates and parties in the forthcoming Local Election to ask them to support our manifesto for cycling. How did they …
Continue reading Open Meeting: Cycle Safety / Vote Bike