Open Meeting Report

Community Speedwatch

Community Speedwatch

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 Stanley – 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

Meeting with the Leader of PCC

Cllr Donna Jones

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, like the shocking casualty rates on our roads, and a long term plan to develop cycling in the city.  We presented them with copies of the Copenhagen cycle strategy as an example.

Attendees from Portsmouth Cycle Forum were Jon Spencer (chair), John Holland (vice chair), Rich Boakes and Tom Hart (committee members).

Points & Actions Arising

  • Donna Jones seemed very taken by the Copenhagen Strategy brochure and was keen that PCC should have a Cycling Strategy. Also, that this should be meaningful, not window dressing. She hoped Ken Ellcome would agree.
  • She said she intended meeting the mayor of Bristol at a forthcoming conference, to discuss Bristol’s experience. She said it was a subject she knew little about. Action: Cllr Donna Jones.
  • Ken Ellcome said he would add it (cycling strategy) to his to-do list (along with 30,000 other items).
  • Ken Ellcome noted the electoral position of car owners and the perceived intransigent nature of the Portsmouth road network.
  • He did, however, say he was pushing through a cycle lane on the north side of Havant Rd.
  • He also said he was happy to consider quick-win cycling safety suggestions from PCF, provided these were not expensive. Action: PCF, if we wish.
  • We discussed last Strategy doc (to 2010) and we offered to review this and suggest to Ken parts that could be included again. This was welcomed. Action: PCF.
  • We also agreed to provide details of Waltham Forest, Hackney and other London boroughs that were forward-thinking on cycling. Action: PCF.

Observations and Conclusions

  • Donna Jones is clearly interested in launching a new Cycling Strategy
  • At same time, she seemed serious in agreeing that it needed to be a credible piece of work
  • Ken Ellcome, as he said, has a lot of competing interests clamouring for his attention, plus taking actions on cyclists’ behalf is guaranteed to give him a headache from motor vehicle users.
  • So, our lobbying and use of the Press, needs to be continuous and high-profile, to keep councillors focused on addressing the Cycling Safety agenda.
  • Overall, a good meeting, with initial positioning achieved.

Open Meeting: Safer Cycling in Portsmouth

Cyclist HGV Incident Hilsea

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

Sustrans National Cycle Network Update

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

Ward issues

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

Post-election manifesto support

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

Portsmouth still has worst Cyclist Casualty Rate outside of London

Cyclist & HGV collision Hilsea May 2011

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

Manifesto Responses

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

Open Meeting: Cycle Safety / Vote Bike

Space for Cycling

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

Our Cycling Manifesto

With local elections approaching we dusted off our Cycling Manifesto we sent out to councillors at the last elections in 2012.  Last time we only sent it to existing councillors with limited response, but this time we’ve updated it and sent it out to every candidate in every council ward – that’s 77 in all!  We

Continue reading Our Cycling Manifesto