Category Archives: Events

November open meeting!

Our next meeting is Thursday 15 November at 7.00pm in Lecture Theatre 2 of the Richmond Building of the University of Portsmouth.  Please arrive for 6.45 pm so we can start on time.

We are trying to vary the format of our open meetings and this month we have two guest speakers talking about local cycling issues.

Peter Walker was our guest on the 20th September

https _cdn.evbuc.com_images_48019320_67378900689_1_originalWe’re delighted to announce that our guest speaker at our Open Meeting on the 20th September is Peter Walker. His book Bike Nation: How Cycling Can Save the World takes us on a journey around the world, exploring the varying attitudes to cycling on our highways.

Visit the shining examples of Amsterdam and Copenhagen, where cycling culture is an intrinsic part of the approach of politicians and officials. How have these cities made provision for cyclists and what are the extraordinary benefits?

And then take to the less welcoming roads of Britain, USA and Australia, where cycling can still be a terrifying experience. What are the tragic mistakes being made when planning and developing cities, and how do these mistakes lead to aggression towards the cycling community?

Peter is Political Correspondent for the Guardian. In 2009 he set up the Guardian Bike Blog which has published dozens of writers and has quickly become a primary destination for cycling debate. In 2014 he was named by BikeBizmagazine as one of the 50 most influential people in UK cycling, and in 2016 he was shortlisted in the Specialist Writer category at the Cycling Media Awards.

Greater Manchester Walking and Cycling Commissioner and former professional cyclist Chris Boardman says “Peter Walker has written the book I wanted to write”

We expect this event to be popular, so make sure you put your name down ASAP!

And you may want to buy Peter’s book before the event!

The Open Meeting is on the 20th September at the Richmond Building, University of Portsmouth starting at 7pm

Please get you tickets here.

Vote Bike

Local elections are almost upon us and one third of the council seats are up for grabs. Now’s your chance to press your local candidates to commit to making cycling safer if they win on Thurs May 3rd.

We’re asking candidates to sign up to deliver “A City to Share” (check it out) – our vision is that Portsmouth becomes the pre-eminent cycling city of the UK and is:

A city fit for the future: a healthy, safe, sustainable, prosperous city that people want to live in, to work in and to visit.

A city where we share spaces, co-operate with each other and treat one another with courtesy and respect

On Saturday 21 April we invited local candidates to join us for a bike ride and picnic and talk about what they will do to make our city a better place.

Despite some recent local improvements, Portsmouth is still the most dangerous place in the country to cycle, after London – this has to change before more people will feel safe enough to ride.

At our picnic, Tom Guha, infrastructure campaigner with Cycling UK reminded us just how important the physical environment is for making cycling safe and attractive. He spoke to our members and the candidates about the tragically avoidable death of Tim Atkins who died last year after a collision with another cyclist on a poor stretch of cycle path which saw him fall into the Eastern Road and the path of an oncoming van. Everyone was cycling and driving as they should have been, but the terrible sight lines at this location meant the two cyclists had no chance of seeing the other coming. Since Tim’s death, the junction has been improved and political cross party agreement was made to invest more in cycle infrastructure.

Candidates from Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem parties came along and pledged to do more if they are elected.

Councillor Bosher, current conservative transport portfolio holder and standing again in Drayton and Farlington ward committed to “continue with [investing] over 30% of LTP [local transport plan funding] in cycling; introduce early release lighting at junctions..and…introduce mandatory cycle lanes” (i.e. ones where you can’t park you car, not even for a couple of minutes)

Ben Dowling, lib dem councillor standing again in Milton ward pledged to “work with Portsmouth Cycle Forum to implement “A City to Share” as far as is possible.”

Tom Coles, labour candidate for Fratton promised to “work towards implementing … A City to Share” and “work on further safe routes.”

Elections will be held on Thurs 3rd May so now’s the time to drop your candidates a line, a letter, an email, a tweet; whatever you like, just let them know how you feel and what improvements you’d like to see! Find your candidates here #acitytoshare #votebike #spaceforcycling

Join us for our first big ride of the year! – Sat 21 April

This coming Saturday, 21 April, local residents are set to pedal their way across Portsmouth to the Watkins and Faux Cafe on Southsea Seafront, where candidates in the forthcoming council elections have also been invited to discuss those issues about cycling in the city, and they will be encouraged to give their pledges to improve the city’s cycling facilities.

The event is led by the Portsmouth Cycle Forum and is one of twelve events taking place ahead of the local elections as part of Cycling UK’s ‘Vote Bike’ campaign.

Building on the momentum of last year, in which Portsmouth City Council passed a motion to ring-fence a minimum proportion of its annual Local Travel Plan funding to invest in cycle infrastructure in support of the Forum’s ‘A City to Share’ strategy the event hopes to get support for the plans from all council candidates.

Tom Guha, Cycling UK’s Infrastructure Campaigner said: “Last year, Portsmouth council got behind our vision of a happier, healthier and more active city. With a third of the council’s seats potentially about to change hands, it is critical that all incoming candidates buy into that vision and do what they can to accelerate it”.

Ian Saunders, Chair of the Cycle Forum said: “Portsmouth already has one of the country’s highest rates of cycling – but it remains a comparatively dangerous place to do so. Our vision is of city where everyone feels safe to cycle – and it is fantastic to see so many council candidates already backing us.”

After arriving at Watkins and Faux café at Southsea Tennis Club by 2pm, there will be a short presentation before attendees will be able to chat to candidates, PCF and Cycling UK reps and have a picnic. So, alongside your sarnies, you’ll also get a chance to ask that burning question to prospective new councillors like “why does the cycle lane near my house just stop” or “how can you make Copnor Road safe for my children to cycle to school” etc, etc.

The ride is open to all, riding on quiet or traffic free routes, and can be picked up from following points, or you can arrive directly at Watkins & Faux in time for the 2pm start.

  • 12:30 depart from Farlington Marshes, then roughly every fifteen minutes at the next spots, but arrive early; in case we do too – we’ll have hungry pic-nickers so we won’t wait about…
  • Portsmouth Watersports Centre
  • Goals / Tangiers Road Junction on Eastern Road
  • Bransbury Park Car Park
  • Coffee Cup – Eastney Esplanade

The ‘PCF Big Bike Picnic Ride’ Facebook Event is available to register for the ride to ensure that there are enough ride leaders for the number of people attending.

EXEC UPDATE: 09:03:18

Another lively exec meeting this evening. There’s always a load to cram in at the meeting before an AGM – don’t forget that’s THIS THURSDAY (15th) at Richmond Building on Burnaby Road.

The contents of this month’s exec meeting included a chat about PCC’s new “Near Miss Reporting Tool”- we’ve been asking for this for ages so it’s great to see it’s been soft-launched ready for everyone to contribute to. You can find it here.  PCC will use this data to build up a picture of areas of the city where cyclists have experienced a near miss – that is; have been annoyed or scared by behaviour of another road user,  or the road layout, or a defect etc. This will help them direct their resources to where they are needed most.

We also had a long debate about membership and fees. We’re going to make quite a drastic proposal at the AGM so be there to find out about these changes and what it means for the development of the Forum.

Tube Map update: The Tube Map our members created last AGM (that was a whole year ago already!) has now been completed and will be launched this Thursday at this year’s AGM. The map shows where existing infrastructure is good, bad and ugly. PCC has already shown interest in working with us to turn bad (red) tube routes into good ones (blue) to turn the map blue – very fitting for Pompey!

Finally, we decided on the boundaries of the new Warden posts we’d like to add to our committee – these are based on electoral ward boundaries and are as follows:

  1. Paulsgrove and Cosham
  2. Drayton & Farlington, and Copnor
  3. Baffins and Milton
  4. Hilsea, Nelson and Fratton
  5. Charles Dickens, St. Thomas and St. Jude
  6. Central Southsea and Eastney & Craneswater

These warden committee members would be champions of their area, providing key local knowledge on issues and routes, and helping to establish links with local elected members and other groups.  They’d be invited to the exec meetings once a month too.  Interested? Get in touch, or come to the AGM. Did I mention, it’s this Thursday in Richmond Building on Burnaby Road at 19:00!!!

See you there.

Exec update: 09:02:18

Phew! Just finished another Friday night Exec meeting with so much content we overran again. Here’s a flavour of this month’s hot topics, and what’s coming up at our Open Meeting on 15th February and our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 15th.

EXEC UPDATE:  After lots of activity on our Facebook page over the last couple of weeks, the Stamshaw Road and Twyford Avenue cycle lanes made it to “matters arising”. These two lanes are a key concern for members as they’re squeezed between a heavy flow of traffic and the dreaded dooring zone. We’re planning to discuss with with PCC and push for a redesign.  Other locations discussed included Francis Avenue, Fratton Road Roundabout and Holbrook Road Roundabout where PCC has asked for our input on proposed schemes.

We also heard about PCC’s new “near miss” reporting tool which will be going live later this year – this is a really positive step to help cyclists report spots where they’ve been scared or annoyed by the behaviour of other road users, or perhaps even the layout of the road, and we hope it will help to identify locations for future safety improvement schemes. We’ll be providing PCC with feedback on a beta version.

With elections for local councillors coming up in May this year we have started planning a Big Bike Picnic to be held on 21 April where members can come along with their friends and families and discuss their cycling woes and dreams with the candidates to help shape the future of cycling in the city (and decide who’s most likely to help us get there!)

OPEN MEETING: Our next open meeting on Feb 15th will focus on our response to the City Centre Road proposal application and, as usual,  Council Officers will be on hand from 6.15pm for their Cycle Surgery where you can raise site specific issues with them on a 1:1 basis.  TAKE NOTE – Park Road/Anglesea Junction is closed for railway bridge repairs so you’ll need to take a different route to get to Richmond Building this month.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: The AGM is fast approaching (March 15th) and as always, we’re on the look out for new committee members – we have some new posts opening up including “wardens” for 6 different areas of the city (on the island – north east/north west/south east/south west AND off the island east and west). The wardens would be our “go-to” people for local knowledge and having discussions with councillors. Could it be you?

Finally, Jon Riding will be presenting our cycling tube map which is a result of efforts by attendees at last year’s AGM. We’ve already started using this tube map to share our concerns and ideas for improvements with PCC.

 

 

Pedal Portsmouth Glow Ride 2017

You can register here.

Bring your hi-vis, glow-in-the-dark accessorise and lights, and take part in our bigger and brighter Pedal Portsmouth Glow Ride on Southsea seafront on Saturday 14 October from 6.30pm – 7.30pm – registration from 5.30pm.

It’s a fun, free family event, celebrating safe night-time cycling, on a 3km traffic free route along the seafront. If you are one of the best-lit cyclists, you could win a prize.

The ride starts on Eastney Esplanade near Canoe Lake and will be open for an hour from 6.30pm – 7.30pm, allowing cyclists of all ages and abilities to enjoy cycling round the course at their own pace while lighting up the night. Make sure you sign up to be part of the spectacle!

The registration desk will be open from 5.30pm. Sign-in will be quicker if you’ve already given us your details online so register now. There will be free glow drawstring bags and goodies for participants. Bike Doctor will be there from 5.30pm so if you need your brakes tightened, saddle adjusted or a quick check over get there early.

Please remember that it is illegal to cycle on a public road after dark without lights and reflectors. Anyone without lights could be issued with a £30 fine. You can get good-quality lights and cycle gear from the council at almost cost price. Just ask at reception at the Civic Offices, Guildhall Square.

[courtesy of Portsmouth City Council]

Open Meeting – 21 September

We have our next open meeting on Thursday 21 September at the Richmond Building, University of Portsmouth.

At our last meeting in June we mourned and paid tribute to Tim Atkins. He was killed after being knocked off his bike on the Eastern Road cycle path. We have been pressing Portsmouth City Council to do something about the blind spots and pinch points for years and now our – and your – voices are being heard.

At the meeting we will hear from Cllr Simon Bosher, the city transport portfolio holder.  He will be presenting the plans for the changes to the Eastern Road.  These will be going out to consultation around the same time with a number of ‘roadshows’ taking place at the end of the month.

At our last meeting before the general election we were expecting the then MP for Portsmouth South, Flick Drummond to speak about her work in Parliament.  Now she has some free time and will be with us to talk about the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling, of which she was a member. There will be time for questions after her talk.

We start at 7pm, so please arrive 10-15 minutes earlier.

The meeting will take place on Thursday 21 September at 7.00pm in Lecture Theatre 2 of the Richmond Building of the University of Portsmouth.  We start at 7.00pm, so please arrive 10-15 minutes earlier.

PCC Cycle Surgery

As discussed at our June meeting, we have arranged a ‘surgery’ with one of the active travel and road safety team at the city council.  There is the opportunity to discuss particular issues you have with cycling in the city.  There is time for 4 slots before this meeting, and we hope to have some more in November. To make sure of your slot please find more information and booking form here.

Open Meeting Report June 2017

Following the remembrance event in Guildhall Square, approximately 70 attendees cycled to the previously arranged regular open meeting at the University of Portsmouth Richmond Building as a show of support for their fellow cyclists in the city, led by PCF ride leaders.

Just as we were about to start, the late arrival of Portsmouth South’s new MP meant a swift re-arranging of the agenda, with Stephen Morgan addressing the room in what was his first visit back to the city since taking up his seat at Westminster at the start of the week.  He had rushed back south after his swearing in earlier that day, and we were happy to be his first appointment back.

He described how as a non-driver, he cycles around the city, is only too aware of the issues that confront those on two wheels on a daily basis.  At the start of the General Election campaign he announced his support for The City to Share strategy: https://stephenjmorgan.org/2017/04/27/citys-cycling-plan-backed/

Although it is only early days of his term, he took several questions that were mostly about local issues that highlight the dangers of cycling in Portsmouth, announced his intention to join the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group and will join our open meetings as often as he is able to.

We are very grateful to him for making the effort to get back for the evening and we look forward to working with him to improve the infrastructure, safety and perception of cycling in Portsmouth.

The first of our speakers for the evening was Darren Ord, the Traffic Inspector for the Eastern region of the Hampshire and Thames Valley Joint roads operation.  He is also leading the ‘Close Pass Initiative’ which made the headlines of the Portsmouth News in April:

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/crime/watch-undercover-police-cyclists-capture-portsmouth-drivers-overtaking-too-close-1-7906436

Darren, who is a keen cyclist himself, explained they picked up on the Close Pass initiative following the success and publicity around operations carried out in the West Midlands. It targets vehicles that passed too close to cyclists – actually policemen in a number of cyclist attires.  It was felt that car drivers who do not cycle don’t usually look out for cyclists so may not see them.

So far 4 deployments across the Eastern region since April with 36 motorists have been spoken to and educated as to how and why they need to give space for cycling.  They are keen to encourage the education aspect of the initiative, but those not wishing to take advice will be asked to attend a driver awareness course or be issued with a fine, much like those drivers caught speeding.

Asked whether the next step of this approach would be to accept videos from the public that show potential transgressions as a number of forces now do, Darren said that there were future plans to improve ‘third party reporting’ from helmet-cams which is not perfect at the moment. We hope to see this be rolled out in due course though.

Twitter users can follow @HantsPolRoads for more information and to find out what future operations are being carried out.

We then received an update from Portsmouth City Council Active Travel officers on the current and new projects that are taking place.

The new network of Quieter routes has recently been launched and these consist of 10 routes (five north / south & five east /west) across the city that aims to target those less confident cyclists to navigate their way around the city, mainly using the 20mph residential road network.

It’s not a finished product, not every 20mph road is safer than 30mph roads, but the selected routes have been casualty-checked to ensure they run along the statistically safer roads. PCC are aware that there are issues, however some of these could not be addressed with the initial funding package. The scheme has now attracted further funding that can be used to make actual infrastructure improvements.

The current year of the Local Transport Plan has funding for the following projects:

  •      A2047 – Fratton / Kingston / London Rd improvements: 12 junctions get lines and surfacing, or raised tables and surfacing
  •      Bypassing gyratory at the north end of London Rd, to route cyclists across the foot/cycle bridge over the motorway at Peronne Road
  •      Stubbington Ave and London Rd Roundabout: slow traffic down, improve sight lines by increasing carriageway deflection

As part of the question and answer session at the end of the presentations, inevitably there were questions about the recent events that highlighted the dangers of cycling in the city.  It was explained the specific incidents could not be discussed as they were currently under investigation. However as a general rule, after every fatality, there is a meeting to discuss possible improvements to the location, and once the ongoing investigation is finished, there will be a requirement to explain how and what is going to happen to ensure the situation does not happen again.

We would like to thank all our speakers for attending, especially at an emotional time for many cyclists in the city.

The PCF open meetings in the autumn take place on Thursday 21st September and Thursday 16th November at 7.00pm.  Full details will be circulated once we have them confirmed.  To ensure you receive these please sign up to our email bulletins here: http://www.pompeybug.co.uk/newsletters/

Ian Saunders

Chair, Portsmouth Cycle Forum

A Time to Remember, A Time to Act

Last week two terrible incidents occurred that highlight the dangers faced by cyclists on our roads. On Thursday 1st June a cyclist was seriously injured on Fratton Bridge and remains in a coma. On Friday 2nd June a cyclist, Tim Atkins, was killed after falling into traffic on the Eastern Road after a collision with another cyclist.

Next Thursday we will be holding an act of remembrance for Tim Atkins and a call for action, a call for the city council to finally take strong action to address the safety problems that affect all cyclists across our city. Tim’s family are devastated, but they want to prevent such a terrible thing happening to another family so it’s with their support that we are holding this event.

We are calling for anyone who cycles or who cares about the safety of cyclists to gather in Guildhall Square from 5:30pm on Thursday 15th June. Starting at 6pm we will remember Tim and then call for action from the city council. We have invited council leaders and politicians of all parties to attend and answer our call. We will then cycle the short distance from the Guildhall to Richmond Building for our open meeting where we will be hearing from council officers and the police about some key cycle safety initiatives.

This event will be a respectful act of remembrance and a resolute, peaceful call for action. Please add strength to our message by coming along to the Guildhall next Thursday to pay your respects to a fellow cyclist, show your support to his family and to add strength to our call for action. We call for all cyclists, commuters and racers, shoppers and tourists, tricyclists and tandemists to come and let the city council hear our call for safer streets and A City to Share.

The time for action is long overdue, we need you to come along and make sure our voice is heard. Tim was a father, a brother, a son, a partner. Someone who loved and was loved. We cannot tolerate his needless loss and we could not bear for this to happen again. We demand action now to make our streets safe for all cyclists.

Tim’s sister, Joanna, wrote this about her brother:

Tim Atkins, a devoted family man, a son with a heart of gold, a brother, uncle, father, partner and friend to everyone.
Someone who would do anything for anyone, if he knew you for years or hours… it didn’t matter, Tim would come to the rescue and help you, always putting your needs before his own.
Tim could turn his hand to anything, a avid upcyler of pallets to make just about anything you could think of, a sci-fi writer, a computer whizz, it’s probably quicker to to list what he couldn’t do than the extensive list of skills and qualities he has. ex-pub landlord with a cracking sense of humour, love for life and an even greater love for his daughter, who was his world.
His passion for all of the above was above and beyond that of anyone else I know.
Our family and everyone that knew Tim will miss him beyond belief, for me personally, his ‘lil sis’, this has left a huge hole in my heart and the life of myself, his nieces and nephews, I will never get over this tragedy that could so easily have been prevented, taking the life of my loving brother.

See you on Thursday. Please help us promote this by sharing this article or by sharing this Facebook event.

June Open Meeting

Our next open meeting will be on the Thursday 15 June.

Highways police officers will tell us about their recent Close Pass operation – see below.  And we’ll hear from PCC on the quieter bike routes which are being rolled out around the city.

The meeting will take place on Thursday 15 June at 7.00pm in Lecture Theatre 2 of the Richmond Building of the University of Portsmouth.  Please arrive from 6.45pm, so we can start on time.

Open Meeting – The Cycling Revolution in Leicester

We have a guest speaker from Leicester at our next open meeting on Thursday 26th January.

Jan from British Cycling will be telling us about the work they have been doing to transform the city for cycling. As the UK’s first Environment City, Leicester’s city council has plans to quadruple cycling levels by 2024.  This is being done by a number of programmes, including spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on new infrastructure.

GV of the new bike path / cycle route on Newarke Street in Leicester city centre PICTURE WILL JOHNSTON
GV of the new bike path / cycle route on Newarke Street in Leicester city centre
PICTURE WILL JOHNSTON

So could this be the reason behind Leicester City’s recent successes?!

The meeting will take place on Thursday 26 January at 7.00pm in Lecture Theatre 2 of the Richmond Building of the University of Portsmouth.

A welcome to 2017

A happy new year to our members and subscribers. So what will 2017 bring the cyclists of Portsmouth?

As a result of winning some Government funding, the new Quiet Routes that PCC have been working on since last summer should soon be released.  PCC hope that by identifying 20mph roads, a network of routes can be created that are quieter and safer for those less confident cyclists to travel around the city.  This is a welcome initiative assuming that the routes are advertised and easy to follow once on your bike.

In conjunction with this work, an audit of all the cycling infrastructure routes and facilities has been undertaken by PCC, identifying the existing lanes, paths and parking that exist in the city.  This information – together with the quiet routes initiative – will form the basis for a new Cycling map for Portsmouth.  We will be studying this in great detail to identify the gaps in provision and work to improve areas that we believe do not serve cyclists to the extent that they should.

To that end, three of our committee members are attending the Cycling UK workshop day in London in late January to learn more about the computerized cycling tools that were demonstrated to us by Roger Geffen at our open meeting in November.  Our intention is to ask our paid-up members at our AGM in March to then identify areas in Portsmouth that can be targeted for future development.

However, most of the traffic congestion is down to the sheer numbers of vehicles on the road. To make a real improvement in congestion, pollution and journey times for everyone, the city needs to get people out of their cars, and reduce the barriers that stop people using a bike to travel around.

We need to identify and push to develop the routes that commuters might like to use.  Ideally, these should be fast, consistent, road-quality cycle lanes that are segregated from both road traffic and pedestrians with priority boxes at junctions and specific phasing on the traffic light system to aid safe resumption of one’s journey. The new lane is Goldsmiths Avenue appears to already have made a difference to traffic flows in the area for both vehicles and bikes.  There’s no reason why having set a precedent there that other roads that have double yellow lining should not also be similarly marked with cycle lanes.

Copnor Road has space at the northern end to install segregated cycle lanes similar to those created recently in Brighton.  With some extra shared path they could link up to the pedestrian bridge across the A27 into the Highbury estate and onto Cosham, encouraging those to the north of the city to cycle to work in the way that the Southampton Road and Langstone Harbour paths do from the west and east.

The perception of cycling in Portsmouth is that it is dangerous, and the official figures only back this up this impression.  For the fourth year in the last five, Portsmouth ranks as the most dangerous city in the UK for cycling casualties. Ours is twice the rate of the London Borough of Waltham Forest, which has a similar population density to Portsmouth. Islington has a population density three times that of Portsmouth, and yet the cycle casualty rate is slightly lower.

The improvements in London with the installation of cycle lanes and mini-Holland schemes, the latest of which recently opened just the other end of the A3 in Portsmouth Road, Kingston-Upon Thames, proves that if the infrastructure is invested in, it is used and improves participation.  A year on from its opening, and Waltham Forest’s much opposed mini-Holland scheme has seen traffic levels in 12 key roads in the “village” area of Walthamstow fall by 56 per cent, or 10,000 fewer vehicles a day.  The most vocal business owner opponent of the scheme, has now opened up a coffee shop in his building.

These improvements are within the scope of Portsmouth City Council.  However, as the cycling community, we need to build the pressure to improve things in our favour.  Imagine Mini-Holland schemes during business hours around Cosham High Street, Albert Road or Palmerston Road – the latterly is effectively already installed – making the areas more pleasant to negotiate whether on foot, public transport or bike.

The re-development of the island’s flood defences over the next decade gives us the opportunity to create a true coastline leisure cycle trail to allow exploration of areas visitors may never discover.

Work on the western side next to Hilsea Lake from the Mounbatten Centre to Portsbridge Roundabout will start this spring, necessitating the closure of the much-used shared coastal path.  Work is due to take three years, and there are plans to install a temporary cycle lane along Northern Parade.  We are asking the council whether they are aware just how well used that path is.  Not everyone will be confident enough to rode on a busy road, and so this appears to be an ideal opportunity to trial a segregated route on what is one of the wider roads on the island. And if it proves to be popular, why should it not remain installed after the work adding to the cycle infrastructure in the city?

With no local elections in the city due in 2017, the pull of the ballot box to appeal to voters has disappeared and some experimental schemes could be trialed, monitored and evaluated to see whether they work. Who knows, perhaps they may even lead to a reduction in the casualty figures?

But we can only do so much as a committee of volunteers.  As much as we lobby, badger, cajole and complain at councilors and officers, we need help to keep the issues at the forefront of their minds in every transport and planning decision they take.

And it is with the creation of that bigger voice where you, the regular cyclist comes in.  We need your support.  We’d like you engaged in the process.

Bring to the attention of the council officers poor road surfaces or junctions that endanger cyclists.  Enlist the support and lobby your ward councilors directly to improve our facilities and infrastructure.

In the event of an accident, ensure it is reported to the police, as official casualty figures are an important way to maintain the pressure on the local politicians to develop space for cycling.

Encourage the next generation getting on their bikes wanting to emulate Mark Cavendish or Lizzie Armitstead to use the roads safely and confidently, to be seen, and to respect other road users and pedestrians.

And please consider supporting or becoming a member of Portsmouth Cycle Forum.

I look forward to seeing you at one, or more, of our 2017 events or out on the road enjoying the freedom cycling can give you.

Tailwinds to all….

 

Ian Saunders

Acting Chair, PCF

January 2017

Open Meeting – Making Space for Cycling (UK)

Our next open meeting will take place at 7pm on Thursday 17th November.  The venue will once again be LT2 in Richmond Building at the University of Portsmouth. We’ll be joined by Roger Geffen MBE, Policy Director of Cycling UK. Many of you may remember Roger, who last joined us in January 2014 to talk to us about CTC’s national campaigns. CTC has since transformed the more campaign focussed Cycling UK.

Cycling UK is preparing for a second phase of its national Space for Cycling campaign, in partnership with local campaign groups.  It aims to create better places for everyone, by enabling people of all ages and abilities to cycle for any local journey.  As well as enabling members of the public to call on councils to commit to planning high-quality cycle networks – and to finding the funding these will require – we are also creating a Space for Cycling toolkit.  This will support local campaign groups and councils to work constructively together on planning local cycle networks and prioritising schemes, using a suite of IT tools and crowd-sourced data. This will strengthen the hand of local campaigners – as local authorities seek their support for their funding proposals – while boosting their credibility, their visibility in the local media, and their supporter base.

This should be a really interesting meeting and a great chance for us to engage with Cycling UK’s national campaigns and to use them locally to help us make cycling work for Portsmouth. Put the date in your diaries.

Open Meeting – Thursday 22nd September

We have an open meeting on Thursday. We’ll be discussing the new Solent Deal to devolve transport and other powers from central government to a new Solent Authority. It’ll have money to spend and we want to make sure some it goes into cycling! We’ll also be talking about our Pompey Pothole project to record poor roads and updating you on what has happens since our last meeting. The meeting is at the university Richmond building off Queen St, starting 7pm.

2016 Annual General Meeting

On the 21 April we had our AGM.  These are the minutes:

  1. Welcome and introduction by the Chairman.

Jon Spencer welcomed everyone to the Annual General meeting.

  1. Minutes of Annual General Meeting of 20 March 2015: They were approved without dissent.
  2. Matters arising from last AGM: None.
  3. Chairman’s Report 2016:  Jon highlighted the highs and lows of the year and thanked those who had given their support, time and financial contribution. The full text is published here:

Chair Report 1516

5. Treasurer’s report and accounts:

Roger presented the detailed accounts of the Forum.  Thanks to the increase in annual subscriptions from £5 to £10 last year we are on a much sounder financial footing, although there was a fall in members from 66 to 60.  This is being addressed by regular reminders for those who need to renew.  The report can be found on the website. The meeting approved the report without dissent.

PCF Accounts report 15-16

6. Elections:

Jon has been Chair for 3 years and is finding the commitment too much to bear.  He stood down and asked if there were any nominations for a replacement.  None was forthcoming so Jon has agreed to stay as interim Chair for 3 months.  He urged members to think about candidates and we will need an EGM to elect a new Chair.  Jon also asked for nominations for vice-chair and secretary.  Jon also explained a little about the roles.  No nominations were forthcoming and so both will need to be chosen at the EGM.  Roger was only candidate for Treasurer and was willing to continue.  Other roles for committee members were explained.

Chairman: Jon Spencer will continue for 3 months as interim.  Replacement to be decided at EGM.

Vice-chairman: to be decided at EGM.

Secretary: to be decided at EGM.

Treasurer: Roger Inkpen was the only nomination. He was elected nem.com.

Notice: an EGM will need to be held by mid-July.          

7. Committee members: A communications officer is needed to co-ordinate posts for the website, Facebook, Twitter and chase stories for newsletters. Jon Riding agreed to take this role.  Roger will continue organising rides.  The following were sole nominations and were elected nem.com. en bloc:

Joe McGannan John Holland
Mike Dobson Phil Kirkham
Tom Hart Nicola Waight
Jon Riding Jacek Kopecky
Matthew Winnington Ian Saunders

8. Close: The Chair thanked all for attending.

The AGM closed at 7.45pm.  This was followed by an exercise to follow-up the City to Share cycle strategy.  Feedback from this will be uploaded to the website.

Election Meeting

Election time is nearing, with a councillor up for election in each of the 14 wards across the city on the 5th May. We’ve invited the representatives of each party to speak at our next meeting and we’ll be asking them to commit to halving the rate of cycling casualties on Portsmouth’s Roads by 2020. We’ll be inviting every candidate in the election to come along too and we’ll be writing to them individually to ask them for their support.

The main focus of the meeting will be to give you a chance to ask questions of our politicians about their plans and views on cycling.

The meeting will take place in Lecture Theatre 3, Richmond Building of the University of Portsmouth at 7pm on the 28th April.

Please let us know if you are planning on coming to this meeting by booking a place here. The meeting is free and open to all but it is REALLY helpful for us to know how many people are coming.

Click here to attend this meeting

Open Meeting Report

Lecture Theatre 2, Richmond Building, University of Portsmouth, 7pm Thursday 11th February.

Marcus Jones: TRL Trials of innovative cycling improvements

Transport for London commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)  to undertake a range of off-street trials of innovative cycling improvements.

Marcus Jones, from TRL gave a comprehensive presentation of these trials which included detailed research into the reactions of the 6000 volunteer participants to the various road layouts trialled, including different styles of roundabouts and cyclist/traffic separation technologies. Based on analysis of the trials, decisions will be made as to whether or not they can be introduced on-street, subject to Department for Transport approval.

Further information here.

Nicola Waight: Vision Zero

Relating to TRL’s research, above, Nicola Waight presented a short video on Vision Zero: a multi-national road traffic safety project that aims to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries in road traffic.

Vision Zero started in Sweden and was approved by their parliament in October 1997. It has since been adopted by cities worldwide. Its key idea is that transport systems traditionally place responsibility for safety on road users. The Vision Zero Initiative puts this responsibility on system design.

There followed a discussion about the applicability of this approach to Portsmouth with its country-leading cyclist casualty rate. Following the lead from Portsmouth South’s MP, Flick Drummond, Ken Ellcome, Portsmouth Councillor with responsibility for Transport, endorsed PCF’s City to Share target of reducing Portsmouth’s 2014 cyclist casualty rate by half, by 2020. Councillor Ellcome mentioned the cycle path to be introduced on the north side of Goldsmiths Avenue as an example of the Council’s commitment to improve the safety of cyclists in the city.

Bernie Topham, COO, University of Portsmouth

Bernie presented on the University’s ambition to promote more sustainable travel options for the c.22,000 staff and students of the University. One aspect seen as an enabler for greater use of cycles was the provision of on-street parking in residential areas of the city, particularly around Albert Rd where there is a high density of student housing.

Download Slides – February Meeting

Stretch Yourself with the Cathedral Challenge

Portsmouth CTC are organising a series of week-end rides for people new to group riding or who haven’t cycled for a while. They start after Easter with short ‘get to know you’ rides that include a free bike check and progress through longer distances, tackling a series of challenges along the way:

  • Bronze: Havant to Portsmouth cathedral and back
  • Silver: Chichester cathedral and back via the South Downs National Park
  • Gold: Winchester cathedral and back

All rides are led by CTC-accredited ride leaders and supported by experienced riders. They start from The Spring Centre in Havant or Bidbury Park in Bedhampton.

The Cathedral Challenge page provides more information including some inspirational stories from some of our members who have achieved far more on a bike than they thought possible.

There’s no need for sponsorship, and there’s no fee to join any of the rides. The only cost is one-year’s subscription to CTC if people join more than three rides.

The event is inspired by Bristol CTC’s very successful ‘Get Gorge-ous’ rides.

Open Meeting: Modern Cycle Infrastructure At Last?

Anyone who’s travelled in Europe will have come across a whole variety of features on the road designed to help cyclists, things that are alien to us here in Britain. Segregation at junctions, protected lanes on roundabouts, low level traffic lights, bus stop bypasses to name  a few. Maybe you’ve seen them and wondered why they are not in common use here too.

The good news is that all of these things have been on trial at the Transport Research Lab in Berkshire and as a result may be coming to the UK at last.

At our next public meeting we’ll be hearing from Marcus Jones from the Transport Research Lab about the outcome of those trials and what’s being done to follow them up.

Anyone who’s been to one of our meetings before will know that we’re very concerned about safety on our roads. Portsmouth’s record for cycle safety is fairly dismal and we’re pushing the council to commit to tackling it. At the meeting we’ll be finding out the Vision Zero initiative. It can be summarised in one sentence: No loss of life is acceptable. The Swedish Government and some major US cities have signed up for Vision Zero – could Portsmouth do the same?

We’ll also be hearing from the Chief Operating Officer of the University of Portsmouth about how the 22,000 or so staff and students of the University get around and what is being done to help them get onto their bikes.

The meeting will be in Lecture Theatre 2, Richmond Building, University of Portsmouth at 7pm on Thursday 11th February. We really hope to see you there.

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