Category Archives: Meetings

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

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

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.

Add the meeting to your calendar

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Open Meeting Report

It was standing room only for latecomers to the Portsmouth Cycle Forum open meeting on Thursday 12th November. To cope with the demand we’d already upgraded from our regular meeting place to a 70-seat lecture theatre in the University and even this was barely enough as 80 people packed the room. Eager guests had come to hear Dr Rachel Aldred speak about her studies into cyclists’ Near Misses and our own Eric de Greef to talk about making the school-run bike-friendly.

Rachel Aldred briefs on the Near Miss project
Rachel Aldred briefs on the Near Miss project

Historically police and local authorities have used data on deaths and serious injuries to inform them about improving safety and reducing danger on our roads. Dr Aldred’s work highlights the importance of near misses and close shaves in influencing perception of danger by surveying cyclists of all abilities making all kinds of journey. Survey respondents complete a diary for one day and detail every time they come close to different levels of risk and danger. Over 1500 diarists detailed nearly 4000 incidents in 2014.

Official statistics show there is a very low chance of even minor injury to regular cyclists – once every 20 years; but analysis of cycling diaries showed an average of one ‘very scary’ incident every week, and the feeling of being abused or harassed a couple of times a month, with lesser near misses likely to happen on a daily basis.

Dr Aldred has a small team and a huge quantity of data from the 2015 survey which was completed last month. She is collaborating with police and local authorities to use this data to influence both the design of infrastructure and the education of road users. Find out more about the Near Miss Project here.

Eric de Greef talks about the school run
Eric de Greef talks about the school run

Eric de Greef had the task of following Rachel Aldred and delivered an excellent talk about the work Cycle Forum volunteers have been doing to get more children cycling to school. They have been working with schools and council officers to understand the barriers to cycling, so that ways can be developed to make the school run more bike friendly. This is no easy task but it is an essential one – getting kids on bikes builds activity into their day and gives them independence. This will help foster a healthier, more confident generation.

Other items included and appeal for a bit more diversity on the committee – at the moment we are very white and predominantly male. We’d love more women to get involved in our committee and people from different ethnic backgrounds. If you’re interested please get in touch.

We are very proud of our open meetings and put a lot of effort into creating a friendly forum where there can be a grown-up debate about transport issues without petty party politics, name calling or intimidation. We hope you enjoy them – if you do and you haven’t yet joined the cycle forum, please consider doing that. It only costs £10 and we depend on subscriptions to survive – click here to make it happen.

Thanks to everyone who came and helped make this meeting such a success.

Open Meeting with Dr Rachel Aldred

Update: we have had to move the meeting to a larger room due to popular demand! The meeting will now take place in Lecture Theatre 3 on the Ground Floor of Richmond Building, University of Portsmouth.

Fantastic News! We’re pleased to announce we’ll have a very special guest speaker at our open meeting on Thursday 12 November. Dr Rachel Aldred, senior lecturer in transport at Westminster University, will join us to talk about the Near Miss Project. Dr Aldred is one of the UK’s pre-eminent experts on  cycling and has been behind much of the work that has created such a solid base of evidence about the benefits of cycling. In fact we drew on her research frequently whilst drafting A City to Share.

Rachel Aldred wins Total Women's Cycling Cycling Initiative of the Year for the Near Miss Project
Rachel Aldred wins Total Women’s Cycling Cycling Initiative of the Year for the Near Miss Project

Dr Aldred is in great demand to talk about her work so we’re very lucky to get her for the evening. Her research looks at those ‘close shaves’ which don’t result in injury, but very much affect cyclists’ behaviour and may give a clue as to where actual injuries may occur in the future.

We’ll also be hearing about the work of the team we set up to look at why so few children cycle to school and what can be done to get more children cycling.

So make sure you get down to Lecture Theatre 3, Ground Floor, Richmond Building, University of Portsmouth by 6.45 to get a seat! The meeting starts at 7pm, and we’ll also be talking about the latest accident figures and how to get more women and children cycling. Don’t forget: 6.45pm on Thursday 12 November.

We’re expecting a big turnout for this meeting, so please let us know if you plan to come – click here to drop us an email.

Open Meeting: Election Time

Vote BikeOur next meeting takes place on Thursday 23rd April at 6:45pm, once again in Room 0.08 of the University of Portsmouth Park Building, behind the Guildhall (map). It will be only two weeks before polling day the focus will be on the forthcoming local and national elections.

We’ve invited all local candidates in the election along. We’ve sent them all a letter asking if they will support our City to Share document to create a safer, cleaner and more attractive city, and a local and national commitment to £10 per head on cycling each year.  We’ll be posting their responses on this site as they come in and giving our analysis at the meeting. There will be plenty of time for questions.

Open Meeting and AGM

Cycling on Twyford AveOur next open meeting will take place at 7pm on Thursday 19th March at the John Pounds Centre on Queen Street [map]. As well as the AGM, which should only take a short time, we will be continuing the debate on how to make space for cycling on Portsmouth’s main roads.

The debate was started at our last meeting but ran out of time. At the coming meeting we will reopen the debate and this time make sure there is time to listen to everyone’s views.

Some great ideas were presented by Tom Hart, Rich Boakes and Kathy Azopardi. Come along to ask your questions and throw in your views.

At the meeting we will be looking for volunteers to form a working group to take the ideas forward. This is the model we used to develop our strategy ‘A City to Share‘.

Included in the will be our AGM. Elections will be held for the following posts:

  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Membership Secretary

The other 7 posts within the executive committee are also up for election.

We aim to make the Forum as accountable and democratic as possible, and invite supporters to put themselves forward for these posts. Please reply by email if you wish to stand for any of these executive posts. If you have any questions, ask! If you have ideas about how the cycle forum should be run, or what it should be doing then please think about standing for our committee – we depend on enthusiastic volunteers like you.

Executive meetings are generally held once a month to discuss relevant and topical issues related to the Forum and cycling in general. They need not be onerous or time-consuming jobs – only if you want them to be!

A City to Share – follow up with Donna Jones

pcf-city-strategy-portrait-hr-thumbOn Tuesday 2nd December Portsmouth Cycle Forum also met with the leader of PCC, Cllr Donna Jones, and the Cabinet Member for Traffic & Transportation Cllr Ken Ellcome to follow up on the launch of our cycle strategy, A City to Share.

In attendance were Cllrs Jones and Ellcome, PCC Head of Traffic & Environment Simon Moon, Assistant Head of Traffic & Environment Marc Griffin, British Cycling Southern Region Recreation Manager Jo Downing, Sameen Farouk (a key contributor to the strategy development) plus Jon Spencer and John Holland of Portsmouth Cycle Forum.

Cllr Jones’s immediate focus was on the development of a major cycling event in the city. It’s too early to announce what that is but it could be very exciting and commit PCC to year-round support for cycling for several years to come. Cllr Jones also committed to engage with the minister for cycling, Robert Goodwill and minister for Portsmouth, Matthew Hancock to find out how Portsmouth can be reconnected to the main stream of cycling funding that it currently seems excluded from.

I was particularly pleased to hear that Simon Moon is planning to redraft the city’s LTP3 policy partly in response to our strategy. LTP3 is really the main body of transport policy for the city and much of the city’s transport funding comes through it. So that is a really, really positive development. He also committed to work in partnership with Portsmouth Cycle Forum in doing that.

Useful discussions were had about how to further raise the profile of the strategy with neighbourhood fora and businesses. We maybe seeking volunteers to help with that soon. There were two key issues we raised in writing following the meeting as we had run out of time:

  1. PCC officers are currently working up an EOI response to the DfT Cycling Delivery Plan. Given the unfortunate failure of the Cycle City Ambition and, more recently, LSFT2 bids it is obviously vital that this EOI meets a positive response. We are very keen to support the development of Portsmouth’s EOI response in any way we can.
  2. Plans to redevelop the city’s coastal defences are now well advanced, with the first section covering a long section of Southsea seafront open for consultation. In the past, whilst campaigning for the western part of the seafront cycle route, we were assured that when the new coastal defences were built that would be the opportunity to improve cycling on the seafront. Unfortunately, any cycle provision is absent from the plans now presented. It seems a shame to spend circa £20 million on this stretch of the seafront and do nothing to solve the long standing problem with cycling here. If we do hold a high-profile event then the seafront is an area I’m sure we’d love to include. It will be a real pity if a once-in-a-generation opportunity to introduce some attractive, safe cycling facilities on the western seafront has been missed.

There is a consultation running right now on the coastal defences if you’d like to have your say – check our article which will lead you to it.

Thanks to the Councillors and officers for their time. We look forward to some speedy progress.

Transport Stakeholders Liaison Group – Report

Bus LanesOn Tuesday 2nd December Portsmouth Cycle Forum was invited to the first meeting of the City Council’s Transport Stakeholder Liaison Group. The new Tory administration has significantly widened the engagement of these transport stakeholder meetings. There re now no fewer than five groups: A taxi operators group, a bus operators group, a rail operators group, an active travel group and this overarching group which includes all. This is considerably richer than the previous groups which only included taxi, bus and rail operators. A really positive change and well done to Cllr Ellcome doing it.

The meeting included representatives from: the taxi trade (lots of them), First and Stagecoach bus operators, South West Trains, Portsmouth Disability Forum, PCC reps (from Transport & Environment, Parking, Traffic Management, Town Centre Management and Transport Planning), Colas, British Cycling and us, the cycle forum. Councillors Ellcome (Con) and Stagg (LD) were in attendance.

Apart from details of the current PCC program of works, the park and ride, NHT surveys the main issue on the agenda was a discussion about admitting private hire taxis into bus lanes. Currently buses and Hackney Carriages are allowed in bus lanes – but private hire taxis are not. There are currently about 300 Hackney Carriages in the city but over 800 private hire taxis.

This issue was brought up by the taxi drivers and they have raised a petition in support of about 800 signatures. Both bus companies spoke against as did British Cycling and Portsmouth Cycle Forum. I can understand that the taxi drivers are frustrated that congestion levels are hampering their business but the solution is to attract people out of their cars and onto other transport – like bikes. If we fill what little cycling space we have with taxis then that won’t happen.

We also had the opportunity to brief on A City to Share, our new cycling strategy. All the copies of the document I had available were given – I’d love some feedback from bus companies and taxi operators.

Cycle Forum Open Meeting 13 November

SOLENT TRANSPORT // A CITY TO SHARE

Open meeting 13Nov14 poster cropped
Our next public meeting will take place on Thursday 13th November at 7pm. The venue will be room 0.08 in Park Building, part of the University just behind the Guildhall.

We are pleased to welcome Phil Marshall, Principal Transport Planner for Solent Transport (the successor organisation to Transport for South Hampshire). Phil will brief us on transport policy and funding in our area.

We’ll then brief on the strategy we’ve developed for cycling in Portsmouth – entitled “A City to Share”. This strategy was successfully launched to city leaders including Cllrs Donna Jones and Gerald Vernon-Jackson on the 3rd November. We’ll give you a full brief on the strategy and the response so far.

Find out more about the strategy at it’s own website acitytoshare.org or join the debate on twitter using the hashtag #acitytoshare.

It should be an exciting meeting and we hope to see you there.

Help publicise this event – please download, print and display a poster.

Open Meeting Report

St Mary's Rd / Milton Rd Junction
St Mary’s Rd / Milton Rd Junction

Portsmouth Cycle Forum held another well attended open meeting on Thursday 11th September. The meeting was very kindly hosted by the Southsea Coffee Co and we’d like to thank them very warmly for their generosity. We were delighted to welcome Claire French of Portsmouth Evening News to the meeting and are delighted that she published an article about the meeting the very next day – rather faster than we’ve managed.

Asha Lal of Portsmouth City Council gave an overview of the Wheels4All project. This aims is to give access to cycling via adapted bikes to those with physical and mental health issues, who could not manage to ride a conventional bike. They take individuals and groups and train them to use the bikes, usually for a day. The project is based at Bransbury Park and has lottery funds lasting up to July 2015, with the intention of opening another site at Mountbatten Centre. The project is run purely to give training on the adapted bikes and their insurance does not allow for the equipment to be taken off site.

The main focus of the evening was for Tom Hart to present our research into cycle safety in Portsmouth. Tom’s analysis identified the 21 most dangerous spots in the city and looked at the common factors:

  • 19 of the 21 Cycling Casualty Hotspots are on Portsmouth’s notorious A-Roads, with many being intersections with linking routes and rat runs.
  • High traffic volumes combined with split-second manoeuvres across fast traffic flows, predictably result in high casualties.
  • Driver’s error or reckless behaviour, are the most common contributory causes to these accidents, yet only three of these 21 junctions are controlled by traffic lights.
  • Seven roundabouts were casualty hotspots. Roundabouts are the most dangerous junctions for cyclists, with casualty rates up to 15 time higher than for car occupants! These roundabouts show widespread deviation from DfT’s recommendations, designed to ensure motorists navigate roundabouts with care.

Tom’s presentation is available for download here.

The evening concluded with a wide-ranging debate of cycle safety. Once again PCC’s assistant head of service for Transport and Environment, Marc Griffin, gave up his evening to attend and provided much useful information to the discussion.

A full report of the meeting is here.

UPDATED: Open Meeting

Wheels 4 All
Wheels 4 All

Our next public meeting will take place on Thursday 11th September at 7pm. The venue is Southsea Coffee Co at 63 Osborne Rd in Southsea (map).

We’ll be hearing about Wheels 4 All, a nationally recognised programme that embraces all children and adults with disabilities and differing needs, to engage in a quality cycling activity. By using specially adapted cycles, the activities are both physically and mentally stimulating and above all fun for everyone involved.

We’ll also be presenting our research on the junctions in Portsmouth that are most lethal to cyclists. This follows our exposure of the shocking cycle casualty statistics for Portsmouth and PCC’s response to them at our last meeting.