Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead. View directions
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for the inability to attend the meeting were received by Peter England, Michael Gammage, Ray Fabry, Miles Gripton and Cllr Yong.
The Chairman reported that the meeting was not quorate but he would continue unless any objections were received; no objections received.
To receive any declarations of interest.
There were no declarations of interest received.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 7th October 2015.
The minutes of the meeting held on 7 October were received as a true and correct record subject to at the bottom of page 9 ‘cyclist’ be removed from ‘it was raised that the slight inconvenience of the motorist if an alternative rout was available should not be put ahead of cyclist safety.’
To consider the report.
Gordon Oliver, Principle Transport Policy Officer, introduced the report that provided an update on the progress in delivering the Council’s 2015-16 Capital Programme for items that came under the scope of the Forum.
The forum went through the table at 2.2 (page 13) that highlighted progress for each scheme (including slipped schemes). A number of comments were made specifically on the following projects:
· A308 Maidenhead Road.
Chris Heywood raised concern that along the A308 route from Maidenhead to Windsor there were an number of pinch points that could be improved, for example Bray Road and A3010 is not only narrow but also had overgrowing vegetation / branches that made it difficult to cycle.
There were other issues along the route such as white lines going across the cycle lane on Canon Hill Way to give way to traffic entering / leaving the side road and this raised concerns of safety when cars pulled out to join the A308. Gordon Oliver reported that officers had looked at this but they had no choice but to stop cyclists as cars could not see the approach. Chris Heywood recommended that if this was the case then there should be lines to stop approaching cars as well.
Resolved that: officers to investigate the concerns raised and cycle the route with Chris Heywood.
It was questioned why the cycle route no longer had a red safety strip as when originally installed. The Forum were informed that at the time there was less acceptance of and understanding of cycling safety and local residents lobbied to have the ‘red’ removed.
· Wells Lane, Ascot.
Officers had walked the route and following recent surfacing work, it only requires minor drainage improvements.
· Cycle parking at Windsor and Eton Riverside.
The Forum noted that this was a South West Trains project that had slipped. The tender was more then they expected and they were currently reviewing to see what could be done.
(Cllr Beer joined the meeting)
David Layzell recommended that the cycle route along Barry Avenue, Windsor, be moved to the other side of the road to improve safety as people were opening car doors into the cycleway.
Resolved that: Gordon Oliver to raise this with the Parking Manager.
Chris Heywood raised concern about the lack of available cycle parking capacity at Maidenhead Station. The following discussion resulted in a request that an update be brought to a future meeting on the future plans for the station. The Forum were informed that the initial proposals were due back soon and that it may have to be a short, medium and long term project due to land ownership issues.
The Chairman mentioned that with the Landing development and Crossrail coming in 2019, there was a need for additional car parking and cycle parking for the station. He agreed to bring an update at a future meeting.
Resolved that: An update on Maidenhead station be brought to a future meeting.
(Luke McCarthy joined the meeting)
A number of issues were raised about ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To consider the report.
Gordon Oliver, Principal Transport Policy Officer, introduced the report that sought the Cycle Forum’s views on priorities for the 2016/17 Cycling Capital Programme.
The Forum were informed that in July 2015 Cabinet approved the 2015/16 Highways and Transport Capital Programme and set indicative budgets for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 Capital Programmes, with the Cycling Budget set at £75,000 per year.
Priorities for future years’ capital spend would be identified from the cycling audit undertaken to inform the Cycling Strategy and through consultation with the Cycle Forum. The emerging Cycling Strategy will identify cycling schemes in each of the neighbourhood plan areas. However, the cycle audit was not yet complete for all areas.
The forum went through the table at 2.5 (agenda page 15) that showed a suggested prioritised list of schemes.
Ian Taplin questioned the reduction in funding for the Cycling Capital Programme from £100k per year to £75k per year and was informed that although there was a reduction, more was being spent on cycle parking provision in schools and safe routes to schools then ever before.
Ian Taplin also mentioned that central government were cutting funding for cycling by 50%. He felt that it was a contradiction that the Government portrayed itself as the greenest whilst at the same time cutting cycling funding. RBWM seemed to be going in the opposite direction of what we were told by Government. The Chairman mentioned that the £75k budget did not stop other projects progressing from other funding streams or by putting in capital bids. He mentioned that funding could be made available from S106 / CIL where applicable.
The Chairman said he noted that the Forum had raised concern about the cut in funding to the Cycling Capital Programme.
Cllr Beer felt that the funding should be spent on useful schemes rather then less useful schemes because that is all we can afford.
It was recommended that a list of schemes over a longer period should be made available.
The Forum questioned why £600k funding from the LEP was being spent on the A4 cycle route when the scheme was flawed and did not address key safety issues. Others felt that the money could be spent on other more suitable projects or cycling education. The Chairman said that the funding had been ring-fenced for this project but he would ask officers to check if it could be spent elsewhere.
Gordon Oliver informed the Forum that the route had been chosen by the Forum after a number of workshops in 2014. The Forum supported a route from Maidenhead to Slough and this was mirrored by neighbouring authorities. Andrew Payne noted that according to Strava (a popular cycling app) there were four times as many cyclists using the A4 than the A308 between Maidenhead and Windsor.
The Forum also considered the implications of Crossrail coming to Maidenhead and thus the need to have a strategic view about how people are going to get into and across Maidenhead and it was also noted ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To consider the report.
The Chairman informed the Forum that he had asked for this item to be brought to the Forum for consideration as the agendas were usually set by the Council; however the Council was keen to encourage greater input from the community and local organisations.
The Forum were asked to consider the report that showed examples of areas the Forum may wish to consider and the Forum were encouraged to contact Gordon Oliver with any possible future agenda items they may wish discussed or any items they would be willing to present.
Andrew Payne mentioned that regarding Bikeability training adult take-up may be increased if offered to parents at the same time as children at school, in the evenings or on weekends. Gordon Oliver informed the Forum that training had been offered during the holiday period but take up had been mixed.
With regards to led rides it was mentioned that Maidenhead and District Cycling Club were looking to introduce slower rides and shorter rides to help encourage participation from different abilities. Cllr Beer mentioned that he used to help organise led rides and he would present at a future meeting if it would be useful. Gordon Oliver said he would also look at sending Andrew Payne / Luke McCarthy a report on numbers attending the different classifications of rides that were run as part of the Sky Ride Local programme.
It was mentioned that although the borough had better cycle ways than some other areas, there was still room for improvement and there needed to be better promotion of the cycle ways in the area. It was suggested that people want advice about sae cycle routes and route planning.
Ian Taplin mentioned that there could be an article in Around the Royal Borough and that he would be willing to write something. It was also recommended that cycle routes maps could be given to local businesses and schools.
· That the Open Forum be a standing item on future Cycle Forum agendas.
· That Ian Taplin produce an article for Around the Royal Borough on cycle routes that the Chairman could take to the Councils communication team.
· That the Forum note the report and send Gordon Oliver future agenda items.
To consider any other business.
The Chairman informed that Ian Taplin had requested an agenda item on air pollution issues; as the agenda had already been published and the lead officer was on leave it was agreed to have this as an agenda item at the next meeting. As the Council’s documents provided to the Forum were very technical it was recommended that the presentation be produced with lay people in mind.
Gordon Oliver informed the Forum that with regards to the Bright Idea Challenge 2014 the council had yet to agree with the winner a suitable cycling project that the £1,000 prize could be spent on. It was suggested that the Council could offer ride leader training for local cyclists who could then offer a series of led rides similar to the Sky Ride Local.
Resolved that Forum Members would provide Gordon Oliver contact details of interested participants.
David Layzell raised the difficulty cycling east / west and west /east through Maidenhead town centre; the only way was to go down West Street and into King Street, but King Street is pedestrianised at its northern end. Gordon Oliver reported that he had discussed opening up this section of King Street with the Town Centre Manager who was opposed to allowing cycle access. The Chairman also mentioned that as part of the regeneration programme they aimed to create a bridge link to Kidwells Park from West Street.