Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead. View directions
Contact: Wendy Binmore 01628 796251
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for Absence were received from Susy Shearer
To receive any declarations of interest.
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.
RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Part I minutes of the meeting held on 24 January 2017 be approved, subject to the inclusion of Susy Shearer in the attendance.
To receive the above report.
The Forum received an update on initial proposals to be put forward for inclusion in the proposed 2017/18 capital programme. Full council on 21 February 2017 had agreed the council budget, including £75,000 for cycling. In addition to the slippage from the previous year, this totalled £122,200, and an additional £30,000 for school cycle parking.
The Forum noted the individual proposals:
· Maidenhead ‘Missing Links’ business case – A bid had been made to the LEP to connect the opportunity areas around the town centre in relation to walking, cycling and public realm. A joint venture partner had been appointed to progress four of the sites. £25,000 was proposed to pay for consultants to develop the business case.. Benefits needed to offset costs by a factor of 2:1 to secure the funding.
· Cherwell Close bridge, Maidenhead - The proposal was to replace the existing narrow pedestrian bridge behind the Magnet leisure centre to Town Moor. As a main river, EA approval was required therefore a design was needed early on in the process.
· A329 Ascot High Street – this was a legacy scheme from the previous year.
· Thames Path, Eton Wick - £15,000 would be required for much-needed maintenance. It was confirmed that although cycling was actively discouraged on some parts of the Thames Path, this stretch formed part of National Cycle Network Route 4.
· Bradenham Lane, Bisham – the scheme focussed on existing cycle routes to the north west of Maidenhead. £10,000 would be a contribution to Highways England works for a new cycle lane between Hurley Lane and Bradenham Lane. The Highways England fund was to address severance issues caused by Highways England roads. It was commented that the permitted bridleway link between Dungrovehill Lane and Hurley Lane was poorly surfaced and should be improved as part of the scheme.
· Brocas Street, Eton – the council was working with the Eton Neighbourhood Planning Group to remove the current cycle parking that was causing an obstruction, and replace it with a new larger facility. The £5,000 was a top up to the Participatory Budget scheme. It was confirmed that the new facilities would be secured before the old one was removed.
· Osgood Park, Windsor and Victoria Park – the council had a manifesto commitment to provide cycle parking in local parks. Stephen Shepherd commented that there may be little demand, particularly as children using the parks often chose to lay their bikes on the ground rather than use cycle parking facilities. He was advised to discuss this with Councillor E. Wilson who had put in the request for Osgood Park.
· Thames Street, Windsor – additional cycle parking between Windsor Bridge and Datchet Road.
· Lower Road, Cookham Rise – cycle parking to be provided by the local shops.
· Three schools were proposed for additional cycle parking facilities – Churchmead School, Datchet, Wessex Primary School, Cox Green and St Edward’s First School, Windsor. A consultation had been undertaken with all schools the previous year to identify those with no or poor cycle ... view the full minutes text for item 31.
To receive the above presenation
The Forum received a presentation on the Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT), which was an online tool designed to help predict which areas had the greatest potential for increasing cycling. It showed where the greatest health and environmental benefits could be delivered by people choosing to cycle to work rather than driving, and what could happen if significant investment meant Dutch standard infrastructure was in place. The tool was free to use, with open access at www.pct.bike. The tool was funded by the Department for Transport and had been developed by a consortium of academic partners led by CEDAR at the University of Cambridge. The tool had been refined with input from a range of transport professionals and stakeholders from across England; Rachel Aldridge of the University of Westminster had been involved. A series of workshops had been held across England.
The Forum noted that conventional transport planning tools considered motor traffic and public transport. There were few professional tools available to inform the planning and development of cycling infrastructure. The new tool would help transport planners to spend money more effectively and to make the business case for cycling. It would also help government to prioritise where to direct funding for cycling.
The PCT covered the whole of England and data could be analysed at county level. Counties were further divided into Middle Super Output Areas (MSOA). MSOAs were determined by the number of residents, so rural areas were much larger than urban areas. The tool used 2011 Census data to look at where people lived and which cycled to work. It looked at factors such as trip distance and hilliness to work out which trips could most readily be cycled.
The tool considered considers four scenarios:
It showed the cycling potential between areas with outputs shown as straight lines. It could also show the cycling potential along specific routes, mapping cycling potential onto the existing network, using CycleStreets journey planner. It showed the change in cycling and driver numbers, health benefits in terms of reduced deaths per year and reductions in carbon emissions. In terms of limitations, the Forum noted that the tool only considered commuting journeys that were 100% made by bike and did not handle cross-boundary trips very well. Medium Super Output Areas were quite large and centroids may differ from actual destination points. Route mapping for ‘fast’ options used the fastest legally cycleable route and may therefore include roads that the council would not encourage cyclists to use. It was also noted that the PCT only looked at commuting trips, therefore did not take into account cycling trips by children travelling to school.
The tool demonstrated that the highest levels of cycle commuting were in Windsor, Eton & Eton Wick (5% of trips). The lowest levels of cycle commuting in Ascot, Sunninghill & Sunningdale (1% of trips). In rural areas, cycling typically accounted for 2% of commuting trips. If the Go Dutch scenario was input, the highest levels ... view the full minutes text for item 32.
To receive the above presentation.
The Forum received a presentation on the Cycling Safety Review, based on an analysis cycling casualties contained in the STATS19 database, which:
· Only included incidents where the police were in attendance, or where the crash was subsequently reported to the police.
· Significantly under-reported cyclist casualties. A 2011 study showed that hospital episodes were 3x higher than STATS19 statistics.
· A small number of incidents did not involve a collision (e.g. one party reports near miss / road rage incident after the event).
The analysis period was 2012 to 2016 (5 years). The total number of crashes was 291, with a total of 299 casualties. The Forum considered a number of statistics relating to casualty numbers, including by severity, over time, by age, by gender, time of day, area, junction type, speed limit, crossing type, road and lighting conditions. The Forum noted that there was a significant increase in slight casualties reported in 2016 compared to previous years, however there was no obvious explanation for this. The two urban areas of Maidenhead and Windsor had the most casualties. In relation to junction type, Luke McCarthy commented that the council’s policy to replace traffic lights with roundabouts may have a negative effect as the majority of casualties were at normal and mini-roundabouts. It was noted however that some of the junction types listed such as crossroads may include traffic lights. The Chairman commented that he had raised the issue of cars giving cyclists necessary space when overtaking with the Chief Constable, who had been very receptive and was keen to take the enforcement approach across the Thames Valley. Andrew Payne commented that there was also an issue when cyclists undertook cars on left hand cycle lanes, as cyclists would be closer than 1.5 metres to the cars.
The STATS19 form allowed for up to four contributory factors to be recorded. These were recorded by the officer attending and were based on their judgement. For crashes involving cyclists in the Royal Borough, the three most commonly recorded contributory factors were:
1. Failed to look properly (177)
2. Failed to judge the other person’s path / speed (61)
3. Careless / reckless / in a hurry (56)
The Forum considered details of accidents at cluster sites around the borough.
In terms of mitigation, cyclists were vulnerable at roundabouts, therefore the best treatment was to avoid the roundabout altogether, by provision of an alternative route or grade-separation. For smaller roundabouts, a segregated peripheral cycle route was an option with cyclist given priority over entries and exits. Many roundabouts already had alternative routes (e.g. Heatherwood, Braywick, Clarence Road, Kings Road and Maidenhead Road roundabouts), but they were less direct or suffered from a lack of priority over side-roads and accesses. Forum attendees commented that telling cyclists to avoid roundabouts was not setting a good precedent and could discourage cycling. Ian Taplin suggested that on-carriageway peripheral routes was an easy solution as it simply required the painting of white lines. The Principal Transport Policy Officer commented ... view the full minutes text for item 33.
Any Other Business
a) Cyclist Fatality Winkfield Road – verbal update
b) Cycle Parking – verbal update
c) Bikeability Programme – verbal update
d) Stafferton Way Crossing and Hibbert Road signs – verbal update
a) Cyclist fatality Winkfield Road
The only information provided by the police was that the incident, when a van had driven into the back of a cyclist, had taken place early in the morning and that distraction had been a possible contributory factor. The council would not be informed if there was a prosecution.
b) Cycle Parking
The police had not reported any significant issue with bike thefts. Four racks had been installed at Windsor & Eton Riverside, others were detailed in the capital programme. The council was proactively working to increase capacity at Maidenhead station to 300. Councillor Beer suggested there should be no reduction in CCTV coverage in problem areas.
c) Bikeability programme
It was noted that all training (levels 1-3) was provided by Cycle Experience. Courses were funded via a bid to the DfT each year. In 2016/17 1006 places had been funded, with 28 schools participating (mainly junior and primary). Cycle Experience had contacted all schools, including local private schools, to encourage participation. In 2017/18, funding would allow for 915 places. The cost was £40 per place. The reduction in funding was a national trend. Councillor Beer expressed concern that the government was trying to promote cycling but was also cutting funding for such schemes. It was noted that there was no funding for adult Bikeability. Forum attendees commented that if £3m was being spent on infrastructure, it would also be sensible for the council to provide training to encourage adults to cycle.
d) Stafferton Way Crossing
At the last meeting the Forum had agreed a staggered crossing would be appropriate, with raised tables for cyclists to cross. The scheme would cost £25,000 but was currently not funded but was on the reserve list. Unfortunately the traffic management budget had been reduced for 2017/18. Ian Taplin commented that the junction remained a very dangerous place to cycle across, particularly at night. He had been involved in and witnessed several near misses. It was noted that a number of flatted developments were anticipated in the area, therefore the council could seek developer contributions for improvements to the junction close by.
Councillor Yong informed the Forum that a group had recently met with the Surface Access Manager at Heathrow. If the third runway went ahead, the airport had committed to no increase in vehicular movements therefore they were looking at other ways to increase the use of public transport and cycling. It was noted that 75% of those travelling to the airport did so by public transport, but the majority came from London; public transport links from the borough were limited. She suggested the Surface Area Manager be invited to the next Forum meeting to discuss opportunities for cycleways into the airport.
f) Event signs
Councillor Beer suggested the council’s policy on event signs should be tightened up to ensure they did not obstruct road users.
g) Next meeting
It was noted that the next meeting was scheduled for 13 July 2017 in Maidenhead.