Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Desborough 4 - Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Nabihah Hassan-Farooq  01628796345

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Items
No. Item

77.

Welcome and Introductions

To receive introductions from all Forum attendees.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed all attendees to the meeting and asked that each member introduces themselves.

78.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Michael Gammage and Harold Bodenhofer.

79.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

None.

80.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To confirm the minutes of the last meeting held on the 12th November as a true and accurate record.

Minutes:

 

AGREED UNANIMOUSLY THAT; The minutes of the meeting held on the 12th November 2018 were agreed as an accurate and true record.

 

ACTION- That  Cllr Wilson to invite Cllr Bicknell as Lead Member for Highways and Transport to the next meeting of the Cycle Forum.

 

ACTION- For Gordon Oliver to draft articles on the Cycling Action Plan and Close Pass initiative for Around the Royal Borough.

 

81.

Cycling Action Plan

To receive a verbal report from Gordon Oliver on the above titled item.

Minutes:

Gordon Oliver introduced the above titled item. It was highlighted that the Task and Finish Group had reviewed and amended the Cycling Action Plan and that this would be considered for adoption at the 31 January Cabinet meeting. At Cabinet Briefing, members had requested an appendix to the report summarising the priorities for investment and the impacts of the strategy, so a map showing the high priority schemes has  been included together with some accompanying graphics . Members were informed that the Cycling Action plan had been well received at Cabinet Briefing and had much support from members. The plan would be considered at Highways and Transport Overview & Scrutiny Panel on 23 January. Members of the Cycle Forum discussed ways in which they could express their support and opinions and it was noted that David Lambourne had registered his right to address the Cabinet in respect of this item. Cycle Forum members were encouraged to be vocal about their support and register to speak in support of the plan. Councillor Yong highlighted that Councillors are in post to represent the needs of their residents and that members should lobby their local councillors to ensure that the cycling agenda is advanced accordingly and expressed the importance of their vocal representation in the political arena.

 

The Chair also highlighted that it was good to show support and that cabinet members had been very supportive of the plan. Luke McCarthy stated that he was concerned with the level of allocated funding which had been given and that he felt wider lobbying to the administration was needed. David Lambourne stated that he had previously felt little support for cycling from the previous administration and that he felt other boroughs had been more supportive of cycling by implementing schemes, cycle clubs and cycle circuits. Luke McCarthy stated that a significant infrastructure investment across the borough was needed as part of new development and stated that the Leader had recently published a online statement to this effect.  Members felt that a small budget for cycling schemes had been deployed by the Council and felt dissatisfied with the profile of the cycling agenda in the borough.  Matthew Gordon-Smith asked how cyclists’ needs were taken into account in junction improvement schemes, such as at Hatch Lane / Clarence Road. He stated that he felt that as a cyclist in Windsor that multiple junction improvements were needed to aid the safety of cyclists against high levels of traffic. Susy Shearer confirmed that there were notable improvements needed and agreed that advanced cycle stop lines were needed at Vansittart Road / Clarence Road and the road layout around the Tesco Express at Hatch Lane  was in need of an urgent review. It was also highlighted that on the national cycle route on Thames Street that  cyclists were often not detected by the traffic lights when coming from the bridge.

 

Members were reminded that the plan had been finalised in June 2018. The Forum discussed that the Cycle Action Plan was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.

82.

Future of the Cycle Forum

To receive a verbal report by Gordon Oliver on the above titled item.

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the above titled item. The Forum were told that there had been an independent boundary review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) and that as a result there had been a recommendation to reduce the number of councillors from 57 to 41. The Forum were told that in conjunction with the boundary review that the Constitutional review had also taken account of the number of committees, forums and panels that the Council serviced and that it was notably higher than other comparable local authorities. Gordon Oliver informed the Forum that it had been agreed at the main Council debate in June 2018 that a number of panels/forums had been agreed for deletion / restructuring and circulated a list accompanied by the rationale for all of the proposals.  It had been proposed that the Cycle Forum would be subsumed by the newly-created Infrastructure Overview & Scrutiny Panel, Windsor Town Forum and Maidenhead Town Forum. It was highlighted that dependant on the subject matter that the proposal for any items discussed at Cycle Forum would be raised and considered at the new Infrastructure Overview & Scrutiny Panel or either Maidenhead/Windsor Town Forum as appropriate. It was confirmed that the new structure with the deleted Forums/Panes/Committees and the reduction of members would take effect from May 2019. It was noted that there would be no further servicing of the Forum by Democratic Services as it would not exist within the council committee structure. 

 

David Lambourne felt the focus of the Cycle Forum would be lost within the overarching Overview & Scrutiny panel and that this had been a cost saving exercise. He also said that he felt the changes would limit the valuable input from residents and that he felt councillors had been treated badly as their workloads would increase without an added financial imbursement. Councillor Lion stated that the recommendation to reduce the number of councillors had come from the LGBCE who was independent of the Council and that Councillors had the opportunity to vote in relation to the recommendations independently of the party whip. Councillor Beer stated that there had been approximately 10-11 members who had opposed or abstained from voting on the recommendations and that he had voted against the recommendation. Councillor Beer felt that the new proposed structure would not take into account the values and views of Cycle Forum attendees.

 

The Chair reminded the Forum that each ward was reviewed by their population demographic and that the number of councillor representation had been assessed independently by the LGBCE. Susy Shearer stated that there would be limitations to the way in which Cycle Forum attendees could interact with the relevant Overview & Scrutiny Panels and that there would be no opportunity to engage in detailed and wide ranging issues. She also felt current attendees of the Cycle Forum had the opportunity to have engaged discussions with no time limitations and that with restricted times to address Overview & Scrutiny Panel / Town Forums in future that it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.

83.

Cycling in Windsor Great Park

To receive a verbal report by Gordon Oliver on the above titled item.

Minutes:

Gordon Oliver, Principal Transport Planner, outlined the above titled item. The Cycle Forum was reminded that the council had previously looked at the potential for a dedicated cycle route between Ascot and Windsor. This area is covered by Windsor Great Park which is a private park and part of the Crown Estate. Members were told that it is home to several endangered species with large areas protected by Special Areas of Conservation / Sites of Special Scientific Interest  which limited options for a cycle route.. Cyclists are allowed to use certain estate roads within the Great Park to travel between Ascot and Windsor and the Crown Estate had previously agreed that cyclists could use these roads during night time hours, which helped to improve safety for those who commuted through the dark winter months. However, it was noted that a Bracknell resident had been in contact to advise that they had faced challenge when cycling through the Great Park at night. After investigations it was found that the rights to cycle through the park during night time hours had now been rescinded. There was a proposal for a 40 mph speed limit supported by average speed cameras on Winkfirled Road / Mounts Hill through the Great Park and that Crown Estate were supportive of this. However, it was recognised that this was inferior to a segregated cycle route and it was questioned if there would be sufficient benefit to justify the cost of the cameras and ongoing enforcement. Any enforcement action would be undertaken by Thames Valley Police, but they had not indicated if they would support the proposal.

 

Members of the forum expressed their disappointment at the decision to rescind permission for cyclists to cut through the Great park at night. A member of the Forum highlighted that the closest similar route was located by Legoland and that this had proved incredibly dangerous for cyclists. It was noted that two cyclists had lost their lives on this road. The Chair highlighted that previous interaction with the deputy park ranger had proved difficult with little resolution. Councillor Yong expressed surprise that cars were preferred to cycles considering the Great Park was considered as an area of specific scientific interest and that there was significant importance placed upon conservation across the specific area. She went on to highlight other areas where cycling was permitted in forests that could be a template for the Crown Estate. However, she did concede that the Great Park was a victim of its own success with walkers / dog-walkers / cyclists often in conflict. Members discussed the encumbrances faced by the deputy park ranger and felt that a dedicated cycle route would be very well received by cyclists in the area.

 

(Councillor Beer declared that he had a personal interest, but that he had served as a ward and parish councillor of the area in relation to this item. Councillor Beer stated that he has a working relationship with the Deputy Park Ranger but that this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.

84.

Secure Bike Storage

To receive a verbal update on the above titled item by Gordon Oliver.

Minutes:

GordGordon Oliver, Principal Transport Planner, updated the Forum on the above titled item. The Forum had discussed on-street cycle storage in residential areas at the last meeting held on the 12th November 2018. It was outlined that as part of ongoing research into this area, that Lambeth, Southwark, Hackney Councils had been looked at. Lambeth Council had distributed a questionnaire to all householders regarding their views on cycle storage. The questionnaire responses had been positive and that most residents supported on-street cycle storage, however, when posed with the reality of the cycle storage outside of their own homes, positive responses were reduced by 11%.

 

After collation of information, it was noted that the main concerns surrounding cycle storage included;

 

·         Aesthetics

·         Proximity to property

·         High cost of rental space

 

It was highlighted that some of the researched Councils offered limited times to for residents to apply for new sites. Some areas had waiting lists, with spaces allocated on a first come first served basis. Some local authorities had limited the cycle storage to two residents per household to ensure fairness in their approach. Other considerations included:

 

  • Support from ward members
  • Whether surrounding properties had space for cycles
  • The need for residents to use stairs
  • Number of cycle thefts
  • Car parking pressures

 

It was noted that this would be a good piece of work to consider, but that this could be looked at in the future in more detail.

 

Members of the forum discussed the issues with older properties across Windsor and Maidenhead and that there was limited possibility to provide adequate cycle storage in certain areas. It was also stated that there was a rigid need for planning to be involved with this, and Councillor Beer stated that he would like for all new developments to have consideration to cycle storage. Gordon Oliver highlighted that most new developments were required to provide cycle storage  and that the council was about to review its Parking Standards and would incorporate best practice for cycle parking provision. Councillor D Wilson informed members that the Council was currently working jointly with Countryside developers to deliver a significant number of homes across Maidenhead town centre and that he had visited a scheme that they had recently developed in Ealing which had innovative cycle storage ideas.

 

A forum member stated that he felt that more importance should be placed on the modal shift from driving to cycling and that when this had been addressed, that this project should be revisited. Matt Gordon-Smith stated that he felt more secure cycling storage was needed in the town centres where there was an existing problem with bike thefts. He highlighted the lack of capacity in Windsor town centre in particular and suggested secure cycle storage in car parks . David Lambourne suggested that a survey could be carried out with large and flatted developments to better understand the demand of their cycling storage needs. Maidenhead Station was highlighted as a location that needed more cycle parking, Gordon Oliver informed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

85.

A.O.B

Minutes:

Luke McCarthy informed the Forum that the Cycle Hub lease was ending and that they would need to find new premises over the upcoming months. Members were asked to contact him directly if they were aware of any suitable premises.

 

86.

Date of the next meeting

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as follows:

 

·         15th April 2019 at 6.30pm

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as follows:

 

·         15th April 2019 at 6.30pm, Chamber, Guildhall, Windsor.