25 Jun 2013 - CYCLEWight

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25 Jun 2013

Campaigning > IW Cycle Forum

Isle of Wight Cycle Forum Minutes
25 June 2013 @ 6pm
Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service HQ, Newport.
Alan Bennett (ABE) Vectis Roads & Cyclewight
Mark Breakey (MB) Road Haulage Assoc. + Steve Porter
Alec Broome (ABR) IWCouncil Sports Unit
Jennine Gardiner (JG) IW Council Rights of Way
PC Jame Holden Police (Roads Policing Unit)
Alexander Hopkinson-Woolley(AHW) Bembridge Wheelers
Margaret Hopkinson-Woolley (MHW) Bembridge Wheelers
David Kitching (DK) Vectis Roads Cycle Club secretary
Alex Lawson (AL) Cyclewight & Wayfarers
Councillor John Medland (JM) IW Council Member, Deputy cabinet
member for sustainability
Tanja Rebel (TR) Orchards, Cyclewight
Tim Thorne (TT) Cyclewight Chairman
Rebecca Tuck (RT) Island Roads
Tracey Webb (TW) Road Safety: IWF&R
Mari-Louise White (MW) IWC Events team
Rhys Williams (RW) Road Haulage Association, Area Manager
Margaret Young (MR) Vectis Roads CC Just4Fun
David Young (DY) Vectis Roads CC Just4Fun
1. Introduction
Apologies were received from Councillor Jonathan Gilbey, Louise Gray (IWC Health Promotion), Steve
Goodman (Sustrans), Andy Newman (Wayfarers), Sergeant David Sanderson (Police) and Steve Forrest
IWJCC. Guests attending were Rhys Williams Road Haulage Association Area Manager and PC James
Holden (Roads Policing Unit) part time.
2. Police Authority + Road Safety
PC James Holden provided an assessment of cycling safety on the Isle of Wight. There is not an issue of
major accidents involving cyclists. However they are concerned with the state of bikes on the road and
they find lights and brakes to be defective. They frequently have to give warnings to young cyclists, and
a defect notice system is being introduced.
ABE said that Vectis Roads CC organise time trials and are making helmets compulsory for participants.
RW expressed the view that helmets should be compulsory for all cyclists, and asked if the police would
lobby for this to be made law. PC Holden replied that there were no plans to do so.
DK said there was evidence that cycling numbers would fall if helmet wearing was compulsory.
MW said helmets for children should be made more affordable, as in other countries.
TW said that the IWF&RS were trying to get schools to make helmet use compulsory: a helmet could be
obtained for £20 which was low compared to the cost of bicycles.
MB asked if lights could be handed out by the police force. PC Holden said there was no money for this.
TT said children often turn up to cycle training with helmets that do not fit.
A.Lawson (minutes) alec.lawson@virgin.net
T.Thorne (Cyclewight) emt.thorne@virgin.net
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TR said the environment for cycling was important: this included the highway layout and the motorist
behaviour. PC Holden said driver awareness courses are a way of addressing this. Driving standards on
the Island are abysmal. The Highway Code is not observed, but failure to comply is not of itself an
infringement of the law. However from next month it will be possible to issue tickets for inconsiderate
driving. JM asked if all police officers would have this power or only road policing officers. PC Holden
replied that he was not sure of Hampshire Police policy in this respect.
AHW gave his view that cyclists need to obey the law to get respect from motorists. DY agreed, but
asked if laws were being enforced on motorists. PC Holden said he had booked two motorists that day
for using a mobile phone while driving. However only one police traffic vehicle was normally deployed at
any one time, and this set the limit on enforcement. TW said that the IWF&RS deliver Driver Distraction
Courses (DDS) to about 40 motorists per month (an option in lieu of prosecution). The number of
offenders is higher than this as serious or repeated offences are prosecuted automatically.
TT drew attention to the case reported in the County Press where a caravan struck a cyclist knocking
him from his bike, but did not stop and was not identified. MHW also experienced a trailer passing too
close and too fast. Can prosecutions which do take place be publicised in County Press ? PC Holden
replied that he would speak to his Sergeant. An offence which attracts a £60 fine (increasing soon to
£100) and 3 points on driving licence can be subject to a lesser penalty if the motorists opts to attend
Driver Awareness training which will include Highway Code dealing with other road users.
DY asked what procedures apply after a collision between a motorist and a cyclist when there is no
independent witness. In other countries it was incumbent on the motorist to prove that he gave
consideration to vulnerable road user. AL said that the UK is one of only five European countries which
do not have this provision, known as “strict liability”, the others being Cyprus, Malta, Romania and
Ireland. PC Holden said a case would need to be proved against the motorist who is innocent until
proved guilty.
TT said people are deterred from cycling by the danger from traffic. PC Holden said Island driving
schools are letting through a lot of bad drivers, and perhaps the schools should be targeted.
AHW said many elderly people (cyclists & drivers) have slower reactions. PC Holden added that many
elderly drivers cannot meet the legal requirement to see a number plate at 25 yards (and he has
confiscated a vehicle in such a case). TW said the government is looking at the situation w.r.t. older
drivers, and courses for older drivers are to be launched in September.
3. News from IW Council and Island Roads
Rebecca Tuck, Communications Officer for Island Roads, said that cycleway verge cutting was in hand.
Cowes to Newport was nearing completion, Newport to Sandown would be next, and parts of Newport
to Wootton will also be done. Further work will be done in early autumn. However efforts are being made
not to disturb nesting birds: to this end a mapping system has been set up. Next year a start will be
made earlier in the year so as not to disturb birds. The commitment to maintain cycleways was
confirmed in a letter following queries at the previous cycle forum (see minutes). The web site
www . islandroads.com will provide information on work planned day by day. Note : Bridleways &
Footpaths are not included in the Island Roads contract.
Jennine Gardiner of IW Council Rights of Way Department said that they are responsible for
maintenance of the bridleway & footpath network. Verge cutting & strimming is carried out twice a year
over the period April to September working parish by parish. They use direct labour and a contractor. In
answer to Cllr Medland, JG confirmed that there are now only 2 staff in the ROW department.
DY said the Sandown to Alverstone cycleway is superb now that improvements have been completed.
TT then discussed other LSTF projects. There had been a setback when horse riders damaged work in
progress on the Wroxall to Shanklin route. The remedial work swallowed some of the budget which
would have been spent elsewhere. The Newport to Folly route awaited resolution of wildlife issues with
English Nature. The Fishbourne to Ryde route awaited agreement with Quarr Abbey. The bikes on
buses scheme was about to commence: buses were adapted to give space to carry bikes and would be
A.Lawson (minutes) alec.lawson@virgin.net
T.Thorne (Cyclewight) emt.thorne@virgin.net
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available on the Island Coaster route. There was also a smartphone app to provide virtual dinosaurs to
feature in the background of photos or videos.
The Brading St Helens route however could not be completed as planned, although maintenance work
would be carried out. It transpired that a house at the St Helens end had ownership of land on the route,
and although the house was on the market the asking price was in excess of the permitted public
TT noted that Rachel Mills has left the council employment, having been responsible in large part for the
LSTF bid and the progress with its implementation. Cyclewight has written to Stuart Love to commend
her success in the post and to urge that a replacement be provided. In reply Mr Love confirms that the
vacant post has been advertised, and that Wendy Pereira will update us.
TT said that future funding should be sought from wherever available. ABR, who is part of the IW Council
Sports unit said that they apply for any money from various sources. This includes British Cycling, who
are very selective in replying or in volunteering information.
TT outlined the role of the Cycle Forum which is held three times a year to bring together cycling clubs,
organisations and shops, and bodies including Police Authority, Health Promotion and the IW Council.
The IW Council Transport Users Group (Quality Transport Partnership) is formally organised by the IWC
to bring together transport user groups and providers, and the Forum contributes to this.
Councillor John Medland then explained that his Independent group which forms the new IWC
administration is in the process of deciding strategy based on the Framework for Change document:
www.independent-island.org.uk/pdf/A%20Framework%20For%20Change.pdf A new Sustainability
cabinet has been established with Councillor Luisa Hillard as its chair and with John as deputy. His
group are happy with the LSTF program and are keen to ensure full delivery. They also wish to plan for
the subsequent period in order to maintain the momentum. Ideas for further initiatives are sought, such
as off-road networks although these would not be just for cyclists.
DY noted that there used to be road racing on the Island in the 1950's: it would be great if it could be
brought back. ABR said that the Tour of Britain had approached the Island to bring a stage here, but it
was ruled out as too expensive. MLW said it could cost a third of the Cycle Festival budget, and could be
greater than £50k. Also the roads may not be suitable. JM said it was an interesting suggestion but had
a very large price tag.
4. Road Haulage Association
Rhys Williams, the Road Haulage Association Area Manager, explained their wish to promote cycle and
HGV awareness in order to reduce accidents between lorries and cyclists. The RHA was keen to attend
the Cycling Festival event to be held in St James Square, Newport, where vehicles, provided by Steve
Porter Transport, would be on hand to illustrate to cyclists the restricted visibility from the drivers seat.
Similar events had taken place at Birmingham & Leicester and feedback had been good. There was a
possibility that Robert Flello MP for Stoke on Trent and chair of the All-party Parliamentary Group on
Transport would attend. RW noted that fatal accidents in London between HGVs & cyclists had made the
issue high profile.
TR said she had been one of the organisers of the Cycle Festival event in the square last year. It was
planned as a green event, to show the possibilities of car free life, and a large lorry spoiled this. She
consequently registered a protest that this would take place again.
RW described the HGV driver training, required by a law introduced in 2009. A Certificate of Professional
Competence (CPC), in addition to the driving licence, is required and entails attending modules which
cover aspects of driving skills. Five 7 hour modules must be undertaken, although the module on cyclist
awareness was optional. MB said that the chosen modules were determined by the employer in his own
interest, although he pointed out that many of his fellow Steve Porter drivers cycled to work and
understood cyclists' problems. RW added that some Local Authorities pay for the cycle awareness
module which saved the cost falling on the employer who then would select that option (Dagenham,
Redbridge & Hackney were examples). TW said that IWF&R staff were qualified to deliver this training. It
A.Lawson (minutes) alec.lawson@virgin.net
T.Thorne (Cyclewight) emt.thorne@virgin.net
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was noted that all HGV drivers must have the CPC by this September, and that five year period from the
inception of the scheme meant that renewal sessions would be required.
TT asked how many Island companies are members of the RHA. RW said they have 9 members on the
Isle of Wight of various sizes. MY said that coaches are a pain to cycle commuters and asked if coach
companies and their drivers are included. RW replied that they do not have coach company members.
TW said that the IWF&R service could also deliver training to coach drivers.
5. Island Cycle Clubs
Alan Bennett said that Vectis Roads Cycle Club have regular time trials and rides which he organises.
They often ride round the Island. He raised safety issues with respect to traffic signals on the Island.
On the Military Road when coming from Freshwater the sensor fails to detect cycles and the lights simply
do not change. At Shalfleet when coming from Yarmouth the traffic lights allow insufficient time for the
passage of cyclists. TT said he found this applied in the direction from Newport, and had previously been
raised with the Highways department. He speculated that carbon fibre bikes may not trigger the
detectors. RT said there is a new Network Integrity Register operated by Island Roads, and the issue
has been included. ABE said that motorists think that you have jumped the lights and that they are
entitled to drive at you. TT said this is discussed in the the June/July 2013 Cycle (CTC) magazine letters
page by barrister Paul Kitson. A court case determined that a defendant motorist for whom lights have
changed to green has a duty to ensure that there are no vehicles still passing. The liability of the highway
authority could be difficult to prove: but this is in the context of temporary traffic lights, not permanent
fixed lights. Website is
http://vectiscc.org.uk .
MY raised the issue of potholes & said there is a long-standing pothole at Arreton which causes traffic to
swerve to the nearside creating a hazard for cyclists. TT noted that Cyclewight have produced posters
proclaiming “Report that pothole” to
www.fillthathole.org.uk . RT said that while the case was under
discussion she had already reported to the
www.islandroads.com website for action. MY also reported a
problem at Beacon Alley, a narrow lane where cars going towards Godshill are going too fast.
David Young then described the
Just4Fun club, which is an offshoot of Vectis Roads CC set up for
pleasure and social cycling. This always meets at Godshill on the first Sunday of every month. New
members are welcome and given encouragement if they need it.
Margaret Hopkinson-Woolley described the
Bembridge Wheelers who meet at 1030am on Thursdays
at Holy Trinity Church in Bembridge. They welcome any new riders of any age and are a very sociable
group. (see Cyclewight website for more info).
AL described the
Wayfarers Cycle Touring Club, which has a “normal ride” and an “easy riders” every
Sunday, starting from Newport on the first Sunday of the month and other places on other Sundays as
listed on the website
www.cycleisland.co.uk . The Wayfarers Randonnee is organised every year, when
around 2000 cyclist follow the signed round the Island route. This has taken place since 1985, but is
becoming more stressful to organise. This is due to increasing numbers of cyclists and motorists and the
possibility of conflict between them. AL added that some numbers participate without registering, and
some try to get round as fast as possible without taking care and observing highway code.
DY said they have done the Randonnee for 18 years and always enjoy it. The refreshments at
Bembridge and Yarmouth are excellent. AL said these are laid on by Parent Teacher Associations
whose funds benefit. There are also many charity sponsored participants.
Tim Thorne said the
Cyclewight campaigning group had organised cyclists to celebrate the tenth
anniversary of the opening of the Cowes to Sandown Cycle Track. Publicity in the Country Press and
local radio was obtained. DY said there had been a good turn out despite the weather. TT said that
Cyclewight hoped to have further meetings with the Police Authority regarding road safety.
The web site is
www.cyclewight.org.uk . Cyclewight is affiliated the the Cyclists' Touring Club, which has
66000 members including about 400 members on the Island:
w ww.ctc.org.uk . Andy Newman is CTC
Right to Ride representative on the Island.
A.Lawson (minutes) alec.lawson@virgin.net
T.Thorne (Cyclewight) emt.thorne@virgin.net
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6. Cycling Festival: 14 to 29 September 2013
Mari-Louise White said the festival program was currently being printed and would be available in a
couple of weeks. Anyone able to distribute copies please contact her. There will be 68 events, which
would be similar to the previous year plus the Cycling Cinema which would be in a marquee at Seaclose
Park on 28 September. This is pedal powered and 12 people are needed at any one time for the duration
of the film. The LSTF was providing some funding for this and for the smartphone dinosaur app.
The choice of film was still under discussion. One possibility was “Rising from Ashes: the impossible
triumph of Team Rwanda” This has a connection to the Vectis CC which Dave Kitching explained. They
had changed their kit, and to make use of the old kit had donated it to Cycling Rwanda. This has
established Cycling Academies to provide education and to reconcile Hutus and Tutsis. It had
succeeded in sending a cyclist to participate in the London Olympics, and the film documented this
7. Any Other Business
Regarding Bikeabilty, the cycle training programme for schools, Tracey Webb said the IWF&RS had
recruited two more instructors. They had provided the training free to 70% of schools, which covered all
who had asked for it. Unfortunately there was a problem with the remaining schools which had not
responded and did not seem interested. They had just written again to these schools and were ready to
restart in September. Where the school premises were unsuitable then transport elsewhere could be
provided. The training covered school pupils aged 10 years plus, and provided them with a general
sense of road traffic as well as cycling skills. AL said that 12 year olds were known to be a peak in road
fatalities, and this would be a help to reduce this.
MY asked if the GoRide off-road training for younger children was still available. TT said that some
schools still do this. DK said that some money is available in schools and would be beneficially spent
training teachers as cycle trainers. ABR added that there is pupil premium money allocated and schools
can spend this however they wish.
TT said that a Facebook page has been set up for cycling on the Island and urged people to use it. .
8. Date of next meeting
6pm Tuesday 1 October 1913, Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service HQ
A.Lawson (minutes) alec.lawson@virgin.net
T.Thorne (Cyclewight) emt.thorne@virgin.net
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