Leeds Cycling Consultation Forum, Wednesday 11th July 2012

Leeds City Council Cycle Consultation Forum 11th July 2012 - Report

3. Issues raised by forum members:

Roundhay Road consultation on adding bus lanes: consultation responses have been received and are being collated. The next step will be detailed design.

Chapeltown to City Centre consultation: a group of LCAG members had carried out a site visit and several responses to the consultation had been submitted. Mark Robinson offered to take another look at the plans on the ground with members.

Taxis in Bus Lanes: Leeds City Council is considering allowing Hackney Carriages (Black and white taxis) to access bus lanes throughout the city. A request for Scrutiny has been made by Lizzie on behalf of LCAG, and the same request has also been made by a group of Councillors. Scrutiny is the Council’s process for checking its decision making, and the Scrutiny Committee could either allow the decision to go forward, or refer it for reconsideration. A meeting to discuss the request will be held tomorrow (12th July) and Lizzie will attend.

Thorpe Park: further development is planned for the Thorpe Park site, including a new link road to the Motorway which will use the route of Manton Lane, a pleasant country lane that has been used by LCAG on its intermediate rides. Allan and Lizzie had attended a meeting with the developers, along with representatives for rambling and horse riding. The development of the site seems to do as well as possible for leisure riding and walking, with a green space in the centre of the development extending under the new link road which passes overhead on a wide bridge (this will also provide a corridor for wildlife). However LCAG are still concerned about the link road which relies on shared use pavements for safe cycle provision, particularly at a pinch point at a bridge over the railway, and several roundabouts. Lizzie and Allan had also made points about planning for the future with plenty of cycle parking. The development team had made it clear that although they carry out the building of the link road, it is to the Council’s specifications therefore we should take our concerns up with the Council. Detailed planning for the link road should be available shortly for consultation at the Planning Portal.

A charity challenge bike ride for the Leeds Dojo will take place on Thursday 17th August, starting at Golden Acre Park. Further details from Mark Robinson.

8. Annual Programme

As promised by Gary Bartlett, the 2012/13 annual programme of works from Highways & Transportation is available. It lists all schemes as follows:

  • LTP (Gwyn)
  • Traffic programme (Howard Claxton)
  • Bridges programme (Stuart Rothwell)
  • Maintenance (Andrew Bellamy)
  • Developers (Andrew Wheeler)

The plan has recently gone to Ward members (councillors); it’s available as an Excel file so it can be sorted by location. Please email Mark Robinson for a copy. The 2013/14 plan will come to the October LCC-CCF.

5. NGT: one route has been approved between North and South. A sub group had been convened to look at the proposals and this will be re-convened; volunteers were sought to join the group. This must happen quickly as the council are looking to complete the design process within about 4 months. Individuals can feed comments to the subgroup so their names should be advertised to interested groups. Of course individuals can also participate in the usual consultation / involvement processes. Mark Philpott of the NGT scheme will be invited to the next CCF to discuss the scheme.

There are some difficult junctions where a NGT trolleybus would be passing every 4 minutes. However cyclists using the NGT lane would not expect to wait for 4 minutes between green lights. A possible solution to this problem would be to ban cycles from the NGT lane at these difficult junctions, however this would dilute the benefit of the NGT infrastructure for cyclists.

6. Leeds Cycle Action Group Deputation – follow up.                                                                                              

Mark Robinson had met with Allan and Lizzie to discuss what next steps are needed for cycling in Leeds. Mark is drawing up a discussion paper to describe the next steps needed for cycling in Leeds. (please contact Mark for a copy) It’s recognised that the Core Cycle Network is primarily useful for novice and less confident cyclists but most more experienced cyclists do not benefit much. How can this be extended? Certain arterial routes could be designated cycling priority routes, where a certain quality of left hand road margin can be expected; for example, potholes and sweeping on these routes could be prioritised. Tim Parry reported that there was previously and agreement that the nearside generally would be swept as a priority but this may need chasing up. Volunteers are needed to keep checking these types of things and report them. Cycle parking, and routes through the city centre also need to be included in this document. Some attendees commented that  this is a combination of a cycling vision or strategy for Leeds, plus some operational points. It might be more helpful to have a strategic view that could be formally endorsed by the council, and a separate operational plan.

Actions from this include

  • Mark to review the core cycle network and circulate to CCF for comments
  • A small group may be convened to look at signage

7. Strategic Health and Social Care Act 2012

Councillor Illingworth sees this Act as an important step forward for promoting cyclist through its public health benefits. The Act places a specific and clear duty on local Councils to improve public health, for example by providing services and facilities to promote healthy living. Joint staff with the NHS are being appointed to all council departments to ensure this is put into practice. Ian Cameron from NHS Leeds will be invited to the next CCF.

On 24th July NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) will also publish guidelines on physical activity. There was a previous document from NICE regarding physical infrastructure Recently published research showing a link between diesel  fumes and cancer might also be a focus for campaigning on air quality, particularly in relation to buses.

9. Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) update

The WY:Gocycling project is focussed on “access to work” by providing training and help to would-be commuting cyclists. Lizzie and Lisa Brannan had met with Ginny from the wy:gocycling project. There is another LSTF project “access to education” which will involve UTravelActive, both Universities, Leeds City College and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust over two and a half years.

Leeds will be designated a “City Region” which means that the council will take back control of public transport within the city region.

10. Leeds Core Cycle Network updates

Some work is planned for the canal towpath from a DfT grant: a consultation will be opening shortly.

Cookridge Street contraflow: informal plans were circulated by Tim Parry. One option shows a light-controlled pedestrian+cycle crossing at the East side of the junction and Tim commented this is likely to be rejected as it leads to unacceptable delays to the traffic on the Loop. The other option would provide a slightly longer period on red at each of the other roads allowing pedestrians and cycles to cross the road without a signalised crossing.