Minutes of Lancaster Cycle Forum October 2012 Meeting

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Present

Joy Greenwood, Sustrans Ranger

Nick Hewitt, Lancaster University cycle commuter

Jennifer Hutton, Cumbria University cycle commuter

Peter Edge, CTC, Sustrans Ranger, Wray Parish Council

David Bedding, Sustrans Ranger

Len Hutton, CTC

Matt Hodges, CTC

Kelly Brown, Planning, Lancaster City Council

Pat Douglass, Public Realm, Lancashire County Council

Alasdair Simpson, Sustainable Travel, Lancashire County Council

Louis Atkinson, Sustainable Travel, Lancashire County Council

Apologies

Darren Axe, Green Lancaster, Lancaster University

Phil Longton, Lancaster University Travel Plan Adviser

Aurora Trujillo, Holly Smith, Sarah McGowan, Freewheelers Cycle Cooperative

Paul Stubbins, Dynamo, John Leach, Dynamo

Gary Bowker, Regeneration and Projects, Lancaster City Council (broken ankle)

  1. Minutes of previous meeting – Agreed

  1. Matters arising

Chapel St, Lancaster – Scheme had been installed. Double yellows had been laid on the outside of the contra-flow cycle lane. Some drivers might assume it was legal to park in the cycle lane because of this, though it was illegal.

Action Lancashire Parking Services to be asked to enforce the regulations

The road is due to be effected by sewer works. When the sewer works are complete the cycle lane would be reinstated with humped crossings at side entries.

Stonewell Toucan, Lancaster- Work had started on site completing the east – west link across the north side of the city centre via Church Street.

Lancaster City Centre Pedestrian Order – An experimental order to reduce traffic coming through the pedestrian area was due to be advertised shortly. This did not include any relaxations on the current restrictions for cyclists. Once the order comes into force people have six months to object it.

The order would be advertised on the below website

http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/environment/env_highways/ptros.asp

  1. Lancaster cycling statistics

3.1 Cycle Use

Active People Survey 2010/11

% of population do any cycling

Once a month, Once a week, 3 times a week and 5 times a week

 In Lancaster

23% once  month

15% once a week

8% 3 times a week

4% 5 times a week

In Lancashire

14% once a month

9% once a week

4% 3 times a week

2% 5 times a week

In England

15% once a month

10% once a week

4% 3 times a week

3% 5 times a week

Lancaster had the highest cycling levels in the North West

Cycle flows 2011

  • Automatic counters on cycle tracks + 16%

(Not all counter data is available yet)

  • Cycle flows on A roads (Department for Transport) + 9.9%

The increase was in large due to the excellent work of the Cycling Demonstration Team.

3.2 Accidents

Cyclists killed or seriously injured

In Lancaster

9.8  average in 2005 to 2009.

8 in 2010

10 in 2011

In Lancashire

74.8 average in 2005 to 2009

76 in 2010

71 in 2011

In Great Britain

Killed and seriously injured cyclists accidents had been relatively stable in Lancaster and Lancashire, whilst in the country as a whole they had increased.

Main cluster sites included A6 King St in Lancaster and Chapel St, Lancaster where a modified scheme had recently been installed. Most of accidents to cyclists were on main roads. The Lancaster – Morecambe corridor had less than the A6 south of Lancaster due to the parallel off road route.

Nick Hewitt mentioned research by TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) "Collisions involving pedal cyclists on Britain’s roads: Establishing the causes". The research involved an analysis of pedal cycle accidents between 2005 and 2007 nationally.

  • 97% of killed and seriously injured cycle accidents were main carriageway

  • 2% on cycle lanes on main carriageway

  • 1% on off road cycle paths or footways

  • Severity of injuries increased with speed limit

  • 60% of KSI accidents at or near junctions

Nick felt that there was a need for more off road cycle paths

  1. Lancaster Local Plan

Lancaster City Council were carrying a major consultation on the new Local Plan this autumn. The consultation included events at more than 20 locations throughout the district. Plans would also be available on the website www.lancaster.gov.uk/planning.gov.uk/planningpolicy and for the Morecambe Area Action Plan www.lancaster.gov.uk/morecambeaap.

The Local Plan outlined future development sites. The plans would also include cycle links. New development sites provide an opportunity to improve facilities for cyclists though there was a need to link them with existing destinations. The plan sought to promote sustainable development.

Members of the forum were encouraged to comment on the consultation

  1. Developments proposals on the south side of Lancaster

Both the Science Park and new Booths supermarket had planning permission. The second supermarket had permission refused at a planning appeal, though the developers had taken the planning permission for the Booths site to judicial review.

5.1 Booths

The Booths supermarket if it went ahead included a toucan crossing and a linking cycle path to Lawsons Bridge.

Plans: http://planning.lancaster.gov.uk/online-applications/caseDetails.do?keyVal=KZDU63IZ03800&caseType=Application

Hotel and supermarket plans and inspectors decision http://planning.lancaster.gov.uk/online-applications/caseDetails.do?keyVal=L0VFM6IZ03800&caseType=Application

5.2 Science Park

The Science Park included short sections of cycle path on the A6, toucan crossings at the junction and a linking cycle path to the University Sports Centre. As part of the detailed design for the junction it might be possible to look at lead in cycle lanes and advanced stop lines for cyclists remaining on carriageway. Members of the forum felt that there was a need for a direct cycle path from the Science Park to main university campus coming out near the Chaplaincy Centre. This would provide an alternative to Bailrigg Lane. Visibility where the cycle path crossed Bailrigg Lane would also need improving.

For plans of the proposed Science Park see http://planning.lancaster.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=externalDocuments&keyVal=M6DWN5IZ05000

5.3 Suggested Housing Sites

There are suggested large housing development sites at Whinney Carr and land north of Bailrigg Lane in the draft local plan. The sites would link well with the university and Science Park

The canal offered the best cycle route into the City Centre from Whinney Carr, though because of the width of the towpath it had limited capacity. It was suggested that Dorrington Road would be a good link to the City Centre if there was a route through the allotments.

The Bailrigg Lane site pointed towards improving the Burrow Beck corridor

For more information http://www.lancaster.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/local-development-framework/local-planning-policy/work-in-progress/land-allocations-dpd/#Strategic_site_options

  1. A6 Corridor south of Lancaster

Cycle lanes: Without removing parking it was not possible to install cycle lanes on the A6. Both times that changes to parking regulations had been advertised on the A6 in the recent years, the proposals had result in strong opposition from residents and as a result had been dropped. South of the Boot and Shoe and by Fern Bank the A6 was too narrow for cycle lanes.

University Main Entrance: proposals to add a crossing to the traffic signals at the university entrance were being developed. This could be a toucan crossing with a linking cycle path to Five Ashes Lane. Advance Stop Lines and a central southbound cycle lane were being looked at

Proposed Booths – Science Park: It might be possible to have a shared use path on the east side of the A6

Burrow Beck: One option would be to develop a cycle route along the Burrow Beck coming out on Barton Road south of Durham Avenue. As the roads on the west side of the beck was quite quiet the need for the route was questioned, though others felt that links such as this would make the area more permeable by bicycle

Belle Vue Terrace – Palatine Av: It might be possible to widen the footway and convert it to a cycle path between these two roads. This would also link to the pelican crossing north of Fern Bank to provide a route to Ripley High School

Greaves Park – There was universal support for a route across Greaves Park from Belle Vue Terrace to Bowerham Road coming out opposite Dale St, as this provide a relatively flat alternative route to the A6 to Freehold, Ridge and Bulk missing out the city centre from south side of Lancaster

South Road – Depending on the effect on congestion it might be possible to install cycle lanes on South Road between the Pointer Roundabout and Canal.

  1. Department for Transport Cycle Safety Scheme funding

The Department for Transport have allocated £15 million to reduce accidents to cyclists, which councils have to bid for. Schemes have to be completed by December 2013. Criteria are the number of fatal and seriously injured accidents likely to be reduced and severance for cyclists.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/news/press-releases/dft-news-20120626b/

Possible schemes in Lancaster and Morecambe are

7.1 King St, Lancaster

It is proposed to install trixi mirrors at traffic junctions on King St so that drivers would have a greater chance of seeing cyclists coming up on their inside.

The cycle lanes in King St had been modified in 2010. Prior to 2010 the main accident types were either passengers getting out of vehicles in queuing traffic and opening a car door into a face of cyclist or vehicles being let out of side rides by queuing traffic colliding with cyclists in the cycle lane. Post 2010 the dominant accident type was vehicles turning left at traffic lights colliding with cyclists going straight ahead in the cycle lane. Members of the forum felt that was also a need for a road safety campaign

As the city centre as a whole acted as a barrier to people cycling in Lancaster, it is also planned to apply for money to sign alternative routes round the city centre

7.2 Central Drive / Marine Road Morecambe

There have been 3 accidents at the roundabout involving vehicles turning left towards Heysham from Central Drive colliding with cyclists going straight ahead to the Promenade, and 3 accidents involving vehicles entering the roundabout from Heysham colliding with cyclists on the circulatory carriageway.

It was proposed to install off road facilities at the roundabout with a zebra crossing by tourist information centre. The entry from Heysham could be modified so that vehicles entered the roundabout at less of angle and at a slower speed increasing their chance of seeing a cyclist on the roundabout.

7.3 Shrimp Roundabout

There have been 4 accidents to cyclists on the roundabout and 3 on Westgate between the roundabout and the Greenway. It was proposed to improve the off road facilities at the roundabout, and extend the off road route along Westgate to the roundabout.

  1. Spring Garden St, Lancaster City Centre

To link with the toucan crossing of King St it was proposed to convert the footway on the south side to an eastbound contra-flow cycle path. Because of BT boxes in the carriageway it was difficult to widen the footway so the width of the path would be less than desired in places. The contra-flow cycle lane could not safely be put on the carriageway due to delivery bays.

  1. Feedback on recent schemes

  • Pointer Roundabout – Matthew Hodges had concerns about vehicles overrunning the cycle lane on the A6 north exit from the roundabout.

  • Lune Aqueduct – The ramp down from the canal towpath was felt to be a major improvement by all.

  1. Cutting back hedges alongside highways (Matthew Hodges)

Matthew Hodges showed examples of hedges growing out over carriageways and footways. Hedges growing out over footways can make footways un-useable by pedestrians, whilst hedges out over the carriageway meant that cyclists had to ride out further into the road coming into conflict with traffic. Matthew felt that the County Council should use its powers to make landowners to cut back hedges and charge them for cutting the hedge if they failed to do so more often.

Matthew also showed examples of blocked drains that had remained blocked for a long time, included one by the Pointer Roundabout. Blocked drains should be picked up by highway inspectors. Drains are cleaned regularly. Blocked drains can result in cyclists having to ride through flooding at the side road, getting soaked or having to pull out into traffic. Flooding from blocked drains made a road less safe to ride and drive on.

  1. City Centre Cycle Race

Members of the forum thought the City Centre Race in June was a success despite the heavy rain on the day, and that the race should be repeated next year.

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