Chelmsford Cycling Action Group Meeting 21st January 2019
Present: John Hammond & Allan Trigg.
Apologies for Absence: Jim Fox, Alex Marsh, Andy Sweeting.
Matters Arising from the last Meeting, 19th November 2018. – Nothing other than matters included for discussion on the Agenda.
Local Highways Panel –John had seen from list of potential schemes on the LHP webpage that some cycle schemes had been deleted e.g. the intended route in Princes Road from Lidl to Moulsham School, that had been designed, approved for implementation during 2016, postponed to 2017/18. John e-mailed Cllr Mackrory who responded that the LHP Minutes saying he requested deletion were wrong. John e-mailed Dick Madden requesting it be reinstated. Cllr Madden said he withdrew from LHP last year and he will pass request to new Chairman Bob Massey.
Cycle Path adjoining Sainsbury’s Springfield – John had circulated a photo of works widening Colchester Road which has resulted in the shared cycle/footway funded in 2016 by LHP being reduced in width to 1.8m. An example that, when it suits officialdom, cycle path standards can be sacrificed.
Mill Yard by Chelmsford Railway Station – has been built without segregated cyclepath alongside the taxi rank towards New Street shown in the agreed planning permission and there is a lack of cycle direction signage on the wayfinding posts. John had e-mailed Cllr Neil Gulliver concerning this. An officer responded that the Road Safety Audit had said the 2m two-way cyclepath may result in cyclists passing each other in the adjacent footway causing potential conflicts/collisions with pedestrians. This seems illogical because the resulting unsegregated path guarantees cyclists mixing with pedestrians. Also, that width exists on many other segregated paths in Chelmsford.
Parkway Schemes – John had circulated a plan obtained of work about to start at the Manor Road/Odeon Roundabout junction. It seems the scheme has not been amended to reflect comments submitted by CCAG.
New London Road Subway – Following the response on behalf of Cllr Bentley to Allan that the Road Safety Audit on cycling in the subway had been done, John sent an FoI request for a copy. The response said it has not been finished. Whether cyclists will be able to cycle in the subway is still an unknown; a wheeling channel could be a possibility. Members are requested to keep a lookout for any public notices.
Army & Navy Subway - Allan has again emailed Cllr. Kevin Bentley and awaits a response. There is nothing further to report at the moment.
A.O.B. – Allan had received an email request from Mike Whalley concerning better signage for cycle paths. The area in Bell Meadow was discussed and John suggested that some of the cycle slabs evident in the new paved area opposite M & S, could be incorporated in the cycle path around the new opening by Primark. Also, the cycle fingerpost signs that had been removed in New London Road need to be reinstated. John questioned what budget Chelmsford City Council had for the project. It was agreed that Allan should contact Mike Whalley/Asa Pamphillon and discuss the matter further.
Via CCAG website, Allan had been contacted by David Lazarus as he had some thoughts on a Great Baddow to City Centre route. It was agreed that Allan should ask him to email the Group outlining his thoughts and ideas on this route.
Date of Next Meeting: Monday, 18th March 2019.
CCAG AGM 21 May 2018
1 Present: John Hammond (Chairman), Jim Fox (Secretary), Sara Craig, Allan Trigg, Alex Marsh
2 Apologies for absence: Andy Sweeting.
3 Matters Arising from AGM 15 May 2017:
At the previous AGM it had been suggested that a list of CCAG’s cycle route successes should be kept on the website. This has not been done.
4 Election of officers.
Allan proposed John for Chairman. This was agreed. He would also remain as Treasurer.
Jim would continue as Secretary.
Sara asked for it to be noted that she was no longer membership secretary.
Current balance was £1076.95. John said that a continuing cost was £5 per month charged by the Co-op bank to maintain the account.
6 Matters arising from minutes of 19 March 2018.
Correction: Allan had written to Cllr Bentley, not Jacobs, about potential loss of New London Rd crossing for cyclists.
Allan had written to Cllr Bentley urging news about the hoped for use of subways at Army and Navy and New London Rd. The response was that developments were awaiting outcome of Safety Audits.
7 There was discussion about the emerging works at Bell Meadow. The view of CCAG was that the scheme, which was intended to ease pedestrian movements, and provide an entrance opposite Primark, destroyed unnecessarily a large green area and removed trees (although some trees were being installed). The outcome was likely to be less user friendly to pedestrians and cyclists and would probably cause conflict. Mike Whalley took note and determined to take up the matter with his councillor.
8 With reference to cycle parking at the railway station, Alex said that, contrary to earlier hopes, Greater Anglia weren’t going to provide extra parking in Arch 23. John said there was misinformation and blaming between GA and City Council. There is still no sign on the cycle cage about how to get entry fobs to use the spare spaces.
9 Cycle parking at Hylands Park. Allan reported that an Ice Cream Kiosk had appeared where there had been cycle racks. He expected more racks to be provided. There were also racks at the Writtle car park area.
10 John reported that at a City Council meeting, Councillor Sullivan had proposed a motion to request Essex Police to increase enforcement activity to stop cycling in pedestrian priority areas of the city centre.
11 Any Other Business.
Andy had provided documents about two points:
11.1 He had questioned Bond Street staff about the justification for a Cyclists Dismount sign in Bond Street. They had claimed that the location was private property so there was no need for Highways authority. Andy had made a complaint about this. John thought that there was reason to believe that the Bond St spokesperson was wrong. In his view, the street was quite possibly “Highway” and subject to traffic Regulation Orders.
11.2 Andy drew attention to new railings in Chelmer Park between the main path and the car park. This was reminiscent of the Vicarage Road case. ie railings had been removed in recent years and had latterly reappeared without warning. John speculated that Galleywood residents had complained the council and the railings restored as a result. We would ask Andy if he had any contacts with Galleywood Parish Council.
11.3 John and Jim had been to Essex Cycle Route Design Forum. They took the view that it should have been better focussed. Much time was spent over stressing the work required to build cycle routes. A doctor had given a compelling report on the health benefits of regular cyclists. The cycling advocates present needed no convincing. Benefit might have been gained if Councillors had heard it but there were none present during his presentation.
12 Date of next meeting 16 July 2018