Present: John Metcalf (Chair), Chris Whitehouse (WelHatCycling), Roger Bangs (Spokes), Ian Gregory (Minutes)
Apologies for absence: Kate Jenkins, John Shead, Robert Jones, Nick Truran, Trevor Mason (Trevor Mason has changed roles away from cycling and said that he hoped either Dan Tancock or Nick Truran would be able to attend)
Minutes of meeting held 26th January 2016 were approved.
There was a discussion of surfacing options in the context of the Green Corridor where Jenny Smith appeared to rule out tarmac. JM pointed out Sustrans estimate that, over the long term, unbound surfaces cost 50% more than tarmac. RB expressed surprise, given that tarmac often breaks up after only a couple of years due to tree root growth, and said that there are some really good paths with unbound surfaces. The poor state of the (unbound) Cole Green Way was mentioned but IG said that only short sections were bad, seemingly due to poor drainage.
Jez Cox had offered to invite Jacob Wing to a meeting. JM to chase up - Action JM
The new edition of the Hertfordshire Recreational Cycling Map is now available from Jez Cox (RB mentioned that The Hub doesn't have any yet).
Country Council changes in personnel
Trevor Mason has moved to Railways, he suggested we copy in Tom Hennesey. JM has emailed Tom Hennesey asking for an organisational chart but hasn't heard back yet. JM to chase up - Action JM
Local Economic Partnership
Peter Bate, who has been attending LEP meetings, responded to an email from JM. He mentioned a report he wrote for the STDEP programmes about Hemel Hempstead and Stevenage. STDEP is the Sustainable Transport Delivery Excellence Programme, funded by DfT and supported by the LEP Network. STDEP is being delivered through a consortium including Sustrans, Living Streets and the TAS Partnership. Peter described the DfT funding as something to encourage LEPs to embrace sustainable transport. LEPs can now bid for Round 2 funding and Herts LEP have apparently been approached. JM to ask Peter Bate for his Hemel and Stevenage report and to invite him to talk about this a meeting - Action JM
JM reported that Dan Tancock is willing to bring up revision of design standards with the Hertfordshire cycle forum. Apparently Dan also hinted that there might be something coming from central government on design standards.
STACC are getting someone involved with Mini-Hollands to speak at one of their meetings.
If anyone has the time and inclination it would be useful to read through "Roads in Hertfordshire: Highway Design Guide" (available on HCC website) noting where there is scope for improvement - Action all
Maintenance of cycle tracks
JM has not yet drafted a petition. It was felt that this was still a worthwhile thing to do, that it could be aimed at pedestrians too (shared footways) and that it should basically call on HCC to ensure that maintenance is carried out to existing specifications - Action JM
The A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign are pleased that Cambs County Council have widened and re-surfaced sections of pathway alongside the A10 between Shepreth and Harston Mill. Because there is no budget for maintenance the campaign has agreed to provide volunteer "wardens" who will each be responsible for short sections - weeding, cutting back vegetation etc.
IG asked whether this model could be used in Hertfordshire but it was pointed out that many routes have got into such a poor state that heavy machinery would be required. IG agreed but said that once a route has been restored to good condition (or for new routes) it should be possible to maintain it with hand tools. However, people were doubtful that enough volunteers could be recruited to do the necessary work. It was suggested that volunteers could maybe take on some monitoring duties.
HCC cycling schemes or schemes with a cycling element
Councillor Terry Douris said that £1.7 million was made available in the 2015/16 financial year for cycling schemes. It might be a useful exercise to see what if anything it was spent on. For future planned works see Highways Future Planned Works.
JM got a dropped curb and a crossing funded by 2015/2016 county councillors' locality budgets. New potential funding became available with the start of the new financial year.
Space for Cycling campaign
STACC should have something on their website soon
Forthcoming meetings and events:
Reports on meetings and events
CW reported on two meetings he and Adam Edwards attended on behalf of WelHatCycling. One was with Anthony Downs of Gascoyne Cecil Estates which followed up the WelHatCycling response to their document "Transport for Hatfield and Beyond in Hertfordshire". The other was with Lindsey Lucas and Anushia Vettivelu of HCC which covered funding policy, scheme prioritisation etc. Minutes were taken at both meetings but have not yet been cleared for publication.
Any other business
It was suggested that we ask Cycling UK (formerly CTC) if they know of any good examples of systems for sifting through planning applications.
STACC has arranged talks about air pollution and the Enfield mini-Holland (Cycle Enfield).
IG mentioned Luton & Dunstable Cycling Forum as an example of an organisation that shares our aims and has some overlap with Hertfordshire but can't become a CycleHerts member because it is not based in Hertfordshire. He suggested updating our constitution to allow such groups to join but agreed with others that formal membership should continue to be restricted to Hertfordshire based organisation. However, it was agreed that it would be useful to have a section on our website which links to organisations in neighbouring authorities where they naturally overlap with Hertfordshire - Action IG
The new meeting venue (Hatfield Fire Station) has a kitchen but we have to provide our own tea Tea and coffee - it was agreed that this could be paid for with CycleHerts funds, though the need for biscuits was disputed.
IG and CW have the door code to get into the Fire Station, if both are unavailable then one of them will give the code to someone who is attending.
Dates for future meetings
Both on Tuesday at 7pm - August 23rd and November 1st