Present: John Metcalf (STACC, Chair), Roger Bangs (Spokes, Deputy Chair), Ian Gregory (WelHatCycling, Secretary, Minutes), Chris Whitehouse (WelHatCycling, Treasurer), Steve Brazier (STACC), Nick Truran (HCC), Penny Schenkel (Stevenage and North Herts CTC), Jim Brown (Stevenage and North Herts CTC).
Apologies for absence - John Shead, Odette Carter
Minutes of meeting held 1st November 2016 were approved
Odette Carter has provided us with an organisational chart showing HCC officers with a connection to cycling. NT thought it was a good representation but came up with a couple of additional names - Tom Hennessy under Transport Access and Road Safety and Simon Brown under Road Safety.
There was some discussion about the Road Safety Fund which is managed by the Hertfordshire Road Safety Partnership and open to any organisation that can contribute to improving road safety across the county.
On availability of paper cycling maps, NT said that relevant ones can be picked up at tourist information centres. It was pointed out that paper maps go out of date quickly. JB said they have surplus maps that could be redistributed.
Local Sustainable Transport Fund bid and award
The government recently announced £64 million to encourage more cycling and walking to work. This funding covers 2017 to 2020.
Blackpool Council put in a consortium bid with a number of authorities including HCC. The consortium was awarded £7.498 million.
How much of this will HCC receive and how will it be spent? JM will ask Jacob Wing - Action JM
Space for Cycling
Cycling UK is keen on network tube style maps for urban areas, but primarily as a campaigning tool to show where there are gaps in the network. JM has done a rough draft for St Albans and one has been started for Watford.
There was some discussion of light controlled crossings (for example around the big roundabout at the north end of the Hatfield tunnel). It was noted that otherwise reasonable cycle routes are frustrating where you have to wait a long time at crossings. It was thought that at least in some cases it should be possible to adjust timings to reduce cyclist waiting times without adverse effects.
HCC Cycle Forum
IG had asked Odette for the date of the next Cycle Forum but as of 30th January no date had been set. Odette had previously indicated that the topic would be revision of the Roads in Hertfordshire highway design guide.
With no national standards the TfL and Welsh one have been held up as examples but CW has also been impressed by a Standards for Highways document on Cycle Traffic and the Strategic Road Network. He said that there is a good assessment of it on the blog called As Easy As Riding A Bike.
RB suggested we use the Cycle Forum to ask about forthcoming cycling schemes (the information should be available online under Highways Future Planned Works but it would be good to have a summary of works that are of particular interest to cyclists).
Vegetation clearance on cycletracks and footways
No real progress has been made. We would still like to know in detail what Ringway are contracted to do. IG cleared a short section of the footway on the north side of Hatfield Road near the junction with Lyon Way and wrote about it on his blog - see Footpath Maintenance
A "close pass initiative" for Hertfordshire?
The Metropolitan Police in Camden are copying the new zero tolerance approach to close passes adopted by West Midlands Police. Members have expressed a desire for something along these lines in Hertfordshire and apparently the HCC Public Health team are pressing for it too.
NT said that the Hertfordshire Road Safety Partnership are looking at various schemes and could announce something as soon as the end of March. It was suggested that people could email them to express support - Action All
HCC Transport Vision 2050
JM wrote a response from CycleHerts which was sent out with the agenda for people to comment on - Action All
Cycleways on OS maps and HCC fault reporting system
It is not possible to report faults on some cycleways because they do not appear on the HCC Highway Fault Reporting maps. It was agreed that this needs to be addressed.
HCC Cycling schemes and schemes with a cycling element
No particular schemes discussed.
HCC has a Highway Locality Budget Scheme which gives councillors £90 thousand each to fund highways works in their electoral divisions. Residents are encouraged to contact their councillor to influence how this money is spent.
Sports clubs and community organisations can now apply for funding from the new Sport England Community Asset Fund. There may be an opportunity to use this to fund cycling schemes.
Cycling UK prepared an air quality briefing last year.
Air Quality England has information for Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
IG reported that St Albans Green Party have been campaigning strongly on air quality and other local Green Party groups in Hertfordshire are being encouraged to do the same.
Teresa Heritage is executive member for public health at HCC (as on Odette's organisational chart).
20 mph zones and 20 mph speed limits
JM said that there are two 20 mph zones in St Albans and RB said that there are some small zones in Watford.
It was noted that there is strong support for 20 mph zones in local councils and that reducing traffic speed is the measure that has the greatest effect on cycling safety. However, HCC appears to have a more restrictive policy on introducing 20 mph zones than is required by DfT [many local authorities are implementing 20mph as the default speed for residential areas].
Forthcoming meetings and events
The St Albans Green Ring should be completed by March and there may be an opening event on 13th March with a bigger launch event in June.
NT said that The Tour of Hertfordshire, if it happens at all this year, will be in a much reduced form.
The Rickmansworth Festival will be held on 20th and 21st of May
There will be a family cycling event in Bovingdon on 30th April
Decorum Council is to set up cycle hub in Hemel Hempstead
Reports on meetings and events - None received
Finance report - CW had nothing to report
Circulation of agendas and minutes
A notification for this meeting, including agenda and other documents, was sent out by email on 29th January. It was sent to the CycleHerts mailing list (hosted for us by Mythic Beasts) which is for discussion of CycleHerts business, and cc'd to a separate list of email addresses kept by IG which is just for people who do not want to be on the mailing list but want to (or should) receive meeting invites.
JB said that he only received the agenda because JM forwarded it to him. JM said that there are other people who should be invited (such as the committee of STACC). We need to look again at how these lists are used and maintained - Action IG
Any other business
A new edition of the Hertfordshire Recreational Cycling map is being produced, please submit any corrections or ideas for improvements to NT - Action All
IG reported that he had been unable to book Hatfield Fire Station for our 9th May meeting [it is booked for the 7th November one]. He tried the community room at the Olding's Corner Tesco but that was booked up too. He will continue to look for a Hatfield venue while JM will think about a backup venue in St Albans - Action IG and JM
The Next CycleHerts meeting on 9th May will be the AGM