Present: John Metcalf (STACC, Chair), Roger Bangs (Spokes, Deputy Chair), Ian Gregory (WelHatCycling, Secretary, Minutes), Robert Jones (CTC Stort Valley), Odette Carter (HCC), Nick Truran (HCC)
Apologies for Absence - Jon Crosby, Chris Whitehouse
Minutes of meeting held 3rd August 2017 were approved
NT is impressed with the Dacorum Cycle Hub which has more convenient premises than the Watford one and is always busy. He recommends a visit. Stevenage are considering a cycle hub and Simon Barfoot is looking at one for Hertford. Kate Jenkins is looking at one for Three Rivers - RB was concerned that it might be too close to the Watford hub.
NT reported that the A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign are interested in working with us. We should get in touch and invite them to join CycleHerts as a member organisation - Action IG
Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy
OC reported that the Stevenage bid was successful.
NT Mentioned an initiative in Sawbridgeworth.
JM said that STACC are working on a Space for Cycling cycle network plan for St Albans.
Hertfordshire Local Transport Plan
JM distributed copies of a document listing 23 LTP policies. These policies broadly follow the findings of Hertfordshire Transport Vision 2050 and look promising - there seems to be a realisation that things can't carry on as they are. It was agreed that CycleHerts member groups (as well as other interested groups such as Friends of the Earth) should be encouraged to respond positively (where justified) to the consultation as well as making any valid criticisms.
There was some concern that after planned road building there would not be enough money left to implement the policies.
Consultation ends 2018-01-23 - Action All
Close Passing Initiative
We looked at a letter which had been written by Rona Wightman as STACC Secretary to the Police and Crime Commissioner, in support of a close passing initiative for Hertfordshire.
NT said that a close pass initiative is currently being looked at by police but is complicated by the fact that it apparently has to involve Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire forces too (the three forces use shared services).
NT also talked about a pilot project to map where cyclists have had a close pass. A few riders have been given a simple click button which works with a smart phone app to record when and where the button is pressed. Riders click the button if they feel unsafe, click twice when they experience a close pass and three times if a defect on their route which made it unsafe. The plan is to roll it out to more riders and it is hoped that the data gathered will prove useful.
Jon Crosby (who was unable to attend) brought up a few points for discussion in an email. One was related to close passing where he made the point that although a close pass does not normally injure a cyclist there are exceptions, such as when the turbulence caused by a close passing caravan caused a rider to crash.
HCC Speed Management Strategy
OC said that this will be looked at as part of the Local Travel Plan consultation.
JM emphasised that he is in favour of average speed cameras for speed management but again pointed out that, despite the DfT saying that average speed cameras can be useful in calming traffic speeds, the HCC Speed Management Strategy does not permit their use.
JM said he would monitor what is going through HCC Cabinet Panels - Action JM
Vegetation Clearance Programme
We looked at a report written by Rona Wightman documenting a dangerously overgrown cycleway alongside Harpenden Road near Childwickbury. This is work which Ringway are contracted to carry out but despite reporting it multiple times since June, nothing has happened.
OC has been looking into it but so far without success. She said that it may be possible to get some clearance done using a separate pot of money, though people might feel it would just be letting Ringway off the hook.
Revision of Roads in Hertfordshire Highway Design Guide
Another point in Jon Crosby's email related to this. In a meeting with Herts Highways on 12th October he was informed that Huw Hamer is currently working on a revised highway design guide.
We would like to be involved with this as much as possible and should asked to be informed as soon as there is anything we can look at - Action JM
HCC Cycle Forum
OC said that no date has been set - she wants to make sure that there is something useful that can be achieved. Revision of highway design guide is still a possible topic.
NT suggested using a Cycle Forum to scrutinise the next revision of the Hertfordshire Recreational Cycling Map
While looking at the existing map, JM suggested the re-routing a section of NCN in St Albans.
Healthy Streets, Active Mobility, Air Pollution and Health
OC told us that there is going to be a seminar on air pollution for HCC Councilors
JM is keen for HCC to adopt the ideas from TfL's Healthy Streets for London document.
Forthcoming Meetings and Events
Cyclox and Cyclenation are having a conference in Oxford on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th of November
RB mentioned an informal Sustrans meeting on November 11th at The Gate pub in Bricket Wood.
Reports on Proposals, Meetings and Events
Jon Crosby is keeping an eye on plans for A602 improvements between Stevenage and Ware. He would welcome any suggestions on how to quantify the number of cyclists using the A602 at Stony Hills.
In reference to the Cole Green Way Greenspace Action Plan JM expressed his desire for a tarmac surface. IG said that from what he could gather that seemed unlikely but with serious cutting back of trees and resurfacing paying attention to drainage an unbound surface could prove satisfactory.
JM mentioned the HCC scheme in the Maylands area of Hemel Hempstead. Positive things include safer access to the Cycle Hub, a shared path to get people to the Nickey Line and shared cycleways to get people off 40mph roads.
NT mentioned that Timmy Mallet had generated some useful publicity for the Nickey Line by cycling along it and tweeting about it. There is a Greenspace Action Plan for the Nickey Line.
Nothing to report
Any Other Business
We asked whether OC and NT would like to join our mailing list. There was concern from them about getting too many emails but they were assured that it has always been a very low traffic list. Joining would ensure that they always receive notification of meetings and have a way of reporting to us as a group.
IG to invite OC and NT to subscribe to the list - Action IG
JM reported that STACC will be involved with the 2018 Sustainable St Albans Week
IG mentioned that CW reported progress on the Hatfield Station to Business Park route, which still has a missing bit at the north end of the town centre. It seems like a link is being actively planned.
Dates of Future Meetings
2018 meeting dates will be decided over email but it was agreed to avoid August - Action IG