Present: John Metcalf (STACC, Chair), Roger Bangs (Spokes, Deputy Chair), Ian Gregory (WelHatCycling, Secretary, Minutes), Chris Whitehouse (WelHatCycling, Treasurer), Nick Clarke (STACC), Nick Truran (HCC), Odette Carter (HCC), Michael Melnyczuk (Sustrans), Kirsty Feasey (Active East Herts)
Apologies for Absence - Robert Jones (CTC Stort Valley)
Additional Agenda Items - None
Minutes of meeting held 19th April 2018 were approved
JM is waiting for a reply from Oliver Mytton
LTP4 has been adopted
RB reported that Councillor Stephen Giles Medhurst is trying to get a site meeting to look at issues on Lower High Street in Watford following recent changes - see RB's letter to Ralph Sangster on the Spokes website.
[Update the meeting will take place on 26th July]
Draft South West Herts Growth and Transport Plan
OC pointed out that the circulated draft consultation summary is out of date but the final documents will be available soon on the HCC website.[Consultation is now live here and closes on 17th September]
OC explained that there will be a total of five regional Growth and Transport Plans in Hertfordshire. They are strategic plans (above the level of Local Transport Plans). None will be funded but they could be used as the basis for funding applications.
[For more background information on Growth and Transport Plans in Hertfordshire see this presentation by Rupert Thacker]
CycleHerts member groups are encouraged to respond to the consultation for their area (Spokes for South West Herts) and copy to CycleHerts
JM mentioned a report on cycling provision in Oxford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes which was written by Andrew Gilligan for the Government's National Infrastructure Commission [see this article in TransportXtra]. He thought that much in the report would be applicable to towns in Hertfordshire and said he would adapt it for St Albans - Action JM
Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans
OC reported that the Stevenage plan should be ready in a few months. More data is now available to guide these plans, such as the Propensity to Cycle Tool and Strava. HCC will only get involved with developing LCWIPs if there is full support at the district level.
RB mentioned the Ebury roundabout [there was an HCC consultation on pedestrian and cycle improvements]
A414 Hemel Hempstead to A4147 St Albans, traffic free walking/cycling path - Feasibility Study
David Parke, Principle Engineer at WSP Highways Consultants, is seeking comments on a proposed traffic-free shared use pedestrian and cycle path linking the A414 Northbound off-slip on Breakspere Way to the A4147 at the M1 overbridge. The route would be approximately 4m wide along a distance of 2km and sited approximately 20m away from live traffic. They are also looking at the possibility of a traffic-free path from the M1 overbridge running parallel to the A4147 to link to St Albans.
Close passing initiative
Operation Velo launched in Cambridge on 23rd February and was then rolled out in Hertfordshire on 19th March.
NT reported on how it is going and mentioned that it had already resulted in a prosecution, as well as plenty of driver education.
On 4th July the Road Danger Reduction Forum published an updated summary of Police Services that are currently or have been recently carrying out policing of close passing of cyclists.
HCC Cycle Forum
OC said that there is nothing currently planned
JM suggested that representatives of district councils should be invited to attend
Healthy streets, Active Mobility, Air Pollution and Health
Clean Air Day 2018 was on 21st June and JM reported that St Albans was encouraging car drivers to switch off engines while stationary.
Revision of Roads in Hertfordshire highway design guide
OC reported that this is ongoing. We are primarily interested in cycling infrastructure and in the absence of a national standard there seems to be a case for simply adopting (for example) the Oxfordshire Cycling Design Standards. OC explained that this is not on the cards because HCC feel that they need to develop their own Hertfordshire specific standards.
CW reported that clearance has occurred on the Alban Way and some sections of the path alongside the A414 South East of the University roundabout (though other sections remain seriously overgrown).
JM reported that clearance had also occurred on the path adjacent to St Albans Road towards the Hatfield end.
Cycle hubs - progress in setting up new ones
KF spoke about the Hertford Cycle Hub which launched on 16th June. This had been on East Herts Council's agenda for about three years. In January Active East Herts started looking at what could be done. There were some overgrown cycle racks outside Hartham Leisure Centre which were cleared and increased in number to provide a physical space to host community focused cycle projects including Breeze rides. The next bit of funding will be used to provide a noticeboard with maps, calendar of events etc. Future developments will depend on how things go.
NT reported that Three Rivers Cycle Hub will open this weekend, one at Leavesden Country Park is in the pipeline, and that there is a desire for a hub in Letchworth and Broxbourne. IG mentioned his idea for a hub at Stanborough Lakes which could eventually link to the Hertford one via the proposed Central Hertfordshire Green Corridor. Clarence Park was suggested as a possible site for a St Albans hub.
Moving the Nation Manifesto
MM spoke briefly about the Moving the Nation Manifesto launched on 28th June by an alliance of the Bicycle Association, Cycling UK, the Ramblers, British Cycling, Living Streets and Sustrans. The manifesto calls for such things as a ban on pavement parking, high quality cycling infrastructure, a 20mph limit on local streets [why is 20's Plenty for Us not part of the alliance?] and an overhaul of the Highway Code (NT warned that work on the Highway Code would not happen while Brexit is being dealt with). JM said that the manifesto had not received much in the way of publicity.
Reports on proposals, meetings and events
IG and RB attended the Rickmansworth Festival where Spokes and Sustrans had a stall. IG and JM attended the Know How Festival which was part of Sustainable St Albans Week. IG and CW attended a Repair Cafe at the WGC Friends Meeting House where they fixed a couple of bikes - this event was also raising money to provide bikes for Syrian refugees in the area.
CW relayed a report from Roger Moulding of WelHatCycling, who attended a Neighbourhood Watch Meeting on 27th June in the Silver Command Room at Hatfield Police Station. Stuart Murray from the Roads Policing Unit gave a presentation about traffic collision investigation and roads policing. Stuart was particularly hot on mobile phone distraction and said he always stopped anyone he saw using one. He listed this as one of his four fatal mistakes - speed, drink and drugs, vehicle defects, and distraction. Cycling questions from the floor were mainly about irresponsible cycling.
NT and JM attended an All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group meeting.
Forthcoming meetings and events
European Mobility Week 16th to 22nd September
St Albans Cyclefest 16th September at Oaklands College. Free entry with a small charge for each activity, raising funds for the Red Rubber Ball Foundation. [WelHatCycling were offered a free stall in exchange for providing a couple of volunteer marshals but declined due to lack of resources and other commitments]
World Car Free Day - 22nd September
Cycling and Society Symposium 6th to 7th September in Bristol
A new book by John Parkin was published on 13th July - Designing for Cycle Traffic: International principles and practice.
Fiance, Publicity and Website
CW reported no income or expenditure, bank balance stands at £96.26
NT said he was happy to publicise CycleHerts stuff on the Herts Cycling Twitter feed
Any other business
IG reported that in future Hatfield Fire Station will require groups to have liability insurance and produce a risk assessment to book the community room. We should look at alternative venues. JM said that if we can't use the fire station for the next meeting we could met at St Albans Council Offices. Other possibilities are Tesco and Oxlease Methodist Church.
Dates of future meetings
Thursday 25th October
Dates of 2019 meetings to be decided