Minutes of online meeting held Thursday 9th July 2020

Present: John Metcalf (STACC, Chair), Roger Bangs (Spokes, Deputy Chair), Ian Gregory (WelHatCycling, Secretary, Minutes), Odette Carter (HCC), Chris Whitehouse (Treasurer, WelHatCycling), Tina Walker (Cycling UK Stevenage) Jill Borcherds (Cycling UK Stevenage), Peter Jackson (SPOKES)

Note that this meeting was held online using jitsi and some people had technical issues which prevented them from participating in full.

  1. Apologies for Absence - Nick Truran, Jim Brown

  2. Additional Agenda Items

    The agenda for our meetings has always included items about progress with Growth and Transport Plans, Sustainable Travel Towns, Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans etc. Since our last meeting OC offered to prepare a Highways Strategy Update and email it to us in advance of our meetings. This means we save time and get the information even if nobody from HCC can attend a meeting. Here is the update OC prepared for this meeting:

    July 2020 Highways Strategy Update

    There is a new campaigning group for the Stevenage area [Facebook Group?]

    IG reported that John Thompson (Cycling UK representative for Waveney, Suffolk and regional representative for East of England) got in touch with us in June. He had written to eastern region county councils asking to be copied in on proposals for Covid-19 emergency measures - Some councils agreed but apparently Phil Bibby suggested John contact us instead. He also said that it is part of his remit to support local representatives and activist organisations in the east. It was proposed that John could join the CycleHerts mailing list (in the same way that Michael Melnyczuk joined as a Sustrans representative). That was agreed at the meeting [John is now subscribed to the list].

    It was decided that we would hold our 2020 AGM at our October meeting.

  3. Minutes of meeting held 16th January 2020 were approved (Note that the meeting scheduled for 23rd April 2020 was not held due to Covid-19).

  4. Matters Arising

    JM pointed out that London is to celebrate World Car Free Day 2020 on Sunday 20 September [Announcement]

  5. Covid-19 DfT Emergency Active Travel Fund

    JM sent this response to HCC.

    OC reported that HCC is set to receive £1.25m for the first set of funding. This will be used for high street and town centre interventions, restricting traffic and parking, pop up cycle lanes, filters, maintenance of existing routes and messaging. JM asked for a list of what has been proposed. OC said that the information would be available on the HCC website "within the next month".

  6. Draft Speed Management Strategy for Consultation

    JM said that the strategy seems to value consistency over lower speeds, he is drafting a response - Action JM

    JM quoted from the St Albans DC draft corporate plan "There is a case for a general 20mph speed limit in urban areas and again we are talking to the county council about how this could be brought into effect". Apparently Watford Council had (has) a similar policy.

    JM talked about the Place and Movement Approach [On 3 February 2020 the Highways and Environment Cabinet Panel recommended that Cabinet adopts the Place and Movement approach and this was on the agenda at the 24 February 2020 Cabinet meeting].

  7. Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and School Streets

    Hackney is set to close 20 roads to through-traffic to aid social distancing and to support walking and cycling.

    Before our last meeting Michael Melnyczuk of Sustrans suggested that he or someone else from Sustrans could give a talk on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and School Streets. We would still like to take him up on the offer - Action IG.

  8. Cyclops Junctions - Any Appropriate Location in Hertfordshire?

    OC said an HCC engineer has been on a training course

  9. Cycling Design Guidance

    OC did not have a target date for a revised version of the Roads in Hertfordshire design guidance and said that she had heard nothing about revised national guidance which has been overdue for a year.

  10. Reports on proposals and events

    TW mentioned Stevenage Cycling Festival [confirmed for 22-30 August, details to follow]

    JM has signed up for DfT Decarbonising Transport workshops. There is also a Call for Ideas at smartsurvey which closes at the end of August.

  11. Finance, Publicity and Website

    CW reported that we are £79.67 in credit. The CycleHerts domain registration expires in November - there is an option to renew it for 5 years at £28.50 + VAT

  12. Dates of future meetings

    15 Oct (AGM) - 19:30 at St Albans Fire Station if possible or online otherwise