During the COVID pandemic Cycleways are meeting online. Members will receive details of forthcoming meeting via email.
See our events calendar for details of forthcoming meetings
We hope to resume our monthly face-to-face meeting at The Fat Pug, Guys Cliffe Road, Leamington Spa, CV32 5BZ. at some point later in the Year.
Minutes of recent meetings below
Minutes of recent meetings
Minutes - Cycleways Meeting 13 Jan 2021 - Online
Tony Lewenz - Chair
Kit Lawry Kennedy
Ewan provided an update on the work he had done to clean up the membership database.
We have 70 paid up members although a number were paying less than the current £10 membership.
A number of lapsed members who had not paid anything in 2020 and a few whose membership had expired in 2020.
Ewan would email all lapsed members, Tony to provide some copy.
Members now have the ability to pay be Direct Debit
Items for the Newsletter
Sandra reported that she was nearing completion of the Spring issue of the Newsletter but still had some space.
- Article on conversion of Tandem to Electric
- Review of Garmin light
- Susan Rasmussen agreed to provide a piece
Submission by end of the week around 150 words to Sandra
A46 Link Road review and update
Ian & Rodney have made a submission on our behalf.(on website here) It appears that the County Council are not adhering to their own policy on climate change. The proposals did not include sustainable options with their modelling work completely ignoring sustainable options.
The impact on climate change of the proposal had not been properly considered nor had account been taken on the impact of changes in working patterns brought about by the pandemic which were likely to have permanent effects.
James Kenedy reported that Kenilworth Town Council had objected to the plan pointing out it took no account of plans for light rail and a new station close to the University.
There was a need to get the plan debated by the District Council and it was understood that Green and Labour councillors were working on this. There was discussion if planning consent would be needed from the District Council (Not clear what the answer is.)
This work combined with that of HS2 takes up much of the remaining countryside in the area but are not classified as building in the green belt.
It was noted that Warwick University’s “Climate Emergency Declaration” pledges that it will work with the community to reduce both its direct and indirect emissions, but this seems at odds with its support for this road project. It was agreed that members with connections to the University should lobby them to withdraw their support for the plan
We need to get Warwickshire County Council to review their plans and should include a piece on this on the website and in the Newsletter.
(Website item is here)
Local Transport Plan Revision
Warwickshire County Council is in the process of updating the current Local Transport Plan (LTP), which is a document that sets out the transport needs, challenges, priorities and objectives for the county.
An LTP sets policies to shape future transport schemes and developments within the County. It allows us, as the County Council, to channel resources to deliver a transport network that gives people who live and work in Warwickshire access to the facilities they need to go about their daily lives.
We need to make a response to this and Tony agreed to produce a draft. It was important that members also responded individually.
The consultation Closes 18 Mar 2021
Rodney said he will be participating in a discussion on this with the Leamington Society via Zoom meeting on 3rd March.
St Nicholas Park cycle route
Tony reported there were plans to widen the path (which links the Emscote Road to the Myton Road through St Nicolas’ Park) to 3 m (except the bridge). The level of the path would also be raised to reduce the risk of flooding.
The view of the meeting was that this was something of a distraction with the Council doing something uncontroversial, where the current provision was actually quite good, so they could be seen to be responding to LTN 1/20 while dragging their feet on more controversial plans.
Banbury Road Cycle Path
John reported that the Banbury Road cycle path was now finished but was something of a “dog breakfast” and did not meet the requirements of LTH 1/20.
Tony not heard any more will raise at Cycle Forum. We had understood the proposal had been approved at Cabinet with a budget cica £4 million .
The plan proposes a 2 way cycle track mainly on the North side of Emscote Road. Rodney expressed concerns that draft plans did not fully meet LTH 1/20. Tony to enquire about this.
Tony asked, why is this being reported as just approved? Tony will ask at Cycle Forum.
Concern was expressed at slow progress with HS2 and COVID being used as excuses. Simon felt that there was no reason why the route as far as the B415 could not be completed without further delay.
Simon West said he though HS2 and Covid were being used as an excuse
Cycle parking in Victoria Park
Gabi raised the issue of cycle parking in Victoria park as funds were available as part of the work being done ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2022. Suggestion for possible locations included the Tennis Pavilion and the Archery Road and Princes Drive car parks.
It was agreed Sue and Gabi would visit the park to investigate further.
There was discussion as to what we should do with regard to elections due on 7th May which include elections for:
- Warwickshire County Council (WCC)
- Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)
- Kenilworth St. John's Town Ward casual vacancy
There are also referendums on both the Leamington and Kenilworth Local Plans. We need to seek candidate views on cycling and try to get commitments into cycling into party manifestos.
Clara suggested the possibility of a video. Susan suggested 1 Mill Street might be able to help. Clara agreed to investigate.
Minutes - Cycleways Meeting 13 Jan 2021 - Online
Clara Helene Rübner Joergensen
A46 Strategic Link Road
Consultation for this planned road currently underway details here closes 14 Feb.
Tony reported that provision for cycling in the plan was poor. The County Council seemed to be dedicated to a road come what may, despite numerous studies that tell us new roads just generate more traffic. He believed the focus should be on sustainable transport to eliminate the need for roads.
Members were urged to respond to the consultation individually as well as Cycleways providing a response.
It was agreed we would promote the consultation on our website and through Facebook and Twitter
Susan said we should remind the Authority that Government policy outlined in “Gear Change” was that there would be no funding for scheme without adequate cycling
Concerns were expressed that the scheme seems to beat odds with the drive for active travel.
Stephen Marks reported that the next Town Council meeting was tomorrow 14 Jan and that members could join this on Zoom to raise the issue.
Tony agreed to draft a letter in response to the consultation.
Plan for May County Council elections
County Council elections are scheduled for 6th May once we know who the candidates are we should raise issues of active travel with them and get them to declare their position on the issue.
Marie offered to email information to candidates. It was also suggested that we might invite candidates to present to a joint meeting with Warwickshire Climate Alliance.
Note Last date for publication of list of candidates is Friday 9th April
Tony would be representing Cycleways at the Warwickshire Climate Alliance Meeting next week and would report back.
Details of the draft scheme for Emscote Road which has now been approved by Cabinet had been shared with the Group Tony not yet responded to Stephen Rumbold, but would do so. Rodney also agreed to provide feedback.
While the plan looked to be broadly in line with guidance in LTN 1/20 he expressed concerns about plans for the Princess Road roundabout which he said were appalling.
Concerns were raised if there was adequate segregation between pedestrians and cyclist in some areas, for example over the Portobello Bridge.
Leamington Station Forecourt development
This would provide secure cycle parking, but Tony expressed concerns that there seem to be poor connectivity with the rest of the cycle network.
There was a lack of cycle parking in Parade. Susan reported that funding could be available from the Community Infrastructure levy money (replaces S 126) and Future of High Street funding were £10m had been granted
Tony had made a proposal to DC on a proposed site for parking.
It was noted Warwick was even more poorly provided with cycle parking .
Susan reported that there was a campaign to keep the Parade pedestrianised. including parts of Warwick and Regent Streets.
It was suggested that we ask people for their views on cycle parking on Facebook and Twitter.
Note: Our tweet got a good response. We should make sure we capture this.
Obstructive barriers on cycle paths
There were a number of unnecessary barriers on cycle paths, which were at odds with guidance in LTN 1/20. These were a particular problem with non standard bikes. Examples included Offchurch Greenway and Warwick Racecourse, but there were many others.
There were plans to upgrade the existing shared cycle path to the standards in LTN 1/20. Currently this path was inadequate. A particular problem was that the Cycleway did not have priority at the many minor side roads and the driveways at Warwick School.
It was reported that funding of £2m had been secured to extend the K2L route into the Town Centre.
The A425 cycleway was also due for improvement
John Holland stated that a major issue was that existing cycleways were not joined up,to provide a cohesive network.
It was agreed that the County Council needed to provide more staff resources to speed the planning of infrastructure to promote active travel. We should apply pressure for resources to be switched from road planning to active travel.
Tony will notify members of the date of the next Cycle Forum meeting. Clara and Susan indicated they would be happy to attend.
Clara noted the County Council are advertising for two community support officers to promote active travel (details here). This was welcomed but concern was expressed that promoting active travel without providing the infrastructure to support it was just Green Washing.
It was agreed that we would invite the appointees to a future meeting.
It was noted we have some money to support cycle training. Susan said there was a need for training for adults new or returning to cycling and that we should plan something ready for whenever lockdown ends.
9th September 2020 - Jitsi
Present: Tony, Clara, Ewan, Bev, Rodney, Ben.
October 6th Ride between Leamington and Warwick, to celebrate “Gear Change”. Invites
were sent out on 6th Sept to all County Councillors, WD Councillors and Town Councillors,
and also to WCC transport planners. Estimated length of the Ride to be 7 miles, final details
of the actual route should be published, along with a reminder of the Ride at the end of this
month, along with guidance on social distancing, (Ewan).
September 10th Ride, part of Sustrans’ Route 41, to evaluate the new length of cycle path in
front of the Grandstand at Warwick Races, see here for details.
Marketing Group. Ewan thanked by all for his work on the new Cycleways’ website.
Clara emailed schools last week about School Streets, as highlighted in Gear Change. Also,
suggested that we sent out Flyers to GP surgeries in the Warwick District to highlight the
potential health benefits from Gear Change.
Suggest that we mail out to companies within the Warwick District, link this into Travel
Bev will check with our bank this week to enable Ewan to put payment by Pay-Pal on line.
Marie is keeping an active eye on Facebook.
As an e-bike user, Tony uses a site, road.cc which had this interesting news article that says
“The Norwegian study found e-bike customers more than doubled their use of the bicycle for
transport, and cycled an average of 9.2km a day compared to 2.1km before buying an e-bike”
Road.cc has interesting news/articles about general cycling
conditions amongst lots of content about bikes, equipment and sport.
Next meeting 14 th October. To include further discussion on membership categories and
feedback from the Cycle Forum meeting 29th Sept.
AGM 11th November when we hope that the 3 WCC transport planners can join us to discuss
progress on K2L, Emscote Road, and the Warwick Town Centre scheme.
10 Sept 20
22nd July 2020 - Zoom
Emscote Road and K2L, both classed as high priority by WCC
Had requested an update from WCC Cycling officer, and also from a senior transport planner, but with no response.
For the Emscote Road it is all very disappointing, since it was in February 2019 that WCC asked us to put forward our thoughts for a Super cycleway for this route. We submitted a scheme in June, 2019, since then silence. Will write to Cllr Nicola Davis since Lib-Dems are pushing for improvements along this road as part of a safer routes to schools campaign.
Covid-19 improvements for pedestrians and cyclists in Warwick and Leamington
Adam Tranter, Cycling Mayor for Coventry, had written to Cllr Jeff Clarke, WCC Portfolio Holder for Transport, highlighting that WCC had only obtained 50% of the possible funding for this project. His letter plus Cllr’s Clarke reply is attached to these minutes, plus a copy of all the LA’s allocations.
Apart from the shortfall in funding, there has been widespread criticism by cyclists in the poor quality of the cycling provision . Will write to Cllr Clarke about these concerns. A copy of his e-mail will also be sent to all the WCC councillors.
Marketing of Cycleways to a wider audience. Meeting 18th July
Web site - Bringing it up to date and onto a new platform, with the aim to be able to make links into other groups such as Clean Air for Leamington and Clean Air for Warwick. Also to put application for membership on-line, and suggested we set up an Instagram account, but that will need someone to run it.
The local Sustrans Ranger, and long standing member of Cycleways, brought us up to date.
Sustrans are rationalising some of their routes, principally those that use busy main roads, to allow them to concentrate their resources into the off road routes, such as Route 41 the Lias line between Leamington and Rugby. The good news is that funding for this route is now secured, making completion for opening in 2022.
Welcome to a member of Warwick Unv BUG.
11th March 2020
Eco-Fest Pump Room Gardens 31st May,
Will go ahead and purchase a new Gazebo, blue being the preferred colour. Insurance cover note in a couple of weeks, and have booked the stall.
Will convene a meeting of the group to agree on how we run the site.
Leamington Town Assembly 6th April, Clean air for Leamington
Open to those who live in Leamington, ticket can be obtained through Eventbrite, sent out separately to all members. The event will be an opportunity to draw up cycle routes across the town
WDC Climate Change Emergency Action Plan
The Plan sets a target of WDC achieving net zero emissions by 2025, and the District as a whole, by 2030. Since road transport is the largest contributor of CCGs, WDC will formally ask to work with it to develop a sustainable transport strategy urgently and to resource it appropriately. This represents a significant step forward and does provide a means of holding WCC to account for how transport monies are allocated. In this respect, WDC will also instigate a Local Plan Review putting mitigation/prevention of the effects of climate change at its heart.
Cycle maintenance course
Will circulate the details of a bike maintenance workshop with Giant in Leamington, plan is an evening workshop with up to 8 people, charge £5 per person.
Coventry Road, Warwick, cycle route
The original proposal for a shared path route had created concerns from a wide range of members, so a member who is a transport planner, offered to discuss with WCC how these concerns could be met. From this some improvements are possible which they will circulate to us. Once again, the debate on the adequacy of cycle provision came up at the meeting. The problem with the Coventry Road scheme is that it will be funded from a road safety budget, which is limited. As someone highlighted, WCC only allocate 88p per head for cycling, the recommended level nationally should be £10 per head.
This important point should come up in WDC’s Climate Change Action Plan, where they have made a specific link to monies from new developments to be used to achieve the Council’s carbon neutral target across the District by 2030.
On a related, but separate issue, a WDC councillor explained the Council’s proposal to raise additional revenue, for the Climate Emergency Plan through a levy on the Council Tax. Such a proposal has to be approved by the public through a Referendum, to be held on 7th May.
On 17th March the WCC Cabinet will discuss a motion that all transport planning should be halted and reviewed.
Also highlighted that a recent consultation in Kenilworth had found 88% in favour of a cycle route through Abbey Fields.
Social Media and Networking
Attended a talk at the Spa Centre on funding sources with Severn Trent and CAVA as potential sources. WDC see the forthcoming Commonwealth Games as a good opportunity to raise the profile of an active life style.
At the February meeting we were joined by the Cycling Mayor of Coventry. They had highlighted a cycling schools project in Kenilworth and the subject of funding came up. Subsequently we wrote to a Kenilworth Town and WDC councillor, confirming that Cycleways had a balance of £783 from a ring fenced WDC cycle training grant for Kenilworth.
Mention was made that from time to time Sustrans have monies remaining from projects which could be made over if a project in our area was waiting to go.
Warwick District Cycle Forum, gave a brief outline of the event, and will circulate to members an up dated note on it, where and when it meets, next meeting is the 31st March.
12th February 2020
Eco-Fest 31st May, Promoted by WDC
Gazebo - suggested that we bought a 3mx3m one for £290, which was agreed. Insurance, will check on this with Cycling UK (). Initial thoughts on a cycle ride, up to Newbold Common and back via the canal tow path, will require a leader and two at the rear, with hi-vis vests. Any other ideas on a route?
Outlined some useful notes from an ex web page designer who had met to identify ways of improving on our existing site. Suggests that we use a WIX platform (cost around £220 pa), and that the running of the site is shared by say four of us. We could also offer advertising space to bike shops/cafes to help fund the site. The web site group to agree and implement the proposals.
Certificate of insurance required, as for Eco-Fest. Theme Air Quality linked into work being done with the Air Quality group.
Leamington Town Assembly, Monday 6th April, Town Hall, “Clean Air for Leamington”, all are welcome
International Women Day Monday 9th March Sydni Centre, “Clean Air”
Warwickshire Pride event in August
Articles by 1st March, please
Warwickshire Heritage and Culture Society
Meets at Shire Hall, had highlighted to them the contribution that cycling and sustainable modes of transport can play in preserving our heritage.
Proposal by the Town Council to place an iron bicycle at the clock tower to commemorate the original builder of the modern bicycle.
Abbey Fields consultation of cycle access is being undertaken with the result expected 20/21
Commented on the demonstration of electric pods at the Unv, but such a scheme is a distraction to the real transport needs. Reported that a new head of transport planning has been appointed.
Marketing and promotion.
Have been in touch with Coventry Unv with the idea of providing Cycleways as a case study to develop some ideas on how to market it. Also, highlighted the use of pop-up posters outside schools to warn motorists. Useful having some thoughts and inputs on promotion.
Cycle Forum report back from the meeting 14th Jan
Unfortunately some of the items on the attached list were not discussed:
Sydenham cycle path
Of the others:
Coventry Road cycle route, looking at other possibilities.
Tachbrook Road/Heathcote Road junction, although the required Toucan crossing was omitted when the Tachbrook Road cycle route was built, back in 2008, WCC highways still say that nothing can be done until new section 106 money becomes available.
Emscote Road – WCC have sent our scheme to Sustrans for comment. We submitted the scheme 7 months ago.
K2L – The focus is on getting the route details resolved, possibly this Autumn, before any discussions can take place on the route into Leamington or connecting in to the Greenway and on to Warwick Unv.
Crossing of side roads by an off road cycle path. No satisfactory answer given. Here it would be is worth referring to the WCC Cabinet Report on Cycling Infrastructure, 11/10/18, item 3, which states, the West Midlands Cycling Design Guidance is recognised…….complemented by ongoing best practice research…….to delivering high quality, innovative and effective cycling schemes.
The views of those present at the meeting very much reiterated the views expressed by the public at the Air Quality Summit held at Leamington Town Hall last December. WCC highways are content to discuss but show little serious inclination to get to grips with the issues.
Next meeting 11th March
Looked at potential routes from the Rocky Lane crossing of the A46 to Warwick University, The ideas from this stimulated a useful discussion, the principle point being an essential need for an early public consultation, both in Leamington and Kenilworth, the latter who have already produced a cycle plan for the town. Following our meeting last December, we wrote to Cllr Bill Gifford about the public interest in a consultation at an early stage, and he has already acknowledged that he will raise this with WCC.
Eco-Fest 31st May
Agreed that we would attend, using our existing gazebo, .although it is showing signs of age. Will investigate the cost of a replacement. Cost of attending the event is £30, but if an activity is provided, then free. Suggested that we provide an organised bike ride, as in 2018. Insurance, Will check with Cycling UK on our current policy. The event will require 2 people, a number volunteered, so please confirm.
New Web site
One of the members who help set up the existing site took us through it and dealt with the numerous questions. Overall, the view seemed to be that we could squeeze more out of our existing site, including Twitter and Facebook. Whilst funding for a new site shouldn’t present a problem, we have located £1000, then there is the North Leamington Community Forum Fund, plus a new WCC community fund supported by Severn Trent, making it not so much a problem of capital costs, but one of recurrent maintenance. So, a working group will draw up a plan of what to change on the existing site, and we will advertise through the Newsletter for someone to manage the site for us.
Cycle Forum 14th Jan
Have a list of items to be discussed, including the problem with the safety audit of the section of cycle path at the Warwick Race Course.
Coventry Road Warwick
The current proposal of a converted footpath down the Coventry Road is seen as a poor option. Have looked at the proposal and highlighted some possible improvements. The view by those present is that what is being proposed would just join the existing list of poor quality and under used cycle routes.
The Dept for Transport strongly recommend that making the highway fit for cycling should be the first choice in any provision, so this option should also be put alongside the off road pavement conversion, to enable a proper assessment to be made. Has of offered to attend the Cycle Forum on the 14th.
Useful to include a photo of the Extinction Rebellion Ride 14th Dec. Please send any items by 13th Jan.
A note of thanks to the member who hosted the meeting after the last-minute double booking of our usual venue, much appreciated by all.