Act Travelwise Regional Meeting

Review: 26 June 2017 Regional Meetings and Workshop

On Monday 26 June 2017, Act TravelWise held regional meetings in both Leeds and London.

Workshop: 'Developing Cycling and Walking Networks'

In Leeds, a workshop on 'Developing Cycling and Walking Networks' was held in advance of the regional meeting, featuring three speakers on how to go about planning and implementing a coherent local cycling and walking network:

  • Rupert Douglas of Sustrans gave a general overview of the work done by Sustrans and the services they provide to local authorities and others.
  • Fiona Limb of West Yorkshire Combined Authority discussed the objectives and delivery of the CityConnect programme linking Leeds and Bradford via a cycle superhighway and additional canal-side routes.
  • Andy Vose of City of York Council gave a history of the development of York's cycle route network and 'footstreets' pedestrian street network. Andy then explained how new cycle routes are prioritised using an innovative Strategic Cycle Scheme Prioritisation Table based on factors such as potential usage, cost to the local authority (meaning a scheme can shoot up the priority list if developer contributions are secured), added value to the existing network and 'buildability'.

The presentations were followed by an interesting and wide-ranging discussion involving the audience and speakers together in a 'round table' format.

Yorkshire & The Humber Regional Meeting

After a short break, the regional meeting chaired by Martin Higgitt of SYSTRA featured Ian Bewick of Steer Davies Gleave speaking on the topic of 'Car Park Management Principles and Practice'. The top tips were to ensure safety by ensuring parking within marked bays, control parking via a permit system, and manage demand through a needs-based assessment of car park users. Ian would be happy to hear from people looking to discuss site-based parking issues: [email protected]

Both events in Leeds were hosted by Highways England. All four presentations are available in PDF format to Act TravelWise members - contact Randall Ghent at [email protected]

London Regional Meeting

Meanwhile, Amanda Tobin of AECOM sent us notes that she took at the London regional meeting, summarised here:

Ben Walch of WestTrans delivered a presentation on ‘Cycle Parking at New Developments’, which considered issues around current cycle parking in developments. WestTrans has published cycle parking guidance for west London:

Six elements to consider in assessing cycle parking:

  • Location (short term, long term): needs to be obvious and close to venue
  • Access: avoid stairs and doors
  • Spacing: accommodate cargo bikes, 1m spacing is ideal, 90cm acceptable
  • Stand: Sheffield stand is easiest to use or combined with two tier racks; wheel racks damage wheels; semi-vertical stands are difficult to lift bikes
  • Security: CCTV, secure parking and good lighting should be considered
  • Maintenance: Agree at planning stage; plan to remove abandoned bikes; repair damage as weak stands are easy to break and steal bikes.

Based on this, WestTrans has developed an Assessment Tool to use in auditing sites. Out of 388 sites from recent developments audited, 73% failed, 45% had no cycle parking and only 10% passed.

Camden Council has started to introduce secure on-street shared parking sites for residents who do not have enough space in their homes to store bikes:

Ben's presentation was followed by a site visit down to Southwark to visit a demonstration cycle station, which is an automated cycle storage unit from Japan, known as Ecocycle.

Typical of Japan, it's like a vending machine that you deposit your bicycle into and when you return, you swipe your card and it delivers back your bicycle to you in 13 seconds, kit and all. It can be installed above ground or below ground, taking up very little space. It's however expensive to install: approx. £1,800/space for above ground or £3,800/space for below ground. This would require residents or users to pay an annual membership fee.

A big thank you to everyone who played a part in the three events.