Notes from our September 2016 meeting

A new bar for Sutton, is a potential new venue for Get Sutton Cycling social gatherings!

The Shinner and Sudtone in the Sutton High Street opened on 15 September, and so it was decided to give it a try for our informal meeting on 26 September. There was only six of us this time, but I think we all agreed the place had a very welcoming vibe. The staff were happy for a bike to be left just inside the door, and the drinks on offer were good. So what more could you want?

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Although this was more of a social get together, an agenda was produced to guide some of the discussions. The previous Get Sutton Cycling meeting had been in June (and in New Malden), hosted by Kingston Cycling Campaign. This had rightly focussed on the Kingston mini-Holland consultations that were taking place at the time. Sutton issues had taken a back seat, so now there was a bit of catching up to do. In particular, further consideration of the group’s constitution and the future of the group (see item 3). It is important that the group elects a committee, and that a team of people take on various roles. For the moment, Charles Martin is continuing as acting borough Coordinator and Chair, Ben Rafferty acting Secretary (and now Treasurer). Any additional help would be appreciated.


1: Welcome, introductions and apologies

Thanks to Shirley, Colin, Maeve, Ben, Mike and Charles for attending. Apologies from Gary, John C, John K, Marcus.

2: Update on actions from meeting on 28 June 2016 (effectively held over from meeting on 25 April 2016)

At our core group meeting on 16 May 2016 we had prioritised our mini-Holland ideas from the ‘ward asks’ (as per the Space for Cycling press release, 21 July 2015, which is available in the Space for Cycling petition handover post). These are:

  • Making Sutton town centre more accessible by bicycle, with a focus on removing the severance caused by the gyratory system (Sutton Central ward)
  • Giving consideration to the trial closure of some residential streets close to the centre of Carshalton village to through traffic in order to increase their viability for cycling (Carshalton Central ward)
  • Developing a network of safe routes to five schools situated on busy roads (Beddington South ward)
  • Providing a trial of light segregation on heavily trafficked roads that form part of the National Cycle Network and the Avenue Verte (Wallington North)

The question is, are these suggested requirements reflected in the LIP funded schemes for 2017/2018? (See below).

Network audits no progress to report

Publish blog posts Nine items published in three months April to June 2016. Nevertheless, several still outstanding (including Quietway ride update; Sutton Cycle Forum September 2016; Cycle funding 2016/2017; Cycle Funding 2017/2018)

Contact your councillor Have you? Details of ward surgeries on the Notes to April 2016 meeting page

Meeting with Cllr. Jill Whitehead to discuss way forward with Cycling Strategy – Chris R had sent a reminder to Jill about this on 11 August.

3: Our constitution and the future of the group

Putting together a team (core group) to run Get Sutton Cycling, including appointment of new Treasurer, and Chair of meetings. Also need Secretary, Coordinator (or Co-coordinator). Possible other roles could include Cycle Champion to liaise council’s Cycle Champion, Cycle Champions to liaise with councillors and review schemes (ideally one per local committee area); website and social media development. Wider involvement is required (must be a LCC member if taking on a role). (We could use Bromley Cyclists as an example of roles – see the Bromley Cyclists September 2016 newsletter, available here).

Ben R agreed to take be the new Treasurer (whilst remaining as acting Secretary). He also offered to help with the quarterly newsletters). Maeve said she was interested in membership.  If you would like to be more actively involved, please get in touch.

Our constitution is available here.

4: LCC AGM and Campaigners’ Conference, Saturday, 15 October.

Book here for this important event: http://lcc.org.uk/pages/agm-and-campaigners-conference.

Note that non-members are very welcome, and are actively encouraged, to join us for the Campaigners’ Conference during the afternoon. Although not able to vote or contribute to the debate, non-members may also attend the morning AGM as observers.

For the AGM, LCC are asking local groups to:

Provide highlights from the last year (including material we could stick on the wall – photos, posters etc. – that showcase our year). Here are some suggested highlights:

Give details of key things that we are hoping to achieve, or are on your group’s radar, for next year. Here is an outline of our possible plans for the year ahead:

  • Be part of the conversation with residents on the borough’s proposed first Quietway (working with Sutton Council and Sustrans) – making the case for challenges
  • Provide stronger input into future LIP schemes (2018/2019) – conversations with councillors
  • Carry out audit of Sutton’s streets  
  • Continue to work towards being ready for any forthcoming major funding allocations from TfL (mini-Holland plus)
  • Prepare for 2018 council elections – work towards cross-party support for cycling (active travel, healthy streets)
  • Better engagement with LCC members in the borough
  • Stronger engagement with LCC office
  • Build stronger links with neighbouring borough groups  

Bike shops you like in your area that don’t currently offer discounts to LCC members (re membership re-launch)

  • Pearsons
  • Village Bike

Details of our local consultations – ideally loaded into Cyclescape with appropriate tags so it appears on a map, encouraging more people to comment on it.

And what do we expect from LCC? Some initial suggestions:

  • Provide improvements to LCC website; for this to include policy guidance, best practice

5: Is it safe to park bicycles in Sutton town centre after dark?

When the decision was taken to hold the September meeting at the Shinner and Sudtone, Shirley asked whether bikes were permitted to be taken inside. The first consideration for a new [meeting] location, she stressed, should be whether there is somewhere to secure bikes within the venue. Leaving bikes outside during the evening, especially when dark, was not favoured.

So, this item was added to the agenda to discuss. Most attendees said that they would not feel particularly comfortable to leave their bicycle locked to a stand in the evening. If they knew they had no alternative option, they would either use another form of transport or cycle using a less expensive bike (if they had one) instead. A bit worrying!

We would also like to hear you views. Would you leave your bicycle secured to a Sheffield stand anywhere in Sutton after dark? If not, why not? Please get in touch: getsuttoncycling@gmail.com.

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Cycle stands in Sutton High Street (Sutton Central ward), looking north near Cheam Road/ Carshalton Road. 26 September 2016

6: Update on Sutton Cycle Forum September 2016

A full update of the most recent quarterly meeting with Sutton Council (13 September) is available at Sutton Cycle Forum September 2016 (alternatively check out Cycle Forum). Here is a brief overview:

A request to have somewhere to report cycling issues on the Sutton Council website (issues relating to maintenance of paths and overgrown vegetation) was received with enthusiasm. Of course, the Cycling Strategy (November 2015 – available from our Publications page) makes reference to maintenance in Chapter 3, Our Plan for Cycling, specifically Objective 1 Make Sutton a more attractive borough for cycling and create a high quality cycle network

3.15 Maintenance and Cleansing

In order to make cycling a comfortable and convenient mode of transport it is important that cycle routes are adequately maintained and cleaned. Within budgetary constraints the Council will try to ensure that cycle routes/tracks are regularly inspected and maintained. This includes regular sweeping to remove debris and broken glass; and regular cutting back of overgrowing vegetation. Cyclists can assist in this by reporting on issues to the Council and voluntary/ community groups could assist in the task.

Current scheme updates were reviewed, noting that Green Wrythe Lane phase 3 of the footway conversion (William Street to St Andrews Road) was nearly complete…..

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Green Wrythe Lane, west side, looking north, by St John’s Road bus stop (The Wrythe ward). Widened pavement to provide space for cycling. Note that pavement on east side has effectively been narrowed as a result to allow partial pavement parking there. This is how cycling is facilitated in Sutton in 2016.  13 September 2016

… as was a new path (really for walking) in Overton Park…

notesfromourseptember2016meeting_p1260720_overtonpark

Overton Park (Belmont ward). New (shared use) path under construction, linking Overton Road gate with Chipstead Close gate. This will potentially provide improved access to Overton Grange School (if only in terms of avoiding wet or muddy shoes). 20 September 2016 

notesfromourseptember2016meeting_p1260704_overtonpark

Chipstead Close (Belmont ward), the view from the pavement of the new construction affording a link between Overton Park and the surrounding streets. Overton Park is ahead and to the left in this view. One key consideration when providing a path for cycling (even when shared use) is how well the path/facility interfaces with the surrounding paths/streets. In this case, the path is effectively a continuation of the pavement. Even though a dropped kerb to the carriageway has been provided, the interface here suggests the path is facilitated for walking rather than cycling. Access to the dropped kerb may be blocked by parked vehicles. A true cycling facility would link directly with the street, with clear access afforded. 20 September 2016 

7: Quietway (Morden – Sutton)

A review of our ride with Sutton Council, Sustrans’ representative (and Kingston Council) on 14 June still to be posted. [See Update below]. CR has written an overview. Likely timeline: Consultation review by June 2017; consultation September 2017: construction spring 2018.

UPDATE: Review of ride published 11 November 2016, see Sutton’s proposed first Quietway: what is required to make it a success?

8: Felnex (Hackbridge) redevelopment

No further news. Updates will be posted at Felnex redevelopment – an acid test for cycling.

9: AOB

  • We recorded our thanks to Ewan Crallan, Hackney Cycling Campaign, and Gerry Matthews, Tower Hamlets Wheelers, for leading a ride from Sutton to central London on 30 July for the Prudential Ride London event.
  • A salesman form Aprire Bicycles had been in touch. Based in Cheam, Aprire Cycles factory is going to be fully operational in the production of Carbon Fibre bicycles. Aprire Bicycles are happy to arrange a demonstration of their bicycles.
  • Our Croydon Correspondent, Mike To reported:
    • The southern section of the Waterloo to Croydon Quietway (south of Norbury) is not to be progressed at this time (due, it is believed, to issues relating to Norbury Avenue – too much traffic). This could open up the possibility of providing a direct route south on the A23, with protected cycle lanes, instead. One advantage would be to relieve pressure on the bus network.
    • Tram crossings for cycles are not featured in the current London Cycling Design Standards.
    • At Croydon’s Cycle Forum in March 2016 Hal Bransby had given a presentation Cross Croydon X Cycle Superhighways for Croydon. Potential routes included A23 and A232. The A232, of course, features in Beddington and Wallington agree that cycling proposals be presented to TfL for consideration, so it is hoped to build on this cross-borough working.
    • Fiveways – still awaiting news of the wider public consultation planned for the autumn 2016.

10: Date of next meeting

Monday, 24 October 2016, Shinner and Sudtone [meeting subsequently postponed]

The following meetings provisionally set for Monday, 28 November 2016 (venue TBC) and Monday, 23 January 2017 (Lord Nelson). As always, please check Next meet-up for confirmation and details.

 

 

 

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