What is the CycleForum and what are CycleSheffield Matters?

The Cycle Forum is a place where SCC can formally meet with people who have an interest in cycling, ‘stakeholders’ would be the word.  This blog explains who and what the Forum is and at the end are the CycleSheffield Matters for the next CycleForum.
It is formal, it has an agenda, minutes and all the stuff that regulates the conduct of meetings and business.  It is the place where every couple of months SCC can listen to concerns and suggestions about both cycling policy and practice and also be asked to account for their own policy and practice.  For example it was the forum at which CycleSheffield formally challenged SCC about the lack of cycle audits and brought this issue to the attention of councillors, along with the campaign we ran asking our members to lobby their councillors.  A subsequent Cycle Forum was dedicated to this topic and installation of cycle infrastructure.  We use the Cycle Forum to monitor progress with these issues.  The Cycle Forum’s business has grown and as a response to cyclists’ requests to see highway developments at an early stage it is going to form a sub-committee that will look in fine detail at particular highway developments with respect to design for cyclists.  It does mean that developments like the redevelopment of Ecclesall Rd from Hunters Bar to Rustlings Rd will now be scrutinised by cyclists at the design stage and their advice considered and logged.

 

It’s  convened and serviced by an SCC officer and chaired by a Councillor.  Any organisation can be represented at the Forum (maximum of two people), provided the organisation has an interest in cycling and the Chair of the Forum agrees to the organisation’s presence.   If anybody wish to take part in the Forum, you would need to represent an appropriate organisation.  There are members of the Forum from cycle shops, both universities, various health organisations, large employers (e.g. Meadowhall), CycleSheffield, CTC, the Passenger Transport Executive, CPRE, SYP etc.  Members of the public are allowed to ask questions in the first 20 minutes of each meeting (need to give 24h notice) and all the meetings are open to the public for observation.

 

As you can see, the number and type of organisations represented is wide and varied.  If one has a stakeholder’s voice or interest then you would be invited.  SCC officers attend as well and these staff are authoritative about their field.  So if you are a CycleSheffield member who works for a company where a lot of people cycle or there is a BUG or you are involved in a residents’ or community group you may well want to represent their interests.  Ask for an invite!

 

This constitution means that no-one group can pack the meetings out, as a group could at the overarching ‘open’ transport forum, Sheffield on The Move, if it chose to do so.  It also means that a range of organisations get to be invited or heard and in the messy world of democracy it’s quite a good model.  We think that the motorists forum and the walkers’ forum is similar in constitution to the cycle forum and we presume the Access Liaison Group is invite only.  There is also a motorcyclists’ forum but we are not sure how that is convened, perhaps we should ask.

The tricky thing for councillors, who decide policy, is listening to these voices in a way that all forums feel consulted and heard – but also have to accept that they may not get what they want.
Another problem for SCC is the compilation and re-presentation of these views – so all the different forums know what each other is saying, although all the agenda & minutes are on-line.
It may be that SCC should consider if there is a proliferation of forums or that the staff who convene them should collaborate more or that members from one forum should sit on others and so on.
CycleSheffield recognises that all these bodies are for consultation not negotiation. Decisions in a representative democracy  must rest with councillors and officers.  What we do is present an agenda of CycleSheffield Matters that are for information, for comment and for discussion.  These items are discussed at our monthly meetings and on our email list or arise from our campaigns.  We see it as a place for both a political and a practical dialogue.  Whilst we are forthright we also want to be seen as an organisation that has got worthwhile opinions and valid knowledge about cycling matters.  It was good to see a SCC officer come to talk frankly with us at our last meeting about the Green Routes strategy.  Let’s hope this kind of initiative continues.

Please find below CycleSheffield Matters for the CycleForum on Tue Nov 19 2013

Many of these items we think are for information, clarification or comment from members of the CycleForum and a couple may generate longer discussion e.g. the sub-committee terms of reference may need clarification of intention and mode of working.
Mick

CycleSheffield matters for CycleForum Tue 19 Nov

1. CycleSheffield appreciate SCC actions with respect to

  1. the installation of cycle lanes through Frecheville to Birley Moor with a width of 1.5m even through pinchpoints and can report that motorists seem to cope with this and we have heard very positive feedback from cyclists.

  2. the Sheaf Valley Cycle Route;

  3. the current work of the Scrutiny Committee;

  4. the campaign against the withdrawal of bus lanes on Ecclesall Rd between Hunters Bar and Rustlings Rd;

  5. the support for the carriage of bikes on light-rail;

  6. TdF legacy.

2. Bikes on light-rail

  1. CycleSheffield note that the ITA did not vote for the carriage of non-folding bikes on light-rail and feel that an opportunity may well have been permanently lost and will be to the detriment of any further roll-out of regional and national light-rail.

  2. The vote was close and CycleSheffeld feel if the full complement of Sheffield Councillors had been present then the vote may well have been in favour of a trial, which would have been politically significant.

  3. However, CycleSheffield recognise that whatever the democratic decision was it would not be binding on the operating company, Stagecoach Supertram.

  4. CycleSheffield feel that SYPTE did not conduct an effective consultation on this issue, leaving it far too late to compile and evaluate the pros and cons and we will produce a critique of what we consider to be a very low quality report on the issue for the consideration of the ITA.

  5. The successor to the ITA, from April 2014 the Sheffield City Region Combined Authorities Joint Transport Committee, will bring new challenges for transport strategy as this body will involve nine local authorities and as we understand it be the body that will bid for national grants and tenders for transport schemes across SCR (cf LSTF as a bid across SY).

  6. CycleSheffield recognises that it need to improve its liaison with other cycling campaign groups across this region and within Yorkshire.  We would value discussions with SCC cllrs and officers on this point and the issues of collaboration and cooperation across a much wider area.

3. Green Routes

  1. CycleSheffield members have been fully consulted on this topic and many comments have been posted on an interactive map  https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=znpDYfI6F6SM.kj2hJTXnnNBg that SCC are welcome to consult.

  2. We were pleased to welcome Paul Sullivan from SCC at our last meeting to discuss this project.  We trust that he found the experience worthwhile.

  3. CycleSheffield realise that the green routes project is not the sole strategy that SCC have wrt the development of cycling but we would like to hear what the others are;

  4. We have concerns about the green routes strategy, some we think may work as good transport links but others are best considered as leisure routes, e.g. maintenance, lighting, lack of links to work, rest and play, two-tier cycling provision, indirect rather than direct, some better funded from a Parks and Open Spaces budget;

  5. We advise SCC that we are open for consultation and advice before ideas or considerations are turned into plans and drawings – there is no need to be strangers.

Cycle Schemes sub-committee

  1. SCC and CycleSheffield have worked on drafting terms of reference for a Cycle Schemes Sub-Committee of the CycleForum.

  2. This draft is appended and will be presented to the CycleForum for discussion, revision and approval.

Cycle Audits and cycle facilities at the bottom of the Moor

  1. CycleSheffield believes that cycle audits for highway schemes costing more than £50,000 have not started yet – other than for Streets Ahead Opportunities, which may be installed.

  2. It is now seven months since the CycleForum where it was agreed they would start ‘soon’ and it is seven years  since they were set as a target in the City’s Cycle Action Plan 2006-2011.

  3. We politely ask again, when are they going to start?

  4. CycleSheffield believes that the latest facilities installed at the bottom of the Moor demonstrate a lack of training and professional development with the planning and installation of cycle facilities.  Our report on this contraflow cycle lane is at http://www.cyclesheffield.org.uk/2013/11/08/scc-carry-on-installing-crap-cycle-lanes/

  5. The APPCG report, Get Britain Cycling, recognised that initial education and training professional development of UK highways engineers was not strong on designing for cycling.

  6. We politely ask what steps are being taken by SCC for the professional development of its own engineers?

Regret over the ending of the city-centre Cycle Paramedic service

  1. Last month was the last shift of the cycling paramedic in Sheffield city-centre and it has been discontinued by The Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

  2. CycleSheffield regrets the loss of this service and would like SCC to note that the cycling paramedic:

  3. had response times that were better and certainly no worse than that of car responders;

  4. did a lot of first-aid, even for city ambassadors, that meant that people did not need to go and increase congestion at A&E or walk-in centres;

  5. acted as a ‘barefoot doctor’ with people who ‘lived on the streets’ and was able to monitor, advise and get help for this community’s health, working alongside others like the city ambassadors.

  6. CycleSheffield believes that the service to public health was highly beneficial and would value discussing with SCC and other interested agencies ways in which a service of this kind could be re-instated even only for a trial period and with the aid of public and private grants.

CycleSheffield liaison with SYP (Sheffield District)

  • CycleSheffield met with the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire in September 2013.  The purpose was to make progress with SYP to discuss cycling matters in general rather than particular incidents.

  • As a result of this meeting we met with an Inspector in Sheffield District during September and started a discussion about these issues.

  • Consequently, POs have volunteered to liaise with us on issues, e.g. traffic flow and cycling in the city centre and bike security.  We have other issues such as enforcement, reporting and following up harassment or collisions involving cyclists that we would like to bring into this discussion as this initiative develops.

  • We hope that in the future liaison can provide substantive items for discussion at CycleForum.

Appendix

CycleForum Cycle Schemes Sub Committee

DRAFT Terms of reference for information and consideration at SCC CycleForum 19.11.13

Background

  • Its become clear that the number of highway schemes and the need for consultation with cyclists are too much for detailed consideration at CycleForum in addition to its other business

  • This sub-committee is to look at the detail of highway development schemes wrt cycling including those promoted through planning applications and proposals not on public highway, but available for public use (e.g. parks), i.e. anything and everything that is not private.

What is the subcommittee going to do?

  • This sub-committee aims to look at the details of highway scheme developments wrt to cycling.

  • The details to look at will be the

  • scheme proposals in words and/or drawings

  • details of cycle audits and road safety audits for the schemes

  • relevant reports & comments from other organisations/ individuals e.g. RSAs, SYP, etc.

  • opinions of road users especially cyclists

  • It is anticipated that schemes can be looked at from inception to final signing off.

  • This will involve iteration through meetings and email discussions.

How does its agenda get set?

  • Items will be referred to the sub-committee by the CycleForum/SCC/cycling organisations.

  • Its deliberations will be communicated back to the relevant SCC departments and/or cycling organisations either directly by those attending or through the CycleForum

  • Summary reports of progress and deliberations wrt schemes will  be given at appropriate CycleForums

Who is on the sub-committee?

Membership will be

  • One person representing cyclists elected from CycleForum or their alternate

  • The SCC cycling officer or her/his alternate

  • One Highway Engineer from SCC in order to provide technical expertise, or her/his alternate

  • Other officers, engineers, cyclists and police officers to be coopted according to the schemes being considered

Where and when will it meet?

  • The number of meetings will depend on workload, it is suggested to start at a frequency of once a month.

  • Dates and times will be agreed in advance by the sub-committee

  • It will meet at premises arranged by SCC

  • Its business can also be done on email


Mick Nott

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