Cycleways’ AGM at the Fat Pug 14th November 2018

Chairman’s Address 2018

This year has one of ups and downs.  It didn’t start on a good note when the WCC showed plans to  create a roundabout at the Stoneleigh Junction of A46.  Initially there were no cycle facilities at all.   After some feedback they did include some shared use cycle paths around one side of the  roundabout.  Cyclists and pedestrians would then need to take their lives in their hands to try and  cross the slip roads entering and exitting the A46. They then had the gall to claim that they had  improved the junction by providing cycling facilities when the junction is currently fairly safe for  cyclists with all the slip roads on give ways.  After more feedback they finally added signal controlled  crossings for the slip roads.  This is better, but it is disappointing (but typical) that provision for  cyclists is not included at the start of the project as a matter of course.  The end result in his case is  tolerable, but not particularly direct and  will involve waiting for crossings to change.  With a budget  of over £20 million you would think that a little more spending would allow a dedicated cycle bridge    allowing a direct and continuous journey by bicycle.

The Stoneleigh Junction scheme is symptomatic of the County Council’s view that cycling is not  central to policy and a solution many current problems such as congestion, air pollution and general  lack of exercise, but rather something they have put up with the least amount of effort.  Hopefully  this is changing.  The Greens and Lib-Dems presented a motion to try to get the council to guarantee  funding for cycling.  The motion was not accepted as presented, but a motion was passed promising  to encourage cycling and to look at providing funding.  A small step forward perhaps?

As the year went we saw the completion or near completion of a couple of useful schemes filling  breaks in existing routes.  The extension of the Myton Road scheme beyond the Charter Bridge to  the Banbury Road now allows the link to the Gallows Hill and Warwick Technology Park. Another  scheme is the Hampton road and the racecourse in Warwick where after some negotiation the  Canter Down has been resurfaced and a short  stretch of cycle lane on Hampton Road fill in another  bit of the Aylesford to  Woodloes route.  

There were other developments that may not have made sense such as the cycle route on Priory  Road in Warwick with no proper way to get to it and out of it. However this is a work in progress and  later phases should address these problems.   

We have been sitting on the Cycle Forum which is the way WCC ‘consult’  the public.  The  attendance has not been very good, but it is good that we have had two County Councillors who are  both supportive of cycling, Cllr. Bill Gifford and Cllr John Holland.  The Cycle Forum has provided us  with some information on upcoming schemes including the developments along Europa way  

At our stall at the Peace Festival we had a lot of interest in what we do and what schemes are  coming along. and of course provided lots of information about where to cycle.  We were promoting  the dangers of air pollution, particularly particulates and the benefits of cycling.  It seem most  people have got the message, but still many see cycling as a leisure activity rather than a practical  means of transport. However, it still shows there is plenty of interest in cycling which we need to  build on.  

We have had a fund from the North Leamington to train children cycling.  It has proved surprisingly  difficult to spend this money, but we have managed to provide Lillington School with a funds to pay  for cycling training.

Chairman

Treasurer’s Report – copies were distributed to all those present, andapproved unanimously.

 Election of Officers:

  • Chairman re-elected.
  • Secretary re-elected.
  • Treasurer/Membership Secretary re-elected
  • Newsletter Editor re-elected

The AGM was followed by presentations by three WCC officers of proposals for Warwick, and the developments west of Europa Way, south of Leamington. For a cycle route between Warwick and Leamington along the Emscote Road to the junction with Prince’s Drive, Cycleways has been given a “blanksheet of paper” and asked to put forward their ideas, based on user experience.


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