Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Notes from joint meeting with Leicester Sustrans group

Jane and I attended a joint meeting with the Leicester Sustrans group on 19th June in Leicester. The meeting was arranged by Katie AT (Sustrans Volunteer Coordinator) and was attended by Patrick Davis (sustrans Area Manager) and about 10 rangers from the Leicester Ranger Group.

The meeting was enjoyable and informative and an opportunity to meet so fellow rangers in one of our neighboring group. The Leicester group has a big patch which includes the city centre but also extends as far east as Market harborough. The two groups meet along route 63 at Bagworth. They have about 20 volunteers on the books and so are quite a big group. Their liaison ranger has just stepped down and Rory James has just taken on the role. At the meeting they decided that their priority is on route maintenance and signing. With some town centre and off road sections this is a much bigger challenge for them than us.

A few other points of interest that arose at the meeting:
  • Lush (the new bodyshop?) are cycling from store to store using the NCN whereever possible - they are looking for some assistance with routes
  • Leicester Skyride happening again this year - planning is just starting
  • I am going to hold an events pack (promotional material) for use by both groups
  • Useful Sustrans contacts:
    Andy Cope (route monitoring)
    Jane Chapman (signing Guru)
    Kate Jones (events)

Sustrans promotions (more info on )

  • “more haste less speed” – getting authorities to act with more haste to help develop sustainable travel solutions. Aim is to double the number of sustainable journeys by 2020
  • 15 year anniversary of NCN – Sept 11th
  • Smilelage / free your bike – fill in a form and get back info pack about cycling locally to you
  • Fresh Air Miles rides September – currently about 30 of these in planning
  • Bike Week 19-27 June
  • Change You World 28 June- 3 July – swap a car journey
  • Festivol 16-19July now has 80 people signed up (limit is 100)

Saturday, 1 May 2010

NWL Cycle Map

LCC / NWLDC are producing / publishing a cycle map for North West Leicestshire. This will be along the same lines as the Hinckley cycle map with rural NWL on one side of the map and urban areas Coalville (and probably Ashby) on the other. The map will actually be produced by Cycle City Guides and it is planned to be published in early autumn.

Keith and I have been invited to sit on the working group to develop the map and the first meeting was held at Moira on 22nd April. In addition there were representatives from the National Forest, CTC, LCC and NWLDC. There was some discussion at the meeting over the format and content of the map, but this was pretty much a done deal given that they had recently produced the Hinckley map -that said the Hinckley map is pretty good.

We got given homework!! We were given some rural maps of the NWL area and some coloured felt pens and they want us to use our local knowledge to mark up the maps with recommended cycle roads and routes. We have to complete this by 7th May and there will be a follow up meeting arranged to review (date tbc). Keiths' Castle Donnington work can be input to the map - albeit in rather less detail. At some point we will be given the urban maps of Coalville and Ashby and will need to go through a similar process - Joseph's input would be particularly useful at this point.

We will also need to think about launch and promotion.

At the meeting Alan Leather (National Forest) gave an update on plans for a National Forest Cycle Centre. This will be a purpose built mountain bike centre targetted at beginners with about 8 miles of green and blue trails. The site is about 160HA just outside of Moira. Plans have been passed, funding is in place, construction is due to start in the summer with completion in March 2011.

I also asked about the Leicester city centre map and was told that its publication is imminent! so that's good news.

If anybody would like to contribute to the NWL maps then please let Keith or myself know.


Route 52 gap through Coalville - meeting with NWLDC

The meeting with the district council on Wednesday 31st March 2010 went ok. I had a chat with Steve McCue and one of his colleagues (Richardson?) for twenty minutes or so.

Discussion re: the 'hole' in the 52 in central Coalville

NWLDC is committed to the "Coalville Vision" plan, which would see developments along several parts of the proposed NCN52 route through Coalville. NWLDC will not put in a cycling facility and then have to withdraw it a few years later. Consequentially, NWLDC do not envisage completing the route until they have made progress with the Coalville Vision plan. Steve McCue to check with the Planning team and ask if the NCN52 is integrated within the Coalville cyclcing plan and what cycling routes they plan to develop in the Coalville area.

My suggestion to put up plastic boxes containing maps of the town centre was supported. Leicestershire Orienteering club has put some similar boxes up in Snibston Discovery Park and they are quite good.

I agreed to have a look at boxes for these and then to ask Sustran to clear it as an expense. I have also had a look for a better map and the map in the middle of the new 'Coalville Town guide' is very good- it just needs one of two streets tacking onto the white space on the left. I'll contact NWLDC and ask them to help me with this.

Cycling promotion in NWLDC

NWLDC can arrange promotion for led rides quite easily. They are looking at led rides around the following weeks:

National Family Week 31st May-6th June

National Bike Week 19-27 June 2010

Their led rides are normally organised by the CTC. It was suggested that we should co-ordinate our efforts with them.
The big event in Coalville for Family Week is a picnic at Snibston Discovery Park on Monday 31 May 2010 12:00 - 15:00. This might be a good place for us to have a stall or hand out some leaflets.

Joseph North