Several members represented the campaign at the Leeds City Council Cycling Consultation Forum held at the Civic Hall on 20th January 2016. Below are some brief notes from the meeting. Official minutes taken by council reps should follow at a later date.
Tim Harvey gave a brief presentation about estimating both cycling levels and cycling casualty levels in Leeds. We were told it is notoriously difficult to measure cycling levels, therefore there are lots of assumptions made. Most data comes from the National travel survey which is conducted annually by the DFT.
The survey shows that cycling levels are much lower in West Yorkshire than the national average. (35 annual miles per person vs. 50 nationally). However, the trend is an upwards one with an estimated total of 80 million cycle miles per year up from 55 million in 2004 (West Yorkshire).
Looking at the totals for main roads, Leeds makes up 48% of the West Yorkshire total, and peak period cycling to Leeds city centre risen by 150% since 2004.
Casualty rates nationally are 1050 KSI (killed or seriously injured) per billion miles cycled. The rate in Leeds is higher than national rate, approximately 1.5 KSI per million miles vs 1.0 KSI nationally. Even more concerning is that you are 15 times more likely to be Killed or seriously injured on a bike than in a car (normalised for travel time). Although it should be emphasised that the health benefits of cycling still vastly outweigh this increased risk. However, it is clear that Leeds still has a long way to go to make cycling a safe and attractive activity for everyone.
West Yorkshire Safer Roads
Ewhen Chymera outlined the upcoming schemes as part of West Yorkshire Safer Roads.
Give cyclists room stickers have been developed in conjunction with the Club Cycling Forum. These are being printed and distributed. Other poster campaigns and schemes are being run. All fall within a £30,000 budget.
This matter is still ongoing but a commitment has been received that all First Bus driver trainers will be undergoing a training module about vulnerable road users. This includes bikability training, i.e. the instructors will be riding bikes on the roads.
Concerns were raised about this scheme, cyclists have complained about being vulnerable to buses turning right across their path as the buses exit Park Row. Tim Parry stated that there had been no reported casualties at junction. It has had a stage 4 safety audit and the complaints were passed on. Possible solutions have been proposed such as signage to remind bus drivers about the possible presence of cyclists, although it was clear from the responses in the meeting that a solution involving revised signal timings was preferred. This is to be investigated.
Parking enforcement of the superhighway will begin on 3rd May. The parking enforcement officers, will be provided with bikes to allow effective patrols of the whole length.
City Centre plans are expected to go out for consultation in May. Although this is a delay to the original scheme, it is expected that the city centre plans will be more ambitious due to additional funding.
Cycling starts here board (TdF Legacy)
Ray Hill gave an overview of the last meeting. A cycling strategy and action plan will be put out for for consultation soon. By the next forum in April, the consultation will be well under way.