This is a working summary of key activities at the 2015 AGM, which was held in Leicester on the weekend of 27th/28th June.
We discussed widening the discussion that the board and the Embassy has, and agreed to set up a wider group to assist what we will now know as the executive board. These people will be board members, and will be able to get more immediate comms with the Embassy.
The proposed new affiliate members are: Hester Wells (Cambridge), James Gower (Maidstone), Jonathan Fingland (Manchester), Kevin Hickman (Witney) and Iain Longstaff (Edinburgh).
Original board members stepping down (but who will remain on the affiliate board): Katja Leyendecker (Newcastle), David Arditti (Brent).
Mark Treasure agreed to take on the role of ‘affiliate coordinator’. An Embassy policy document, which was discussed and analysed on the Sunday, will be shared for further comment with the (affiliate) board members.
Alex Ingram will take over as press officer; Joe Dunckley has stood down but is happy to remain on the board.
The accounts were agreed.
We discussed responding to consultations: it was agreed that Alex Ingram will take on the role of trying to better publicise the consultations which have been added, so that the Embassy can help respond to consultations, and better help local groups. We need to discuss this role and its output, with the expectation that it will change as we start doing it.
Meeting was very supportive and appreciative of the blog round-up, but also recognised Sally mentioning that she would like to be able to take a break from it. We agreed that we would seek guest editors once a month for the final blog of the month.
The Embassy agreed to allocate an initial £500 to procuring content for the site. The goal is to improve our coverage, reduce the number of incomplete articles, and see what content drives interest and engagement.
We have created a new shared document (public access) here, which lists the things we’d like to curate / create.
(See the presentation discussed, on Slideshare.)
A session on Saturday focused on cycling priority - how we can give clear priority to cycling at minor and major junctions (particularly the former), and why this is rarely happening in the UK.
There was clear consensus from the discussion amongst the participants that there aren’t any particular technical barriers to doing things properly in the UK. A large amount is achievable within the current regulations, and with sufficient knowledge and ambition.
After discussion, we found that where problems arise with giving priority at side roads, the root causes flow from issues of road classification and typology, and the incompatibility of certain road types. For instance - an example in Leicester we looked at involved attempting to create priority across a minor cul de sac entrance, but at the junction with a fast dual carriageway, with little or no space. The problem here is a ‘through road’ design butting on to an ‘access road’ design. Ideally the design of the main road should be replaced with a more appropriate distributor road design, such that priority can safely accorded to cycling.
This is an example of the usefulness of Sustainable Safety principles more generally.
Other matters arising - Elizabeth of LCCG felt it would be really helpful to have costs for generic types of infrastructure and interventions - not just for side road priority, but for cycling infrastructure in general. This is something the Embassy could possibly provide on our Knowledge Base wiki.
Hester of CCC also mentioned the importance of getting cheap interventions done as part of routine maintenance. Cambridge officers ask the campaign what they want done as part of maintenance.
We are planning some more ‘Twitter hours’ this year, in particular to address key documents (like the ‘canards’) on the website.
CTC / CN discussion
CTC and Cyclenation commented on changes they are making to modernise and it was discussed how the Embassy should relate to them. Cyclenation via Robin Heydon and Jonathan Trafford were clear that they continued to see more effort there to modernise and improve policy and support for local groups. Roger Geffen of CTC made plain that he saw a key historic difference between CTC and CN being that CTC had been a national organisation of campaigners, whereas CN was a national organisation of campaigns. CTC also has their own changes to governance, which would aim to modernise their structure.
From discussion expressed in the room it was clear that the transparency of modernised structures and the quality of refreshed policies and strength of national representation were seen as the goals to be reached.
Katja Leyendecker (Newcycling) expressed concerns about the strength and transparency of the national representation of local groups. She feels that currently local groups are left out of the process, when they have much to offer to national groups and processes.
Without the modernisation being complete there was nothing immediate to agree. Rather than wait to next year agreement was reached to allow both CTC and CN to continue with their respective changes, discuss again at suitable points and in just under six months around the date of the next CTC/Cyclenation AGM (24th October).