Hi all – and welcome to the December 2020 DCF newsletter! In it you’ll see everything the DCF has been up to in the past month. I’ll keep everything as brief as possible, and ask you to take occasional action – usually taking part in a consultation, writing to a councillor, or objecting to a planning application. Supporting cycling in Dundee in this way by making your voice heard is really important so please do if you are able! So, let’s begin…

Spaces for People

The Green Circular upgrades are now being implemented which is great to see! Have a look at our Facebook posts for more detail on the plans that we are aware of – there are more to come.

The proposed alternative solution to the modal filter at Riverside Approach is now being consulted on. The idea is for a segregated cycle route on what was the northbound carriageway of Riverside Approach to connect Magdalen Green with the Riverside path, with the southbound carriageway being one-way for motor vehicles. If you use the area at all, please take part in the consultation here – it only takes a minute! https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/MagdalenGreen/

Also in the West End, the initial stages of the district centre physical distancing measures have now begun. UNESCO and Service Design Academy – the same team behind the transformation of Union St – are running these so hopefully we’ll see something good! Again, if you visit/live/work in the area, please take part here: https://padlet.com/info5080/ikzjguw3yma02rav

With Dundee (and all of mainland Scotland) in tier 4 of restrictions, DCC has reinstated the modal filter at the Esplanade, which is great to see! Now more people will be able to safely exercise along that route, and people driving can still access the whole Esplanade apart from the area directly in front of the Barnhill Rock Gardens. If you live in the area, voicing support of these measures to your local councillors would be very useful – too often, vocal minorities shout the loudest and get their way, while people who are supportive say nothing.

We have also heard that the Ninewells-City Centre segregated link is nearing completion for public comment – looks like it will be along Perth Rd/Hawkhill, but all tbc! This will be very exciting to see, and Dundee’s first proper piece of segregated cycle infrastructure. Of course the devil will be in the detail, so let’s hope that we’ll be allowed meaningful input.

Bike Racks

The DCF and UNESCO had a nice spot publicising the bike racks on the STV evening news on 21st December which was a nice bit of positivity! I was asked to cycle on the pavement for the opening shot though…

E-bikes

The Embark by Ride-on E-bikes have now been rolled out for use by the general public! Prices are very reasonable and you can sign up here: https://rideondundee.com/.

Arbroath Rd

Almost overnight it seems, a shared path was being built along the South side of Arbroath Rd just west of Fairfield Rd! This despite a perfectly good pavement running alongside, and a very wide road which could have had space taken from it. Instead they decided to rip up green space and put down tarmac. Not even the Convenor of City Development was aware of this, and it seems DCC officers just cracked on and built this without really telling/consulting with anyone. On further investigation, it seems this was funded using CWSS (Cycling Walking and Safer Streets) money from Scogov; Sustrans did offer to fund the route if roadspace were taken, but DCC refused, and instead found funding from CWSS so that the route would not inconvenience motorists!

Mark Flynn has now requested that officers detail their plans for any CWSS money in their report before it goes to committee, so we will know what they plan to do. This little tale is another example of lack of transparency within DCC and officers doing as they please – good to see this being challenged.

The plan is that the route goes as far west as Greendykes, and also links to the NCN1 via the College and Gardyne Rd, Belsize Rd and Margaret Cres. There will also be toucan crossings over Arbroath Rd at Gotterstone Drive and over Dundee Rd at Margaret Cres. to complete this link.

Nice they’re thinking about this stuff, but it’s still not doing what they ought to be doing – taking roadspace when available and making cycling an everyday transport choice. Now that we know about the route, we can push for it to be far better!

Broughty Ferry – Monifieth link

It was confirmed last week that the Broughty-ferry-Monifieth link was awarded full funding – this will be a fantastic asset to the city! More info here, and on the project website here.

However, there is part of it – between Bridge Street and the Dighty Burn – that is inexplicably due to be a shared path. This is despite loads of space, the consultation showing people want segregation between walking and cycling, and evidence-based best practice. We have been told that engineers actually want to make it shared to slow cyclists down – not how you go about making cycling a natural and valid transport choice!


We will be writing, again, to represented members and Sustrans about this. If you can do the same and write to your councillors – especially if you live in The Ferry – it would be much appreciated.

Tay Road Bridge

Donald Baddon gave a presentation to the Tay Road Bride Joint Board (TRBJB) on asking them to apply for funding for a feasibility study into improving active travel along on the bridge.

After the meeting, it was decided that the TRBJB will form an active travel sub-committee who will meet every 6 months. The bridge manager has agreed to put this on the agenda for the next TRBJB meeting in March 2021. DCF, NFC, Sustrans and other active travel groups will be invited to meet with the sub committee to discuss how active travel infrastructure can be improved on the bridge.

Sustrans would still support – and 100% fund – an application from the TRBJB for a feasibility/options appraisal to improve active travel provision along the bridge. Hopefully we can help encourage the sub-committee to apply for this!

Planning

Planning objections

Only a couple of planning issues this month – one of these (20/00796/APCONL) is still available for comment, so if you can also lodge your personal objections that would be great. You can do this by going here (http://idoxwam.dundeecity.gov.uk/idoxpa-web/) and searching for the application using the reference code. Then go to the “comments” tab and submit your objection.

20/00796/APCONL and 20/00794/ADV both relate to the proposed Tim Horton’s drive through at Craigie Retail Park. Despite the drive through being refused at planning committee in November, Tim Horton’s have resubmitted planning permission to DCC and have appealed the committee decision!  We have, again, submitted objections due to the development being car-centric and eroding the vitality of local high streets, and will be writing to the Reporter (who handles appeals). 20/00796/APCONL is still open for comment, so if you can, please object.

Deputation to planning committee

DCF spoke at a deputation to the planning committee to ask that the councillors only grant planning permission to a housing development if sufficient cycle parking was provided. This was under application refs 20/00247/FULL (site 1 and 2) 20/00248/FULL (site 3 and 4) 20/00249/FULL (site 5 and 6) and 20/00250/FULL (site 7).

It was agreed that one space per flat would be provided, and that DCC officers would need to see full details of cycle storage sheds provided for houses, so a win!

Sadly though, 20/00250/FULL (a block of 12 flats) was refused planning permission because it didn’t provide enough car parking/would impact negatively on the surrounding traffic network.  There was space for one car per flat, the site is on a well-served bus route, and is close to the Green Circular. Ridiculous that the application would be refused on these grounds, and shows that the Local Development Plan really needs an update to make it less car-centric.

Meetings

Mark Flynn (Convenor of City Development) and DCF

We had an end-of-year catch up with Mark on all things cycling related – see the appendix for full minutes of the meeting. Overall very positive and Mark still as keen as ever to work with us on making Dundee a cycling city.

Consultations

DCC’s “City Centre Strategic Investment Plan 2030-2050” is still open for consultation (https://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/consultations-and-surveys/our-future-city-centre-strategic-investment-plan-2020-2050). The DCF is yet to submit a response, and would be great if you could submit personal ones as well – you can also get involved with the DCF response via Slack.

As mentioned above, the DCC consultation on an alternative solution to the modal filter at Riverside Approach is now being consulted on here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/MagdalenGreen/, and the initial stages of the district centre physical distancing measures are being consulted on here: https://padlet.com/info5080/ikzjguw3yma02rav

Thanks!

That’s all for now – thanks for reading! The Slack channel is the best place to stay up-to date on all things DCF. You’ll need to be a member of DCF to do this – the membership application form is at: https://www.dundeecycling.co.uk/join_dcf.php

If you are already a member and would like access, email  Steve (steve@biggreybox.net).

Until next month,

Russell P.

Appendix – Meeting with Mark Flynn

1 – Spaces for People update – School Streets, Ninewells-City Centre link, connecting communities and Schools, District Centres, Green Circular upgrades

Communities and Schools/School Streets:  The SfP interventions are progressing well and are at the final stages of the process

Ninewells-City Centre link: The route is due to be published for comment

Green Circular upgrades: Progressing well 

District Centres: Annie Marrs and team are engaging at community level

With Dundee going into level 4 Mark is requesting that the modal filter goes back on at the Esplanade and will also be discussing the riverside one with Ewan McNaughton (currently under consultation).

DCF also requested that a protected cycle link should be put in place between Stobswell and the City centre and Mark said that could be looked at as the Stobswell forum had also been asking for that.

Mark was also looking for a regulation order to prevent HGV traffic coming into the city using the Forfar Road.

2 – Commonplace engagement/consultation tools

Mark confirmed that the Commonplace tool would be used by officers from January 2021.

3 – CWSS funding which has been used for Arbroath Rd.

Mark confirmed it was CWSS funding used on the Arbroath Rd but without knowledge of councillors or anyone else. This will not be happening again. The details of what is happening have yet to be shared with the Development convenor. Mark to ask what the carbon footprint/payback of the works are.

4 – Problem with communication/transparency in transport team

Mark confirmed he is meeting with the Executive Director – City Development to discuss the need for some the operational team to start using up to date communication/engagement practices.

5 – ScotGov goal of 20% fewer car km by 2030 – how will DCC help achieve this?

Mark stated that DCC had wasted months carrying out pre-planning work which stopped SfP interventions being rolled out earlier (Which Glasgow and Edinburgh were able to do). DCF suggested that DCC should have a bank of shovel ready active travel projects ready to go, they could be reviewed periodically to ensure they were still fit for purpose. Mark agreed this was the way to go.

6 – Gritting of NCN1/77

Mark confirmed he had written to Sustrans/Transport Scotland looking for revenue funding for ongoing active travel infrastructure maintenance.

Mark thought that Dundee could go for a similar trial such as the Glasgow gritting one.

DCF suggested that John Lauder, Deputy CEO Sustrans and Executive Director for Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was the contact that the DCC Development Convenor needed to be in contact with.

AOB

Dundee – Monifieth path funding approved

DCF suggested that proper air pollution motoring should be carried out but welcomed the realisation from DCC officers that it was the volume of traffic that was causing the air pollution in Dundee. (Mark thought Lochee Rd would have lower air pollution levels recorded this year due to the reduced traffic during lock down).

There are scrappage grants for polluting vehicles of residents within 20km of a LEZ

Mark Flynn stated that TACTRAN were not funding/investigating any Park & Choose schemes in 2021 and DCF could raise this with  Mark Speed Partnership Director for Tactran.

Mark stated that the Eden Project work was progressing and it could be transformational for the city – very exciting!