Hi all – and welcome to the March 2021 DCF newsletter. It’s all positive news this month with a lot of exciting projects moving forwards!
As always, getting in touch with your local councillors and MSPs to voice support of these projects and of improved cycling infrastructure really helps – making our collective voice heard is very important, so please do this if you are able.
Spaces for People
The Stobswell Forum and UNESCO City of Design Dundee recently unveiled visualisations for pocket parks at Eliza Street and Craigie Street which will be implemented as part of Spaces for People by the end of May – these were designed in conjunction with the local community who identified these as key areas for improvement. They will reclaim roadspace in favour of public space for people, and are a great step forward!
Pop-up cycle route
We’ve now seen the plans for Phase 1 of the pop-up cycle route between the city centre and Ninewells via Ninewells Avenue and Perth Road. This phase ends just west of Harris Academy – Phase 2 will look to connect to the city centre via Perth Road and Hawkhill.
You can view the plans here: Ninewells Avenue – sheet 1, sheet 2, sheet 3, sheet 4, sheet 5, sheet 6, sheet 7, sheet 8; Perth Road – sheet 9, sheet 10, sheet 11, sheet 12, sheet 13. Also see the “works description” document here.
The route includes cycling space which is segregated from the road by wand orcas (see pic) – it’s really very promising to see roadspace being taken to provide segregated cycling in this manner and we’re very pleased to see it! It’s an extremely positive step to see DCC doing this and should be applauded.
There are, of course, issues – the main one being that where Perth Road is too narrow to provide segregated cycling space, a 1m advisory (painted) lane is being proposed. Such infrastructure has been proven to encourage close passes and is not recommended at all – we would far rather see these sections of road have traffic calming installed to create a safer environment for cycling, with segregation being provided where road widths allow. We are in discussions with DCC and SUSTRANS about this, and are hoping for a positive outcome.
DCF Scottish Election Manifesto
For this year’s Pedal on Parliament, and in advance of the Scottish 2021 elections, we’re asking Dundee politicians and members of the public to sign up to our manifesto. We want to make Dundee a cycle friendly city by tackling the barriers that prevent people of all ages and abilities from cycling everyday journeys, and would like your input to the manifesto – if you can have a look at the below and let us know what you think by emailing your feedback to email@example.com or getting involved in the Slack group, it would be much appreciated.
- Develop a holistic, long-term transport strategy which seeks to increase the number of journeys taken by active travel. This will need to include actionable goals and aim to develop of a safe and convenient active travel network in combination with high quality public transport and car reduction.
- Many Dundee policy documents are out of date and perpetuate car dominance. The Local Development Plan, Streets Ahead, Local Transport Strategy and Cycling Strategy need to be updated so that safe active travel is enabled and encouraged for people of all ages and all abilities throughout Dundee.
- End the practice of deliberately designing in contention between pedestrians and cyclists – high-quality segregated infrastructure should be the default standard, not shared paths.
- Ensure cycling routes are maintained in the winter. Introduce a city-wide default 20mph speed limit.
- Introduce a network of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods across Dundee
- Expand Car Free Zones to all schools.
- Positive plans on how Dundee will meet Scottish Government targets of a reduction in car km by 20% by 2030.
- Run Operation Close Pass on a regular basis in Dundee.
- Better connections for walking and cycling between the Waterfront and City Centre.
- Secure cycle storage provided to residential areas where storage is an issue, plus an increase in the required cycle storage in all new developments.
- Maximum, rather than minimum, car parking requirements in all new developments.
- Introduce traffic free “Open Streets” days in Dundee City and District Centres.
- Reduce on-street parking in the city and district centres, expanding the pedestrianised network (as seen in Union St) and creating high-quality and sustainable city and district centres.
Bus priority measures
Whist it’s great to see buses getting prioritised, it was clear to us upon seeing the plans that that cycling had not been taken into account at all. In fact, it seems to be less safe for cyclists at West Port; the plans now block a right-hand turn from Meadowside into Brown Street as well as forcing cyclists to merge in front of traffic after the bus stop at West Port. We suggested simple fixes such as installing a refuge to allow cyclists access to the right-hand turn into Brown Street, and a give-way line to give buses and cyclists exiting the bus lane priority over cars, but were informed this would not be possible because of potential queues of traffic reaching all the way back to the roundabout (80m!) This is clearly quite ridiculous and prioritises traffic flow over active travel and public transport – not what DCC ought to be doing.
Unfortunately the implementation of this scheme highlights there is much work to be done to change the culture within the Sustainable Transport and Roads Department – from completely failing to consult with us (I only received plans of the scheme in my capacity as a community councillor), to prioritising traffic flow, and making things less safe and convenient for cycling.
Dundee Cycle Hub behaviour change meeting
An initial meeting took place with partners across the city who are involved in active travel projects, to start a conversation about how the soon-to-open Dundee Cycle Hub can be used to facilitate driving these projects forward. It was great to see so many people from a wide range of organisations at the meeting – it’s clear the Cycle Hub will be a great asset to active travel in the city!
Active travel audit meeting with ARUP
ARUP have been commissioned by DCC to carry out active travel audits in Dundee. The project will involve looking at the wards of Strathmartine, East End and Maryfield, and to work with local people to identify improvements that could be made to encourage more people to walk and cycle more often for their everyday journeys. A new report will be created for each ward, whilst also considering movements between wards. The report will include masterplans with improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure and creating places where people can walk and cycle safely in a pleasant environment.
We were contacted by ARUP to take part in initial discussions looking at these three areas, with several areas of improvement being identified at a very productive meeting. Further meetings with other stakeholders and the DCF are due to take place to take the project further.
ARUP have also produced similar reports for TACTRAN looking at the North East, Lochee and Coldside Wards; however it seems that these have either been forgotten about or are being ignored. It is absolutely imperative that any findings from these (and any future) reports are heeded and incorporated into a city-wide sustainable travel strategy – we’ll have to help make that happen!
DCF meeting with Cllr Mark Flynn
The DCF met with Cllr Mark Flynn for an update on everything to do with active travel in the city – see here for minutes of the meeting which was very positive and shows everything is still moving in the right direction.
Deputation to budget committee
The DCF spoke at a deputation to the DCC Planning and Resources committee, at which the DCC 2021/22 revenue budget was being voted on. We brought up the fact that the NCN1/77 and indeed several foot and cycle paths city-wide are still being completely neglected when it comes to winter maintenance, and that this must be addressed by this coming winter to ensure people can safely walk and cycle these routes year-round. We received a very positive response from councillors, with Council Leader Cllr John Alexander stating that this would be seriously looked at.
Tay Road Bridge Joint Board meeting
DCF attended (as observers) the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board meeting where it was agreed to set up a short-life subgroup consisting of 4 cross-party councillors (two from Dundee and two from Fife) and stakeholders including TACTRAN, North Fife Cycling and DCF. The first meeting of the group is set for 9 April 2021 and DCF have submitted the the following agenda item:
“Carry out a broad-base feasibility study and options appraisal on how active travel can be improved on the Tay Road Bridge”
This wider feasibility/options appraisal approach is supported by Sustrans Scotland and would be eligible for 100% funding through the ‘Places for Everyone’ scheme.
Dundee Disability Hub meeting
DCF attended the first Disability Cycling Hub virtual meeting hosted by Kevin Rattray and attended by over 20 other stakeholders.
DCF will support the Disability Cycling Hub where we can and continue to champion infrastructure and interventions that will help make cycling an attractive and inclusive form of everyday transport in Dundee.
A nice little win – we objected to 20/00591/FULL a while back (conversion of a hotel on Coupar Angus Rd to 18 flats), and they’ve now changed the plans to include what looks to be a very high quality cycle store for 20 bikes! Details of the bike store available here.
That’s all for now – thanks for reading! The Slack channel is the best place to stay up-to date on all things DCF – email Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you haven’t got access yet.
Until next month,