November 2014

Minutes of the Meeting 24 November 2014 at 35 Bellot Street

1. Present: Mary Mills, Mike Shallcross, John Phillips, Ian Blore
Apologies from Susie Bennett
2. Approval of minutes of 17 June meeting (approved via email)
3. Matters arising from 17 June Meeting and AGM 6 October
MM suggested we write to Jackie Skipper apologising that we have not converted her talk to GIHS in May into a document. We have her powerpoint presentation and would like her permission to use the material in our presentations and publications. ACTION: MM
MM also raised the issue of strong support for a new tunnel at the AGM. It was agreed to highlight this in a press release that could cover our response to the failure of the Incubator bid by RBG (see 6 below). In the meantime MM offered to write to Anthony Austin of Greenwich Cyclists. ACTION: IB, MM
4. Finance
JP reported that we had received a donation of £10 and that our balance was £250. PayPal had been investigated but appeared not to be value for money for the relatively small amounts we would probably attract. It was agreed not to solicit funds from members but to await any major initiative to manage the tunnels.
In the meantime JP suggested that we do document any donations in kind and recommended that any financial expense be claimed.

5. Recent events (Bartlett IB, GLIAS MM, Noticeboards IB)
MM reported her article in Industrial Archaelogy News and a longer forthcoming article in Subterranean Britannica. She had also given a brief talk to Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society.
IB had assisted Bartlett (School of Architecture) in a student project about the Woolwich tunnel.
The noticeboards episode is under Item 6

6. Response to RBG on alternatives to TfL Incubator project
IB circulated Kim Smith’s report to us of the bid not receiving funding from TfL, but suggesting “exploring opportunities to take a solution forward…”. It was proposed that we could seize the initiative and suggest several ways forward based on the various public discussion fogwoft has stimulated – at the Inaugural meeting, around the online poll and at the AGM, especially. This was agreed so long as fogwoft is not seen as making recommendations but adding to the debate. Any future initiative would come from the Council and need to be fully consulted upon.
A wide-ranging discussion ensued that could be grouped into 3 approaches:
Maintain the current prohibition of cycling, but explore ways of reinforcing the prohibition. These appeared to consist of Better Signage, Pedestrian Permeable Barriers, or use of wardens and/or police.
Regulate Cycling by Traffic Flow (as envisaged by the Incubator project). A broad consensus in favour of using informatics emerged especially to regulate speed, to provide information (perhaps an App for lift status and congestion level) or to operate signage. It was suggested that the EoIs from firms associated with the Incubator bid be jointly examined by fogwoft and the Council.
Allow Cycling under Simple Conditions. IB reported that the Council is considering allowing cycling in Cutty Sark Gardens and a main cycle route may be open overnight (10pm to 10am) to allow the morning rush hour cycle traffic. Fogwoft forums have sometimes suggested this approach. It was agreed that such a simple rule may be explored in discussions.
It was further agreed to approach the Council at both officer and member level to open these discussions and suggest our terms of reference. ACTION: IB
7. Any Other Business
MM reported that Mike Neill had retired from Greenwich Council and a letter of thanks would be suitable. ACTION: MM
IB reported that several press articles on the tunnels had been removed from the noticeboard by the Council. It was agreed to express dismay at this at a suitable level and give advance warning that we would be posting another newspaper article. ACTION: IB