Readout from Annual Meeting 27 June 2022

AAA provided us with the hospitality of their premises at the Arc in the Park, Canning Town. We are very grateful.

In respect of the formal business:

  • The Draft Annual report (see earlier post) was approved.
  • The Annual Accounts for 2021/2 and the budget for 2022/3 (see earlier post)were confirmed, having been previously approved by the Committee to meet LCC deadlines.
  • The following Officers were elected. They will also form the Committee:
    Co-ordinator – Olawale Ajibola
    Interim Deputy Co-ordinator and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Representative – Jonathan Rothwell
    Secretary – Kate Byrne
    Treasurer – Bill Bremner
    Deputy Treasurer – Thom Sanders
    Infrastructure Representative – Chris Kershaw
    Rides Co-ordinator – Steve Smith

The lively discussion that followed covered a number of issues including the need for full consultation on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and the imperative to respond to the latest consultation on the subject found at newhamco-create.co.uk/en/projects/street-survey, health workers and cycling, the variety of cycle hire schemes in the borough, proposals for Tollgate Rd, the levelling up funding aimed at the south of the borough, Leytonstone Rd, the MSG Sphere, and the QE Olympic Park.

We also discussed some new campaigning tools we could make use of in the forthcoming year which promises to be busy and exciting..

Arnold

Annual Meeting 27 June 2022

A reminder that our Annual meeting will take place on 27 June at 7.30pm at the Terence Brown Arc in the Park.

As well as the usual formal bits (election of officers, approval of accounts, annual report. There will be an update on developments in cycling in Newham we will be setting our future direction.

Light refreshments will be served.

If you would prefer to attend by Zoom we are planning (and have successfully experimented with) a link. Let me now if you want the joining details by e-mailing newham@lcc.org.uk.

Arnold

Readout from 30 May 2022 Meeting

A select band avoided the rain to ride Cycleway 16 to look at Temple Mill Lane East, and in particular the crossing over the railway line. Whilst we were there only a small minority of those on bicycles used the eastbound shared path despite the considerable danger from westbound buses. We decided to formulate a list of possible solutions starting with a possible diversion of the buses.

Afterwards we discussed the follow up to the Climate Safe Streets Campaign in the light of the forthcoming meeting between ourselves and Better Streets/20’s Plenty with Councillor Asser.

Next meeting is the Annual Meeting on 27 June.

Arnold

News update

  • As the weather is looking suitable, May 30 meeting will be an evening ride in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a short stop at the end for (bring your own) coffee/beer and discussion. See events for details. Let me know if there is anything particular you would wish to discuss.
  • Arrangements for the June 27 Annual meeting are crystallising. It is likely to be at the Terence Brown ARC in Hermitage Rd Park (home of AAA) starting at 7.30pm, with light refreshments. Subject to IT constraints we will try to give a Zoom option.
  • We are leading a ride for the children’s cycling club at AAA – Ambition Aspire Achieve, from 10am to 1 pm on Saturday, 28 May. If you would like to help on this please let me know.
  • Our LCC Freecycle feeder ride is Sunday 29 May. There are a lot of sign ups!
  • We have sought a meeting post election with Councillor James Asser, the re-appointed Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainable Transport. This has ben done in conjunction with Jeremy Leach (20’s Plenty and London Living Streets).
  • We have contacted Will Norman (the London Mayor’s walking and Cycling Commissioner) concerning the importance of extracting the best active travel benefits from the Twelvetrees/Stephenson St Development opposite West Ham Station.

Arnold

Climate Safe Streets – response from Mayor of Newham

At the start of the first week of her second term as Mayor of Newham, we received the following email in response to an email sent by Simon Munk at LCC (Comments from us included in our response are set out in red italics):

Thank you for your email to Rokhsana, who is absolutely committed to reducing traffic, making our roads safer and enabling active travel. This was clearly outlined in the Newham Labour manifesto. As you say, this is absolutely in line with the Mayor’s priorities locally and Labour Party policy nationally.

Newham Cyclists recognise that the  Labour Manifesto does represent a step change towards rebalancing the Council’s approach  in favour of active travel.  We very much welcome a shift in priority and recognise the recently positive steps that have been made to promote active travel.  However given the low base from which Newham started it is important that this progress is not impeded by the conditions attached to the manifesto promises. In this context we make the following comments.

In her manifesto, the Mayor committed to:

·        Consult and work with residents to identify residential roads and areas in the borough that are affected by dangerous driving, rat-runs and traffic congestion to design schemes to make these roads safer, quitter and healthier for all our residents, including wheelchairs users and those with visual impairments and disabilities

Newham Cyclist’s ask was for Borough-wide low traffic neighbourhoods and cycle friendly connection between them. The low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) so far put in place, mostly in the north of the borough have proven to be successful.  It is time to go beyond simply identifying areas affected by dangerous driving and congestion.  Areas bounded by legitimate through routes (i.e. not rat runs) should be identified as potential LTNs and a rolling plan of implementing them in consultation with residents should be established.

·        Making our roads safer places by continuing to target dangerous driving and enforce parking rules across the borough, as well as launch a safety awareness campaign about electrical scooters and bikes 

The borough is still plagued by illegal parking as has been recognised for some time, including by local councillors.  To “continue” enforcement at the same level does not address this problem. Enforcement has to be improved if it is to become effective in accordance with the Newham Cyclists’ ask.

·        Continue to work with residents and TfL on accessible streets, public areas, improved green spaces, public transport facilities and a 20mph speed limit with a focus on making all residential streets safer

Most 20mph areas in Newham are on lesser used residential streets.  The real safety dividend comes from an enforced 20mph on busier through roads.   A start has been made in odd spots such as  Stratford Town Centre. Newham should follow many other London boroughs and apply a 20mph on all its roads (i.e. all but the A13 and A12 trunk roads)  

·        Continue to work with our schools and parents on the introduction of Healthy School Streets schemes across all schools in Newham to protect our children going to school

Schools should not have a veto on Healthy Schools Streets.

·        Install at least 1000 Electric Vehicle charging points across the borough to support the transition to cleaner vehicles, alongside 500 cycle hangars and the expansion of our cycle hire scheme with to encourage more cycle usage

The promise of 500 cycle hangers is notable amongst the active travel manifesto promises as being a concrete, unconditional promise that gives rise to true accountability.  It reflects a strong demand in a borough where where space in the flats and terraced houses that predominate is not available to store bikes. 

·        Work with Transport for London to expand our cycling facilities and cycle routes as part of our plans to create a borough-wide cycle network, including good quality cycle provision for Romford Road and Barking Road

Newham Council needs to recognise that Transport for London is not necessarily a benign promoter of active travel.  For example it has been the generator of an antipathetic  bus priority scheme on the Barking Road and continues to press for more poor quality schemes. Newham Council needs to insist on schemes that promote safe active travel when pressure from TfL is to the contrary. 

·        Continue to invest in our road and pavement resurfacing and repair programmes; investing at least £10 million a year. This will deliver a programme of resurfacing and patching works, pavement upgrades including those damaged by overgrown tree roots.

Newham Cyclists would welcome a separate capital programme for improvements specifically aimed at active travel.   Prolonging the motor vehicle- centric “Keep Newham Moving” facility is not it.

·        Continue with a borough-wide programme to repaint road markings and zebra crossings, alongside improvements to our streets with more trees.

There are further policies in relation to tackling climate emergency and greening the borough also in the manifesto. I hope this confirms the Mayor’s commitments in relation to your asks and she looks forward to working with residents to ensure this is all delivered.

Kind regards,

Katie 

Katie Clark I Political Assistant to the Mayor

London Borough of Newham

Readout from 25 April 2022 Meeting

A lot going on.

Events:

  • Around Newham Ride, 30 April
  • A round of maintenance and a ride with AAA on 21 and 28 May.
  • We are looking for availability to help with either maintenance or a ride on any of 18 June, 25 June or 16 July.
  • Freecycle Ride is 29 May. We are looking for more marshals. There are some LCC training spots left.
  • Regular Fix Your Ride 14 May.
  • Nature Reserves of the Lea Ride 15 May.

If you would like any more information on any of the above or if you would like to participate in any of them, please let me know.

Accounts: Bill presented the accounts for the year 2021/2. Our position is financially stable and we are well stocked with material for Fix your Ride. The accounts were approved subject to minor editorial amendments. They will appear in the annual report. A budget for 2022/3 will be produced for next month.

Infrastructure:

  • We have put in comments on the [Twelvetrees Park/Stephenson Street development] which provides some key permeability in an obstructed area. Given TfL presence in the area the Walking and cycling Commissioner has been alerted and after the election ward councillors will be lobbied. Individual submissions were encouraged. This is a connectivity map and this is the Newham Cyclist response.
  • At the Newham Council Regeneration and Housing Commission meeting of 21 April which was scrutinising the Council’s performance in promoting active travel we pressed in evidence for improved leverage of active transport benefits from the current rash of developments and learnt that the Council was contemplating full segregation for the funded Romford Rd scheme and learnt that there was likely to be a general bid for capital funding for active travel developments (which has been lacking to date).
  • We decided to pursue improvements for Temple Mills Lane where the layout creates conflicts between cyclists and buses. We would like to work with Waltham Forest Cyclists and are likely to include a site visit as part of our May meeting ride.
  • In the absence of early consultation we decided to urgently make our own plan for LTNs 5 and 6 (Woodgrange and Capel). Anyone interested in formulating these should get in touch.
  • Reactions to the currently temporary LTNs 3 and 4 on the Council’s commonplace site have been muted but generally favourable.
  • The Redbridge project for Centre Rd, Aldersbrook Rd, Lakehouse Rd and Blake Hall Rd was poor but served to emphasise the need for the Newham end of Centre Rd to be addressed.
  • The Vision Stratford document was interesting. Individual responses were encouraged.

If you would like further information on any of the above get in touch through the usual channels.

Arnold

Climate Safe Streets – Take Action!

If you haven’t already done so, please take a couple of minutes to email the Mayoral candidates & ask them to support our asks (see Arnold’s post below). As yet, we haven’t had pledges from the Conservative candidate, or the Labour incumbent – despite the Labour Party manifesto covering all the asks in some form!

https://lcc.org.uk/campaigns/climate-safe-streets-newham/

Climate Safe Streets Campaign

As part of the Climate Safe Streets Campaign LCC asked Newham Mayoral candidates to pledge to the Newham “asks” which were:

  • Borough-wide Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and cycle friendly connection between them.
  • Good quality cycle provision for the whole of Romford Road and Barking Road.
  • A 20 mph speed limit on all borough roads.
  • All schools to benefit from school street treatment.
  • Effective enforcement of parking rules across the borough.

To date a commitment to these asks has been given by the Green Party candidate Rob Callender and by the Liberal Democrat candidate Saleyha Ahsan.

I will update on any further commitments.

Arnold