As we will not be having an August meeting this is a catch of of what has been happening and a preview of what is going on in September.
Our Fix your Ride facility has been in great demand. Whilst we were not able to do our usual Woodgrange Market stall this month we have been on the road with two sessions in the Royal Docks with Newham Wellness on 3 and 4 August, for a Sikh charity ride on 8 August (see picture) and with Dovetail on the Carpenters Estate on 20 August.
There is great demand for Fix your Ride. If you would like to help in fixing or simply advising on cycling in Newham let me know. Our normal Fix Your Ride service resumes at Woodgrange Market on 11 September and there will be a Further opportunity at the Ambition Aspire Achieve Charity Festival (to mark their 5 years and as a tribute to their founder Kevin Jenkins). We have been working with AAA for a number of years supporting their Children’s Cycle Club.
Our ride calendar has been disrupted by the pandemic but there will be a Newham Ride on 29 August – see events section.
Finally there are a number of important infrastructure developments.
We have suggested ways of alleviating the dangers caused to cyclists by the long term diversion of heavy goods vehicles from Stratford High Street.
We have supported Redbridge Cyclists in respect of (poor) proposals for Centre Rd, Aldersbrook Rd, Lake House Rd – important connections to the north of Newham.
We are considering a raft of “bus enhancement” proposals for the Barking Rd and Plaistow High Street which do little if anything to improve cycling along what are recognised by TfL to be among the most important strategic cycle routes in London.
Please get in touch if you would like more info on any of the above.
On Saturday we were delighted to lead our first ever Pride Ride as part of the events of Forest Gayte Pride! Less than 10 miles of easy riding, but we managed to take in 4 historic LGBT venues in Stratford & Maryland as well as the only one still existing in the borough as we passed through the Olympic Park.
Numbers were a bit lower than hoped, as less than half of those who had booked actually turned up, but everyone who joined us – most of whom hadn’t ridden with us before -had a great time and the sun shone upon us!
Most riders really embraced the spirit – wearing rainbow colours (beautifully demonstrated by Steve and Anita!) and flags decorated our rider leader and all our marshals’ bikes.
Most of our route was on quiet roads – other than a small section on Romford Road and Woodgrange Road, where we were reminded of the lack of good infrastructure for cycling! However, we really enjoyed the majority of the ride which took us through LTNs and were a delight!
Pleasant weather for an evening ride from Canning Town through the Royal Docks Corridor and on to the Red Lion at East Ham. The purpose was to look at the route being currently consulted upon, which ends on 30 July. We have already fed in a detailed collective response (which can be provided on request) but individual responses are needed. The main issues that became apparent were:
The northbound section at Canning Town bus Station.
The width of the cycle lanes/tracks.
Avoiding left hooks at main junctions.
Priority for cycle lanes at junctions with minor roads.
There was a lot of catching up in the discussion afterwards:
We are going to do Fix Your Ride sessions in the Royal Docks area; at Waterside Park E16 2FN on 3 August and at RADLAC, Albert Rd E16 2JB on 4 August – each from 10am-4pm (with breaks). If you would like to help on either of these days, even if for a part only, please get in touch with me.
Funding is available for improving access to green space through the Grow Back Greener Fund. If you have a good scheme for a parklet let me know. There are a few weeks to formulate a scheme.
Next rides are Forest Gate Pride on 14 August and a Newham Ride on 29 August – likely a boundary of the borough ride to take in the current Roding way route and look at future possibilities.
We have met with the re-formed Redbridge LCC and have current shared issues with the poor proposals by Redbridge Council for Centre Rd and Aldersbrook Rd. consultation on the Aldersbrook Rd scheme was previously limited to residents of the Aldersbrook Estate, but has not been widened, so Newham users can make their views known.
We discussed how to campaign for improvement on the Leyton section of Quietway 6. This will be picked up by the Committee.
We discussed developments in the QE Olympic Park including the forthcoming opening of Monier Rd Bridge. There is progress but slower than we would have liked. We will invite an LLDC rep to our September meeting.
We are continuing to film routes – so all ideas for routes to film gratefully received.
Stratford High Street is going to be subject to major works so we discussed how best to ensure cycle safety, particularly at Marshgate Lane which is likely to get busy. This will also be picked up by the Committee.
The Greenway ramp to Newham Hospital has opened at long last. Huzzah!
If you would like further information on any of the above please get in touch.
The monthly meeting which would have taken place on Monday 28 June has been cancelled. We had planned to combine an evening ride with a meeting but that is now difficult due to the extension of social distancing requirements.
We had beautiful weather for riding through the countryside on Newham Cyclists’ first venture into deepest Essex since lockdown. We visited North Weald station and saw the heritage trains . We also saw a couple of WW2 aircraft in the sky overhead. Despite a navigational error by the ride leader, including a few extra miles, we found our destination after an unplanned but welcome lunch stop in Ongar. Greensted church was as picturesque as ever and the team felt that we had rolled over quite a few hills and byways by the time we got back to Epping Station
Richard Wadey provided a wide ranging overview of Newham Council’s progress in implementing its Cycle Strategy. Key points emerging from his presentation and follow up questions:
Of the 33 priority cycle routes it identified plans were in place or being developed for beneficial interventions on 19. But implementation depended on funding, which was being sought from a variety of sources.
The low traffic neighbourhood strategy was not part of the original cycle strategy but has been added since. LTN’s would complement and in some cases enhance the plans for the 19 cycle routes.
In some cases compromises were necessary especially in relation to bus priority schemes.
Pressure on staff time was a significant constraint on progress.
There was a build up of demand for cycle hoops which the Council were not currently meeting.
An invitation was extended to all to provide any infrastructure ideas which would be collated with our existing checklist and pursued at the resumption of catch up meetings with Council Officers.
John Morris was appointed Deputy Co-ordinator. He has a special interest in outreach.
In relation to events and partnerships:
Fix your Ride is continuing at Woodgrange Market on the second Saturday of each month and we were responding positively to a request for some midweek sessions to support community activity on the Carpenters Estate.
There is an opportunity to assist in a Woodcraft Folk cycle project.
The AAA children’s cycle club has resumed at both The ARC in Canning Town and Abbey Hub. Details of opportunities for us to resume this partnership will be pursued by e-mail and discussion group.
Jonathan outlined positive developments in the QE Olympic Park where LLDC have appointed a expert sustainable transport officer.
Our rides programme is progressing and country lane rides are resuming. The number of no shows after booking has been disappointing.
We had been invited by the Council to attend a resumption of Traffic Management Liaison Meetings, where infrastructure developments would be discussed with official bodies such as ambulance and police.
Our programme of video’s of rides was continuing.
If you would like further information on any of the above please do not hesitate to get in touch.
For our next ride we are taking the tube from Leytonstone to Epping and, as part of a 20 mile circuit, riding to Greensted church. The plan is to meet at 9.30am on 13th June at the cafe on the south side of Leytonstone station. The route, while relatively short will include some hills, therefore you are likely to need your gears. You will also need to book
Our intensive short season of local rides suitable for those new to cycling kicked off on 25 April with a River Ride taking in the banks of the river Lea and the north and south banks of the Thames between Woolwich and Greenwich. The weather served us well but we did have to carry bikes down to the foot tunnel at Greenwich . A lovely way to start our transition from lockdown.
The following Sunday was our ride to help launch GoParks Newham. We took in over 20 parks including an excellent coffee and cake stop in Central Park and a stop at the East Ham nature Reserve.
The route is available on the GoParks Newham website. It shows the all the parks in Newham and our ride demonstrates access by sustainable transport
An interesting and worthwhile jaunt of 23 miles.
The following Sunday, 9 May, we tried out a new local ride – Beating the Bounds of Newham where we kept a closely as we could to the boundaries of Newham using paths and quiet roads. Using Quietway 6 to cross the north of the borough we then followed the rivers Roding, Thames and Lea. The main disappointment is that the pathway is not open to allow cycling to the bottom of the River Roding and on to the Royal Albert Dock.
A 20 mile ride of tremendous variety and interest.
Two more rides complete this short season – a 10 mile west ham themed Bike from Boleyn on the final day of the Premier League season – 23 May; and another “Call the Midwife” themed ride around Poplar on 30 May.
And with lockdown easing we shall be turning to some longer country lanes rides.