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:
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.
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
· 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
· 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
· 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
· 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
· 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
· 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.
· 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.
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.
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.
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!
It was a beautiful, if cold, spring day for this ride. We took the central line to Epping and rode north east in and anticlockwise loop as far as the village of Matching. The historic church of St Mary the Virgin between Matching green and Matching Tye provided and interesting stop. We had a refreshment break at the Fox at Matching Tye before following the quiet lanes back to North Weald and reentering the flow of traffic into Epping.
We started with a discussion of the Climate Safe Streets Campaign and in particular our borough “ask” for 20mph throughout the borough. Jeremy Leach from the 20’s Plenty Campaign joined us and provided some horrifying statistics on the safety of some Newham main roads using crashmap.co.uk and the lack of 20mph streets in the south of Newham. He provided some positive news on the progress of the campaign for 20mph (notably, more boroughs adopting it, TfL fitting limiters on buses, EU rules on intelligent speed assistance, and a more enlightened attitude to enforcement). He advised pushing for a universal 20mph in Newham rather than on specific streets, and sought help in making local candidates aware of support for this – a principle we have consistently applied in consultation responses for some years now.
In the broader discussion on the campaign, the general view was that all our asks (relating to low traffic neighbourhoods, Romford & Barking Rds cycle provision, 20mph, school streets and enforcement of parking rules) were important. Members were urged to use the LCC campaign tool to e-mail the mayoral candidates and to approach local candidates using the same information.
We decided to lobby the Mayor of London to reverse the disappointing LLDC decision to give planning approval to the MSG Sphere and also decided to keep monitoring its requirements for transport improvements. We also decided to respond to consultations on the important development at Twelvetrees ParkThis provides an important opportunity for permeability and accessibility in an area severely lacking both and huge potential to open up good cycling connections. We can call upon a useful earlier Transport Assessment of the area.
In the past busy month there had also been consultation responses on Brampton Academy Highway Scheme, Pool St (QEOP), the Royal Docks and Beckton Riverside Opportunity Area Planning Framework Document and a planning objection to Velor park (site of the Showcase Cinema).
If you are available and would like to participate in any of the events mentioned please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. Also if you would like more information on any of the matter mentioned or other cycling issues.
Rather better weather than for our first Discover Newham Ride permitted us to catch Thameside at low tide following a cut through Beckton Park to Royal Albert Dock. Route map above. By the time we got to Cody Dock for coffee it was a great day for sitting outdoors. Exciting looking works are going on there. The other main interest on the ride was the sheer scale of the development currently going on in Newham. Hopefully this will include opening in up the route over the entrances to Royal Albert Dock, where the dock gates look like they are being worked upon; and further extension of the Thames path.
Our numbers were down for the first indoor meeting for over a year at a comfortable new venue in East Ham.
We heard about members’ progress on the Joyriders Challenge
We discussed the outcome of the positive catch up meeting with Newham Council. There is (funded) progress with the existing scheme of 7 Low Traffic neighbourhoods and the ongoing roll out of School Streets. Work is about to begin on Romford Rd improvements and there is a funded plan in place for the Leyton Rd from the borough boundary to Stratford. There are early signs that further low traffic neighbourhoods may come on stream. We have emphasised the importance of ourselves being involved at the planning stage. Also it would be useful to reappraise “old” low traffic neighbourhoods. A revision of the Cycling Issues Chart in the light of this meeting will be posted on this site.
Other infrastructure developments are dominated by large planning applications and planning framework documents. We are pursuing our policy of encouraging development money for cycle infrastructure from major developments and ensuring that documents outlining future planning in the borough reflects the need for improvement in active travel.
On future events: Our ride calendar is in place. We decided to continue our partnership with the AAA Saturday Children’s Cycling Club. This involves a session of bike maintenance in Canning Town and Stratford with, the following week a ride for the children. Fix Your Ride at Woodgrange Market starts again on 12 March. We decided also to organise a feeder ride to the Freecycle on the weekend of 28/9 May. Free ride leader and ride marshalling training is available from LCC over the next few weeks. We have received a request for cycle assistance for the Moonwalk overnight on 14/15 may. If you would like to participate in any of these events please let me know.
We decided to approach the Council about the apparent default to “Cyclists Dismount” where there are works that have disrupted cycle provision. Recent experience has shown that this is not always necessary and that works often require better signage.
Our annual meeting will take place on April 25. Details to be confirmed.
If you would like further information on any of these topics or other matters concerning cycling in Newham please get in touch.