A well attended meeting was mostly taken up with an unpdate and discussion with Murray Woodburn, the Principle Transport Planning Officer of Newham Council. The discussion included immediate plans (and long term aspirations) for the the Romford Road and the next batch of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs). These are both major step changes but also entangled in London wide and national politics. However the Council remains supportive and iMurray outlined the steps it is taking to implement them.
The part implemented LTN (a partnership of Newham and Waltham Forest) has had a broadly favourable reception in contrast to the LTNs in some other London Boroughs and is already yielding some benefits, such as a radical reduction in rat running through Chobham Rd.
We raised some consequential and related improvements which we shall take up when the dust has settled.
The best way to communicate with the Council on the plans is via the Commonplace site. The latest plans for the Romford Rd can be found here. If you have any questions on these or indeed the LTN proposals please get in touch with us. We may be able to answer from the information we have or we can raise them with the relevant Council official.
We discussed the current Westfield Avenue consultation for which individual responses are needed. We hope to put out some guidance on this shortly.
There is also a further consultation on the MSG sphere. If you are able to help with formulating a response please get in touch.
We discussed progress on providing an archive of our cycle ride routes.
We also discussed how we could make the group more welcoming nd relevant to a broader range of those who cycle in the borough. Ideas raised included promoting ourselves at events more effectively, reaching out to a broad range of possible partners, starting rides around the borough and how we might hold meetings and events once the social distancing restictions are eased.
We decided to participate in Newham Heritage month in May 2021 and Bernard will lead on this.
The appearance of the first of the planned low traffic neighbourhoods in Newham has given rise to a good deal of discussion, some of it not based on evidence from other well established schemes.
Other local low traffic neighbourhoods are still in the pipeline.
Ealing Council have issued an interesting FAQ document setting out the case for, and the evidence concerning, “Street Parks” as they are being called in that borough.
A short factsheet more focussed on Newham indicates that the common issues that worry residents are either without foundation or are minor when compared to the proven benefits of low traffic neighbourhoods.
The latest in our leisurely and easy “Discover Newham” Rides will take place this Sunday 11 October. Pre-booking is essential and places are limited to 5 for social distancing reasons. For further details see the Events page.
We discussed the progress of the Council in implementing their proposed low traffic neighbourhoods and the temporary scheme for the Romford Road; and decided to produce a short factsheet addressing the most commonly expressed objections to low traffic neighbourhoods.
We decided to continue organising rides as far as social distancing permitted and seek to add easy local rides which would be particularly suitable for those seeking to increase thier confidence having recently returned to or started cycling.
Our partnership with AAA will resume with bike fixing sessions at the ARC, Hermit Rd on 17 October and 21 November and rides on 24 October and 28 November. We will be acting as AAA volunteers rather than as Newham Cyclists or the LCC.
Fix Your Ride at Woodgrange Market will take place on 10 October at Woodgrange Market.
We will look further into whether we have the resources to join the LCC Cycle Buddy scheme.
Redbridge Cyclists are seeking views on expanding the paths that cyclists can use in Wanstead Park. Comments by individuals can be make through email@example.com or on Facebook at wnstd.com/fwp.
A Discover Newham Ride will be run this Sunday 27 September . It will be easy paced, mostly off road and between 10 and 15 miles, starting at the View Tube. There is a limt of 4 who must register in advance
Do not turn up if you are displaying Covid-19 symptoms.
A lot has been going on and and there is still more to come. The Council have been working hard and with some success. We have been in close contact and are assisting as much as possible.
Here is a summary update of the cycling developments:
The joint low traffic neighbourhood with Waltham Forest, from Leyton Rd to Forest Gate north of the railway line, (see post of 6 August) has now secured external funding and physical barriers (modal filters) are in place. There has been a delay in procuring cameras for those modal filters that are not physical – hopefully not for too long.
Planning is in hand for 2 further low traffic neighbourhoods for which external funding has also been secured – a small one in Stratford Village and a major one covering the rest of the area from Water Lane to Manor Park north of the Romford Road. These need to be implemented before the end of October if the external funding is not be be at risk.
Plans are at an advanced stage for the first phase of making Romford Rd better for cycling, for which external funding has been secured. It is based on our suggestion of making bus lanes 24 hour, converting cycle lanes to mandatory 24 hours with segregation, and removing pinch points. Unfortunately our suggestion of a 20 mph limit has not been taken up. further work to deal with bus stops will be expensive adn is depended on further external funding.
No application was made to improve the Barking Road.
Existing Schools Streets are due to be restarted and more are envisaged. These would be self funded.
Self funding hs been used to restart some soft support measures like cycle training.
The focus of the Council and ourselves is on implementation of these schemes, which if put in place will mark a step change in the borough. We shall be looking at other schemes, both large and small, when the heat has died down a bit on these.
Should you wish to know more please contact me. And in any event keep supporting cycle infrastructure improvements and keep making suggestions for improvements on the Council’s portal. This will help keep the current momentum going.
In addition to the Joint Low Traffic Neighbourhood outlined in the earlier post Newham Council is advancing further Covid-19 related work on the Romford Rd and two more low traffic neighbourhoods (covering Stratford Village and the rest of area north of the Romford Rd from Water lane to Manor Park. Whilst Newham Council is self funding the joint low traffic neighbourhood it has secured external funding (in principle) for these other schemes.
Do promote the benefits of low traffic neighbourhoods amongst your friends and neighbours as there is likely to be a backlash from Newham’s entrenched motor vehicle lobby.
Our next Discover Newham Ride will be on 6 September.
We are planning to attend this cycle safety event in Plaistow to talk to local cyclists and to help with minor adjustments and maintenance.
We reported back on the positive introductory meeting of the Committe with Councillor Nilufa Jahan, recently appointed deputy to Councillor Asser for the environment and transport portfolio.
We discussed progress on the Newham Covid-19 response in respect of walking and cycling. Whilst pavement works had visibly progressed this was not the case with low traffic neighbourhoods and cycle lanes along borough corridors. We agreed to pursue further information on progress. A further batch of funding opportunities were coming up in the next few weeks.
Additionally we agreed to seek further information on (a) what was happening at Jenkins Lane where cycle facilities had been taken away, (b) whether Newham’s cycle training was returning and (c) any plans specifically for the return of schools in September.
We agreed to liaise with Extinction Rebelliion on their proposed “cycle caterpillar” – likely to take place on August Bank holiday; and with Better Streets for Newham.
We did some adjustment to our rides calendar.
The Committee will look at making aviable on our website the routes of our rides, favoured cycling routes in the borough and an archive of the minutes of our meetings.
If you would like further details or background do not hesitate to get in touch.