First: you may have seen in the Recorder that half of Newham Councillors are now backtracking on the proposal to introduce a charge for a first parking permit in Newham. They have apparently been “overwhelmed” by requests to remove what is falsely described as a “regressive tax”
Newham Cyclists have been supporting a permit charge since October 2018, as a necessary and welcome element of rebalancing of Newham’s traditional discrimination in favour of motor traffic at the expense of active travel; and in line with all other London boroughs save one.
You are invited to let your local councillors know your views and would be welcome to draw on our earlier letter or the following (in italics). This takes account of the implications Covid 19 and addresses head on the fallacy that a charge for a first permit is a tax:
I am writing to ask for your support for the Council’s proposals for an emissions related charge for a first on-street parking permit, as does every other London Council save one.
This Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the absolute necessity for walking and cycling to be better promoted in Newham. The Council needs to do some catching up following a long period favouring motor traffic over walking and cycling. Without a significant change in direction Newham will continue to suffer from poor air quality and its crowded and polluted streets will create a hostile environment for residents and in the broader context the Council’s declaration of a climate change emergency will remain mere hollow words. We need to avoid a migration back to private motor vehicles in response to Covid-19 making public transport less attractive.
As one of the objectives of the charge is to address the overcrowding of our streets it would be right for electric vehicles to be charged, albeit at the lowest rate.
It is wrong to consider a charge for a first permit as a “tax” on Newham’s motorists. Rather it is the removal of an unfair subsidy to those better off residents of Newham who have access to a vehicle. The free permit does not even cover the administration costs of the parking scheme let alone address the “external costs” to the community of private use as a car park of public space.
Second: Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are being implemented slowly in Newham. In the meantime more evidence (as opposed to the noisy myths against) is emerging of their benefits. Please continue to talk to your neighbours about the benefits of LTNs.
Third: our next (virtual) meeting is on 25 January at 7.30pm. If you would like any particular item to be on the agenda please let me know. In any event this will be an opportunity for a full catch up.
If you would like further information on any of the above please get in touch at our e-mail address.
Richard gave us an update on the progress on implementing low traffic neighbourhoods and borough corridors where there is progress on both aspects
We then shared our best lockdown rides which also gave some ideas for our future ride calendar.
We decided to reinstate our Christmas lights rides within the constraints of social distancing.
Finally we welcomed Chris as our representative on the Epping Forest Consultative Committee.
If you would like more information on any of these matters or any other cycling issue in Newham please get in touchvia our e-mail or via our discussion group.
The LLDC and Newham Council have launched a consultation on Commonplace on how to improve Westfield Ave and the surrounding streets. The poor cycle facilities in this area is a matter on which Newham Cyclists have been campaigning for nearly a decade.
The deadline is 8 November.
In this document are some photographs of the area with our suggestions. Please feel free to use this in making comments or supporting the comments already made on the basis of this document.
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.
Join us on Zoom – Monday 26th 7.30pm
- Update on LTNs. Newham Council’s Principle Transport Planner will be joining us to provide up to date information and context.
- A discussion on format of meetings and making the group more welcoming.
- Westfield Ave walking and cycling consultation
- Other Cycling issues – a chance to raise any questions or comments on infrastructure; see the latest version of the chart of issues.
- Rides update
- AAA & market update
- AOB – please let us know ahead of the meeting if you have anything you would like to include
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.
Booking at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/discover-newham-ride-tickets-124125206835
Our September monthly meeting will take place on 28 September at 7.30pm.
This has been a busy and exciting time so lots to share and discuss.
- Infrastructure developments in rsponse to Covid-19;
- Events and partnerships;
- Wanstead Park.
Let me know if ther is anything you would like to discuss that is not on the agenda.
To join the meeting:
Meeting ID: 865 3918 4165
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.
See also the events page.