As long ago as 31 July 2103 Councillor Conor Mcauley, then Executive Member for Regeneration,Â trumpeted in the Newham Recorder “Our vision is for Newham’s streets to be made more accessible for cyclists” and called for more of the Cycle Superhighway type of infrastructure in Newham.Â He ended “We’ll keep lobbying TfL to do their bit and deliver a cycle hire scheme and a cycling network that will benefit all.”Â This looked like a change of approach from the Council that had previously blocked Cycle Superhighway 2 through Newham. Completing CS2 to Ilford is one of Newham Cyclists Space for Cycling suggestions to which Councillor Patel of Manor Park signed up.Â It was included in Newham Council’s mini-Holland bid, but this was unsuccessful.Â Since then Â we have seenÂ no sign that Newham Council has pressed for this and it nowÂ appears to be dropped from TfL’s Cycle superhighway programme.
This unsurprising Â outcome is compounded by Newham Council’s approach to the existing CS2. Â It has secured the removal of a key section providing protection forÂ cyclists from being “left hooked” at the junction of Broadway and Tramway Avenue, leaving the current dogs breakfast, which needs a plethora of signs addressed to both drivers and cyclists to be careful. This change was demanded in the face of a safety audit that confirmed that this change made this junction more dangerous for cyclists.Â The reason? As the Council eventually admitted, this was to accomodate “driver misbehaviour”.
On 17 September 2014 Councillor CorbettÂ told the Recorder â€œThe Council has made clear to TfL the urgent need to fully address all safety issues at this location and review the design proposals,â€ he said. â€œThis should be done in conjunction with key stakeholders such as the council, police, emergency services and cycling groups.â€
” We will return to install the final, agreed design later this year once the local development works are fully completed, and remain committed to provide safe cycling infrastructure across London.â€
There has been no change to this unction, made more dangerous for cyclists by the actions of Newham Council itself.
On 3 December 2014 Â a spokeswoman for the Council misleadingly told the Recorder that the removal was at the behest of TfL, wrongly said that the Council only closed the risky sliproad (which is still open) and that the changes were done following unspecified “concerns” raised by the police and cyclists. The Council haveÂ now admittedÂ that these “concerns”Â were expressed by three cyclists who happened to randomly stop when Council officials were looking at the junction, but they have still to reveal the nature of these “concerns” despite two freedom of Information requests concerning this junction. Â There is no indication that these cyclists preferred the current situation to the protection provided by the CS2 with its “wands” i.e. the latest version provided by TfL.
At no time were Newham Cyclists consulted despite the latest in a series of claims that ” We value the views of Newhamâ€™s cycling community and are committed to ensuring that there are safe cycling routes in the borough.”