On Saturday 25 May a team of Newham Cyclists took a group of enthusiastic children from the Saturday cycle club of the Canning Town based charity “Ambition, Aspire, Achieve” on a ride of the Greenway and Olympic Park.
Sunday saw a large group of 20 – from Newham and other areas of London take our latest leisurely Newham Ride.
Its 15 miles took in the Greenway, Gallions, the Thames to Woolwich, the Royal Docks and the River Lea. The weather was excellent for the duration of the ride and we even managed to navigate though crowds of comic book heroes at the Excel Centre. Once we were back the weather deteriorated.
Our next ride is the longer “Cake Mountain Ride” on 9 June before reverting back to another Newham Ride, using a slightly different route, on 16 June.
20 gathered in an upstairs room in the Red Lion High Street South for our Annual Meeting.
The following Officers were elected.:
Co-ordinator: Arnold Ridout;
Deputy Co-ordinator: Kerena Fussell;
Treasurer: Bill Bremner;
Rides Co-ordinator: Steve Smith;
Local Infrastructure Rep: Olawale Ajibola;
Deputy Infrastructure Rep: Chris Kershaw;
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Rep: Jonathan Rothwell.
A draft Annual Report , Annual Accounts and Budget were approved.
Away from the more formal business:
Terry Patterson, LCC Trustee, expressed her appreciation of the groups work over the past year and asked members to consider standing for posts as LCC Trustees.
Louis Martin, from Fossil Free Newham, recalled that Newham Council had now voted unanimously to to go “fossil free”, explained what this entailed and reminded us that vigilance was needed to ensure that this vote was put into practice.
In response to Steve’s report on rides, there was discussion on categorisation of rides.
Olawale outlined developments following Newham Council’s successful bid to take part in TfL Liveable Neighbourhoods initiative in Custom House and prospects for the principles to be applied in the Stratford/ Forest Gate areas in partnership with Waltham Forest. Murray Woodburn, from Newham Council, supplemented this and delivered the news that 5 pilot “School Streets” initiatives had been agreed.
Our discussion on how to communicate better and in a changing environment resulted in a call for a single regular e-mail newsletter to replace the Borough insert into the London Cyclists magazine and continued use of the Yahoo Group for urgent communication – backed up by continued use of social media.
We discussed forthcoming activities including a possible Councillor Ride, and a partnership event with Stratford Original on 13 June during Bike Week.
The weather was not what Newham Cyclists have come to expect, being rather chilly and dull. Nevertheless 6 of us – the “naturalist wing” – set out for a short jaunt taking in Walthamstow Marshes, Walthamstow Wetlands, the Middlesex Filter Beds, the fringes of Hackney Marsh, and the northern (and greener) part of the Olympic Park. The cycling was broken up by a coffee stop and short wander around the reservoirs of the Wetlands. An excellent variety of different birds were seen, and we were reminded of the quality of the green spaces in our quarter of London. Thanks again to Robin for his photography skills.
Our Annual Meeting will take place at the Red Lion, High Street South between 7.30pm and 9.30 pm. It will be mostly a social occasion and a chance for discussion with our guests. There will be some formal business.
We met at Stratford Library – a new venue – thanks to Trevor Mbatha. there was the usual crowded and interesting agenda.
Laura Shelton, a Crossrail Walking and Cycling Ambassador started us off, being available to mark bikes before the meeting. At the meeting proper she explained her role and some of her ideas for increasing cycling around stations and for staff. She explained that current policy will be for Crossrail to carry bikes – off peak- over all its lines (including the central underground tunnel.
Richard Wadey (Newham Council Sustainable Transport Officer) unravelled how Newham was proposing to spend the £2-3m pa TfL funding to promote the Mayor of London’s Transport Policy. For details see the earlier post of the catch up meeting with him. Headlines are that the big ticket items will be for (a) progressing design of Liveable Neighbourhoods (Forest Gate North in partnership with Waltham Forest and Woodgrange Estate). These would link to TfL’s accelerated interest in tackling the Romford Rd strategic cycling corridor; (b) forwarding design for some other strategic cycle corridors and completing improvements to Greenway and its ramps (e.g. at Newham General, Upper St) and a path through West Ham Memorial Park; (c) progressing design for key junctions on TfL’s identified strategic cycling routes, particularly the Barking Rd and (d) continuing the successful training and cycle hanger programme. He also explained various potential sources of funding to convert design into actual infrastructure. This is in addition to the Freemasons Liveable Neighbourhood for which Newham’s bid was successful, and other projects on the fringe of the borough such as Ilford Hill, the crossing of the Roding at Ilford and the Ilford to Barking route.
Trevor led discussion on the proposed “Greenway Challenge” event he was promoting on either the first or last Sunday of Bike Week. He had set up a number of partnerships already to get this event off the ground and we indicate a positive wish to help.
Also during Bike Week we decided to seek 13 June for a Bike Week partnership event with Stratford Original to promote and celebrate the improvements brought by the removal of the Stratford Gyratory.
Jonathan updated us on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the disturbing approach of the LLDC (the Planning Authority) whose current Design Guidance includes some real cycling howlers. We are going to have to get down to detail to update them not only on current practice but also to bring to their attention the historic mistakes make in the QEOP.
Richard Stevenson is pursing a Councillor Ride to ensure that the Newham Councillors who cycle get a better idea of what cycle infrastructure is possible and in place elsewhere.
Partnership Rides with Clapton CFC on 27 April and Bike from Boleyn on 4 May are coming up. A chance to mix football (of your choice) with cycling. And of course our own ride season is now in full swing.
Our Annual Meeting will take place on 29 April at the Red Lion 80 High St South East Ham 7.30pm to 9.30pm Light refreshment will be provided. Whilst predominantly a social/discussion event with guests we will have some formal business, particularly the election of Officers. Anyone who would like (or think they may like) to take a more active role in Newham Cyclists is encouraged to put their name forward. We want to continue to be a vibrant group.
Every few months we have a “catch up” meeting with the Newham sustainable Transport Officer (Richard Wadey). A chart accessible through this link records the outcome of this meeting by reference to some specific major cycle infrastructure issues. Some headlines:
-The chart references areas affected by the draft LIP bid.
-There has been an increase in cycling in Newham on CS2 and the Greenway (Quietway 22).
-Cycle training has a high demand.
-There is also a High demand for secure cycle storage.
Any question please contact me through the Newham cyclists contact e-mail.
A crew of 14 met at the Velodrome to discuss a wide range of topics:
We are expecting shortly to receive a copy of Newham’s Local implementation Plan (which sets out how the Council intends to spend its TfL transport infrastructure grant). This will need detailed consideration. TfL are expecting to announce their funding for Liveable Neighbourhood projects. we are optimistic that there may be one in Newham.
There was an update on the Stratford Gyratory cycle event run that afternoon afternoon by Newham Council. It gave an opportunity to chat generally with Council Officers. All “snagging” suggestions” for this scheme to go to Olawale (our Local Infrastructure Rep) for him to collate. we need to keep an eye on the restoration of bike parking and enforcement.
Our April meeting will be our Annual Meeting with guests. We will be electing officers and anyone who would like to contribute as an officer would be welcome. Formal notice will be issued later. We will also pursue a private meeting with key Councillors.
We discussed arrangements for a new partnership ride with Clapton FC from the Old Spotted Dog to their game at Wadham lodge on 27 April. Bike from Boleyn, another football related partnership ride, is scheduled for the following Saturday.
We discussed our contribution of organising a ride to support the relaunch of Redbridge LCC starting at the Quaker Meeting House on Bush Rd 2 March, 11.00 am.
We discussed suitable responses to the reconsultion on proposals to remove humps in Capel Rd.
We discussed a possible partnership with Stratford Original (a business improvement project) who are planning a event related to the new Stratford town centre layout.
We discussed the Council’s unsatisfactory plans for Greengate St/Barking Road and decided to take the matter up at the political level based on our response to the consultation.
We discussed development in the Olympic Park and Westfield, noting LLDC’s reluctance to follow the London Mayor’s new cycle standards, and the opportunity to leverage development funding for sustainable transport improvements.
A goodly crew of 15 gathered in Durning Hall, Forest Gate on 28 January for our first meeting of 2019 and the first for a couple of months. There were a number of interesting developments.
We discussed the briefing given by Murray Woodburn on Newham’s Local Implementation Plan (LIP) which is the bid for money from TfL for infrastructure projects. The bid has not yet gone to TfL to the change in the responsible Newham Cabinet Member, who had yet to approve it, and we were not shown any specific details. However from what Murray was able to show us from the general principles governing the bid were strong on sustainable transport. This year TfL are scrutinising LIP bids closely to ensure they contribute to the Mayor of London’s Vision and LCC itself is also looking at them closely. If the bid meets the principles it should pass these tests and, more importantly, progress sustainable transport in Newham.
Queeen Elizabeth Olympic Park: Following our letter on the inadequacies of the cycling provision in the Park (see earlier post), we have sent objections to LLDC in respect of the cycling provision included in the Stratford Waterfront proposal. Jonathan will represent us at the next meeting of LLDC’s Sustainable & Active Travel Group. Olawale is pursing a possible link with the Bobby Moore Academy which is also interested in pushing sustainable transport.
Olawale updated us on an audit rides of the Ilford – Barking-Barking Riverside and CS3 – Barking routes. He also reported that the “Ilford Gardens” scheme to improve Ilford Hill and the Romford Rd /North Circular junction was lilkely to start this year.
We decided to pursue an invitation from Stratford Original, the local Business Improvement District Group, to mark the completion of the Stratford gyratory works (when it happens). We are also pursuing various issues connected with these works.
We will contribute to the relaunch of hte Redbridge LCC group.
Our ride season has kicked off (see previous post). we tweaked our calendar.
The prompt reply from Councillor Ali is as follows:
Dear Arnold, many thanks for your email and attachments covering your concerns regarding the above.
Clearly cycling and walking facilities are an integral part of our sustainable transport policies and great assets to help improve quality of air, health and well being of our community. You may be aware that later this month and in early February, the Council is having extensive public and stakeholder consultation in this regard and I look forward to contribution from groups like yours there.
I have forwarded your concerns to our officers for an update to
myself and Cllr Tripp. Once I have this, I will get back to you and if necessary meet to discuss any issues.
In any event I hope I will have the opportunity to meet you at the consultation events.
In addition LCC and ourselves we have raised concerns in respect of hte major Stratford Waterfront Development – largely on the grounds that this development should be an opportunity to correct some of the major defects in the cycling facilities in these areas.
Those wishing to see the submission should get in touch with me.