Readout of June 2024 meeting

24 June 2024: Seven of us gathered at a new venue for us, the Well Centre in East Ham (home of the Bonny Downs Community Association.)

There are forthcoming rides on Saturday 7 July (Greensted Church), and on 14 July (West Ham United-themed Newham Ride).

There will be Fix Your Ride stalls at Woodgrange School Summer Fete on 29 June, and at Forest Gate Festival on 6 July. The roster for 6 July is looking thin so if you are able to help that would be most welcome.

At some of our recent Fix Your Ride events, we have helped repair bikes which have been donated to refugees in our borough. These bikes typically require more attention than many others, and often more than we can offer at the Woodgrange Market stall. In some cases we have had to turn people away from the stall due to a lack of capacity. We discussed how to manage this situation, and have decided to explore some suggestions of how we can more effectively help refugees get their cycles roadworthy.


  • Action in response to the 97 bus incident in Temple Mill Lane is ongoing.
  • There is a meeting arranged with the Romford Road Active Travel Scheme team. We reviewed progress to date and prospects for further progress.
  • We were pleased to attend a site visit of the in-progress Westfield Avenue scheme and meet with the engineers, project sponsors, and other stakeholders. This is a high quality scheme in which good progress is being made, and we are pleased to see efforts being made to retain safe pedestrian and cycle access throughout.
  • The Royal Docks corridor scheme, again high quality, is progressing.
  • We discussed the principles to be pursued at a forthcoming meeting with developers of a site on Stratford High Street.  This is an excellent opportunity to influence in favour of active travel at an early stage of this project.


We discussed outreach.  There are 12 sign ups to the new discussion group; regular newsletters are being issued: we are rotating our meetings around the borough; we plan a QR code link to the sign up for the newsletter to extend its reach further; and discussed possible action at university Fresher’s Fairs in the area.


We have sent letters to candidates in the General Election for whom we were able to trace contact details.

If you would like further details on any of these matters, please get in touch.

Readout compiled by Arnold Ridout & Jonathan Rothwell.

Election ’24: Asking our candidates to support cycling in Newham

There was a General Election in the UK on Thursday 4th July 2024. We wrote to many of Newham’s candidates in the election, to ask them to support active travel if they’re elected.

Our Asks

We asked our MP candidates to:

  • recognise the importance of cycling, in addition to walking and wheeling, and support it to reach London’s 2030 Net Zero target; also to support London in bringing forward the Vision Zero target to 2030
  • help the Mayor and the London boroughs complete the Strategic Cycling Network by 2028, ahead of the 2041 target—for which there must be more transport funding, and more of it ring-fenced for cycling
  • advocate in Parliament to move national policy away from new roads to active travel—because it’s not prudent to throw £billions after schemes like the PFI-funded Silvertown Tunnel, and other cities and towns across the UK can learn from London’s cycling success story.
Read the entire text of our email to the candidates here.

We’re Newham Cyclists, part of the London Cycling Campaign. We are volunteers who campaign for safer cycling in Newham for everyone, and to break down barriers that stop people from cycling.

Thanks for standing to represent [your constituency] in the general election. We’re asking you to support our mission if you are elected, by:

  • Recognising the importance of cycling, along with walking and wheeling (“active travel”) and supporting it. Active travel projects will help London meet its target of Net Zero by 2030. Of course, not all car journeys in London can be cycled—but TfL analysis suggests lots of them can, if the conditions are made right.

    We also want to see the Vision Zero target brought forward to 2030—saving lives by eliminating serious crashes on our streets. We want you to support TfL and the boroughs in rolling out innovative, proven-safe junction designs; and support the police in renewing focus on reducing harm in road transport.
  • Helping the Mayor and every London borough complete the Strategic Cycling Network by 2028, ahead of the current 2041 target date, to help all kinds of Londoners everywhere to access cycling. To deliver this, London needs more transport funding, and more of it ring-fenced for active travel.
  • Advocating in Parliament to shift national transport policy away from new roads to active travel schemes. It’s not prudent to throw £billions of public money after schemes that shave minutes off car journeys (such as the PFI-funded Silvertown Tunnel.) By contrast, active travel projects are cheap, have a good return on investment, and help bring communities together. Other towns and cities across Britain can learn from London’s cycling success story. We want you to work with the Mayor and other metro regions to secure a future where walking, cycling, and high-quality public transport are viable everywhere.

Finally, we remind you that despite noisy opposition to some of the Mayor of London’s policies on active travel and reducing unnecessary car use, he’s been re-elected with a large mandate. Cycling is very popular, and candidates that deliver for cycling get re-elected.

No-one wins, least of all drivers, when transport policy is driven by culture wars. Active travel is cheap and convenient, and we truly believe that everyone can benefit if it’s taken seriously. From kids going to school, to retirees meeting friends, to shift workers going shopping after a long day—we ask you to fight for policies that help more people access cycling for more journeys. A cycling Britain is a stronger Britain.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on our asks.

The Candidates’ Responses

We emailed the candidates on the morning of Saturday 22 June, and updated this post as we received responses.

There were also a number of candidates for whom we were not able to find email addresses.

This page was last updated on Sun 7th July 2024 at 22:57, to add a (post-election) response from Sir Stephen Timms, and to indicate which candidates were elected. The candidates appear on the page in a random order.

Stratford and Bow

ConservativesKane Blackwell[unable to find email]
LabourUma Kumaran
[no response received]
GreenJoe Hudson-Small“I agree completely with your aims, and with ending the culture war against active travel.

We’d invest 2.5bn in new cycleways and footpaths including London and we would adopt Active Travel England’s target for 2030.
If elected I’ll push for all of these things.”

[The candidate also supplied a link to the Green Party manifesto.]
Workers PartyHalima Khan[unable to find email]
Liberal DemocratsJaney Little[unable to find email]

East Ham

Liberal DemocratsHillary Victoria Briffa[unable to find email]
ConservativesMaria Higson[no response received]
LabourSir Stephen Timms
[received on Sunday 7th July, after the election]
“I apologise for failing to respond on this. I found I just didn’t know enough about the specifics to judge whether bringing things forward to 2028 from 2041 made sense, and I also have not opposed the Silvertown Tunnel. I shall, however, be very happy to support the work of Newham Cyclists, and please do let me know if you feel I can help at any time.”
GreenRosie Pearce“I too am a local cyclist though not part of your organisation. 
I used to live in Groningen which shows a vision of how behaviour shifts can follow bold policy on cycling. You wouldn’t even take a taxi if you bought furniture there.
Cycling in London is a bit scary often, and it varies a lot by borough.
The green party is aiming for 50% of journeys within towns and cities to be walked or cycled by 2030.
Investment in segregated cycle paths is a must, to achieve this, I think – most people won’t feel confident enough to cycle with current infrastructure and who can blame them!”

West Ham and Beckton

GreenRob Callender“As a cyclist living in Newham, I fully support all this!”
TUSCLois Austin[no response received]
LabourJames Asser [elected]“As I am sure Newham Cyclists are aware I am a supporter of increasing active travel and giving people choice especially increasing opportunities to walk and cycle. 

I hope my record as the Environment & Transport lead at Newham Council speaks to my commitment to deliver on that belief. I am very proud of the work we achieved and hope if elected I can support my successors in the continuing work.

I hope too that the work started during my time jn [sic] office on making our roads safer speaks for itself. 

Tackling air pollution and dealing with climate change are going to be key issues in the years ahead and I am keen to play my part in driving forward the changes we need to make.”
ConservativesHolly Ramsey[no response received]
Newham IndependentsSophia Naqvi[unable to find email]
Liberal DemocratsEmily Bigland[no response received]

Where’s my candidate?

As volunteers who juggle campaigning with our other commitments (full time jobs, families, etc.) we simply did not have the time or capacity to approach every single candidate for MP—particularly where their contact details were not publicly available.

We sourced email addresses for the candidates on but only emailed addresses that were clearly candidate-specific, rather than general party inboxes. Candidates who were not listed here were welcome to approach us by email to respond to our asks.

We are within our rights not to seek a view from minor or “fringe” parties which advocate for policies not in line with Newham Cyclists’ or LCC’s terms of reference, objectives, and values. For instance, we would decline to engage with candidates or parties that espouse views that are clearly racist, or peddle conspiracy theories.

Readout of May 2024 meeting

The meeting took place at the Olympic Park, post Freecycle ride.

Upcoming events and support required

8/6 Fix your Ride – people allocated. 29/6 school fete – do we have sufficient support for this? Forest Gate Festival 6th July  – people allocated – need to check if there is room for outreach (KF)

Planning meeting in November – items to complete

SOP for  our group – to provide visibility of roles and to allow others to take on roles.

Ride calendar (in parallel with FYR and AAA dates if possible, to avoid calendar clashes). Ideally a range of people will lead a range of rides. We can ask people if they have a ride they would like to lead, or offer them rides which require leading. We will ask LCC for ride leader and Marshall training/youth opps /safeguarding training at the local groups meeting. Possible new rides – Cambridge – with Dunwich dynamo to Morton then back from Epping.

What is the best way to share documents? Find out if everyone can edit a google spreadsheet (JR)


Bike flags we ordered – where are they? NC tabards – numbers and prices?Stickers?

Bicycle agony aunt – via the newsletter?

Cyclists breakfast – Greenway? Timing for this?


The new Infrastructure group requires a separate mailing list – Chris Kershaw to organise.

Romford Road scheme – are the old bustops being taken away?

Salway Place – is this restricted now?

Temple Mill Lane – 97 bus bridge incident – approach:

  • letter to bus garage – who?
  • Approach TfL buses – Simon has a regular meeting with TFL buses, can we use this?

Readout from Annual Meeting of 30 April 2024

A pleasing and convivial turnout at Canning Town Library, a new venue for us.

We were entertained by  Shameem and Nasim from Cycle Sisters, an award-winning charity which inspires and enables Muslim women to cycle, who gave an inspirational talk on their cycling journey.

We elected the following officers:

·      Co-ordinator: Jonathan Rothwell

·       Treasurer: Bill Bremner

·       Secretary: vacant (role to be fulfilled by Co-ordinator
and others on the committee)

·       Deputy co-ordinator (with outreach portfolio): Karen Flanagan

·       Rides co-ordinator: Steve Smith

·       Infrastructure lead: Chris Kershaw

·       Olympic Park rep: vacant, potentially to merge into new
infrastructure working group

·       Community Infrastructure (Fund) rep: vacant,
potentially to merge into new infrastructure working group

·      Deputy Treasurer: vacant.

We approved the annual accounts for 2023 – 24 and the budget for 2024 -25 presented by the Treasurer.

We noted the Annual report for 2023 -24.

Our business included lively conversation local cycling issues, including the need to leverage benefits for active travel from the plethora of major developments in the pipeline, progress on the Romford Road Active Travel Scheme, improving our outreach across the whole of Newham, extending our partnerships, and a variety of forthcoming events – the Newham Green Fair, rides based on Lea Valley Nature Reserves and Essex Country Lanes, our participation in the London Freecycle and support for the children’s cycling club at Ambition, Aspire, Achieve.

Take Action: East Village Cycle Connections

A map of East Village in London. Anthems Way, Celebration Avenue, Liberty Bridge Road, Temple Mills Lane, and Penny Brookes Street all have blue lines indicating cycle tracks; junction improvements at Temple Mills/Celebration Ave, Celebration Ave/Liberty Bridge, Celebration Ave/Penny Brookes, and Penny Brookes/Montfichet Road.

Newham Council are consulting on a long-term plan for cycling in East Village (the ex Olympic athlete’s village on the “new” side of Stratford). The designs are a step-change for the Olympic Park, an area whose cycling infra has been outdated from the moment it was built. The proposals include safer cycle tracks, continuous pavements for most of the streets in the area, and fixes for dangerous junctions.

We support the scheme, but would like Newham to do a little more to make sure everyone can benefit from it—particularly children cycling to school at Chobham Academy.

The consultation is open until Sunday 17th March: we recommend you support the scheme, but ask Newham to:

  1. Deliver the scheme quickly, obtaining funding from the many housing and commercial developments in the area to do so.
  2. Find a way for kids to cycle safely to school on Liberty Bridge Road over the railway line, where the designs currently dump people cycling out into the carriageway due to a width restriction. We’d like to see a bus gate, or an extension of the school street on Cheering Lane. Doing nothing is not an option.
  3. Fix the Mirabelle Gardens-Elis Way-Cheering Lane rat run. Drivers leaving Westfield often use this as a shortcut to avoid the traffic lights on Celebration Avenue.

Remember: your own views and experiences will carry the most weight in consultations.


Take Action: Say YES! to the Romford Road cycleway

Newham Council are consulting on their full plan for cycleways on Romford Road. This is a long-awaited extension of Cycleway 2 to the edge of Ilford.

Artsy visualisation of Romford Road with with-flow cycle tracks on either side of the road. A mother with a pram and a lady on her phone cross the street on a zebra crossing, while pedestrians and a kid with a kick scooter use the footway.

We are delighted to see the designs are super high-quality! Continuous cycle tracks. Fully protected Dutch-style junctions. More planting and trees. New sections of 24-hour bus lane. It looks similar to the Lea Bridge Road cycleway in Waltham Forest, but in some ways (e.g. at bus stops) it’s even better!

Romford Road is one of our most important main roads, and also one of the worst places in Newham to cycle at the moment. TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis shows there is huge demand for people to cycle here. Now’s your chance to tell Newham Council “yes please!” to high quality cycleways.

The consultation is open until Sunday 24th March. We recommend you support the scheme, and ask Newham to:

  1. Deliver cycle tracks on Romford Road in full and as quickly as possible, without compromising on protection, width, or junction design
  2. Co-ordinate with the Redbridge to allow the cycleway to continue to Ilford town centre
  3. Future-proof the scheme for low traffic neighbourhoods on the nearby side streets, and for cycle tracks on the main roads that cross it—everyone deserves to live on a street that’s safe for cycling

We’ve posted our own response below for your reference, but remember: your own views and experiences will carry the most weight in consultations.