Take action: Stop MSG Sphere bringing more cars to Stratford
Planning applications 19/00097/FUL and 19/00098/ADV
The Madison Square Garden company wants to build a new 21,500-capacity music venue next door to Stratford Station. It will be in the shape of a giant, glowing sphere (similar to Rover from The Prisoner), towering over residential blocks and the newly improved Stratford Town Centre.
We at Newham Cyclists are deeply worried by the proposals for the Sphere:
- MSG have taken a look at the current travel patterns to gigs at the London Stadium, decided they’re acceptable (we disagree), and proposed exactly the same modal share for this new, ‘state-of-the-art’ venue. That means:
- around 2,600 people driving to a sold out event—and a paltry cycling modal share of 0.1%. (It’s not like people will never cycle to gigs: the cycle parking at the All Points East festival in Victoria Park was actually full up!)
- thousands more people through Stratford station at rush hour, making the station unusable for local residents and pushing many more people into their cars for short journeys.
- We want a travel plan that aims for a cycling modal share of 5-10%, and doesn’t create worse overcrowding at Stratford station.
- Cycling has been tossed a carrot in the form of an extended cycleway on Montfichet Road… but it looks just as bad as some of the older stuff in the Olympic Park. Interrupted by shared areas, with conflict between walking and cycling baked into the design. In 2019, we should be doing better.
- More worryingly, their answer to the current pinch point and painted cycle lanes on Angel Lane (the Sphere’s main access road)? Narrow the road, so everyone—kids, grandparents, Disabled folk—has to cycle uphill, in front of lorries, artists’ coaches, speeding minicabs… the lot. This is bad. TfL have found that lots more people could cycle along Angel Lane in future (see TfL Strategic Cycling Analysis Route 7)—but if these plans go ahead, that will lock many of these people out from cycling here for decades. Considering we need to cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, that’s plain irresponsible. We want an exemplar cycling facility here.
- Newham Cyclists will formally object to the MSG Sphere application… but we need your help. You can send your own response to the planning application and tell LLDC and MSG that this isn’t good enough.In a hurry? Use our template to send an objection email. Click here and your computer will pre-populate an email. Don’t forget to personalise it with your name, address, and ways the Sphere will affect you!
Got a little more time? Write your own objection like this:
- Send an email to email@example.com;
- Quote references 19/00097/FUL and 19/00098/ADV;
- State that you formally object to the planning application.
- Feel free to use or reference our reasons for objecting—but don’t forget, put it in your own words and use your own experiences. (For instance: Live near Maryland? Don’t feel safe cycling in front of lorries on Angel Lane to get to the shops? Do your kids go to school in the Olympic Park? Expressing your concerns in terms of the impact the Sphere will have on you, and your family and friends, will hold more sway with the planning committee.)
- Don’t forget to include your name and address.
- Send the email by Friday 28th June 2019. You’ve not got long, but it doesn’t take long to object—just five minutes to send an email will be enough!
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.
Here is a letter Newham Cyclists have sent to Councillors Tripp and Ali – Cabinet members for Environment and Sustainable Transport respectively on 4 January:
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.
This is the letter that we have sent to Cllr Tripp, having discussed and agreed at our September meeting.
Parking Letter final
These two documents have been produced by LCC HQ as a guide for what we are trying to achieve for the local elections in May and why.
My Liveable London Campaign Guide FINAL
My Liveable London policy brief FINAL
We have prepared a paper on Cycling in Newham. It starts with evidence to show that Newham lags behind other boroughs in reducing traffic accidents and public health; and its long recognised high potential for cycling has not been realised.
It seeks the adoption of an effective cycle strategy to underpin a coherent approach – giving priority to walking and cycling over motor traffic.
The paper provides examples where past and current deficiencies in this regard have exacerbated our road safety and health problems.
The attached was distributed at last night’s Local Group forum meeting. Â The launch of the campaign is 22nd July, with the intention of handing over the petition to the Mayor on 1st September. Â Once the campaign goes live, please spread the word!
Details of TfL’s proposals for Bow Roundabout have been released:
At last night’s meeting, Olawale took us through the discussions he has had with Tower Hamlets Wheelers, taking into accountÂ LCC’s standards for junctions. Â His draft response and sketch map are attached to this post, as well as an article on Cycle Segregated Junctions from the last issue ofÂ London Cyclist.
This is an important issue and although it is only an interim measure, it is important that we push TfL to get it right. We will be submitting a response on behalf of Newham Cyclists, but individual responses are probably more important.
Please make sure you have your say!
London Cyclist Xmas 2014 edition_CS Jct explained article TfL Bow junction interim plans_consultation response draft Bow junction reference map
Stratford Gyratory is a key cycling node. Â More than Â£1m is available for design and consultation of a new junction. Â Here are the principles we are working on for its improvement from the cycling angle.
This link will open a drawing (whichÂ will need rotating clockwise).
Stratford Gyratory General DetailsÂ
- The main axis for motorised traffic would be Stratford Broadway through to the Grove i.e. the A11.
- Stratford Broadway to be bi-directional with segregated cycle lanes forming part of CS2 (on existing westbound carriageway).
- Tramway Avenue sliproad closed.
- A subsidiary traffic axis Â from Leyton Rd /Â Angel lane through to Great Eastern RdÂ (eastern section to the Grove) to be single single bidirectional lanes with Â cycle tracks and bus islands.
- Eastbound, one way bus, taxi, delivery and cycle traffic only on Great Eastern RdÂ from the “Rhubarb” sculpture to Angel Lane, with cycle contraflow.
- This leaves (essentially) a series of Â T junctions (at (1)the “Rhubarb” sculpture), (2)Tramway Ave/Broadway, Broadway/Romford Rd, Â (3) Grove/Great Eastern RdÂ (4) Angel Lane/Great Eastern Rd.) These to have, in principle “hold left” arrangements to prevent left hooks and attractive options for cycles turning right.
- Additional cycle parking at convenient points with large footfall.
- Maintain and, in some areas Â improve, existing facilities e.g. at pavement level on the Grove, the Grove Crescent contraflow, Oxford Rd, the eastbound bus lane in the Broadway.
- 20mph throughout.
This form of design would bring huge public realm gains including the link between the Stratford Centre to Westfield; permit the repositioning of crossings and bus stops to more convenient locations; and reduce conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and motor traffic.
If you haven’t already signed the Space for Cycling petition, please make sure you do. Â At the time of writing this, only 59 people from Newham have signed, so please add your name and spread the word!