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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
This is a fairly substantial, but hugely important document. The committee will be reviewing it, but there is some big stuff in here and it would be good to get thoughts from as many people as possible. It’s also worth reading Simon Munk’s (LCC’s infrastructure guru and Waltham Forest campaigner) blog which gives a good summary.
Olawale has produced a very easy and quick guide to help fill in the questionnaire (a total of #11 questions) with regards to specific support for the proposed cycling infrastructure.Â It should only take about 5 to 10 minutes to complete!! (see PDF file nc-recommended-answers-to-sg-questionnaire-1)
The NC ‘recommendations’ focus on Questions#1, #3, #6, #7, #9 and #10 (6- choice tick answer option) with short ‘further comments’ additions for Questions #3, #6, #7and #10. All highlighted in bold italic red font in the PDF file attachment.
If you have more time don’t hesitate to elaborate further in your own words when filling in the questionnaire. Many thanks for support.