We will be meeting with Terry Paul & John Gray on Monday morning (14th December) at 8am at ‘The Rhubarb’ to discuss the various issues around Stratford, including plans for the gyratory, Warton Road and the changes at Sugar House Lane. Â Please join us if you can.
The attached have been received by Manor Park residents.
Despite discussions, thereÂ is no provision for cycling at all (with the exception of a few racks round the corner). Â The leaflet states that this is NOT the final agreed scheme, so we need to get as many responses as possible demanding cycle provision.
The email address for responses is: firstname.lastname@example.org
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).
- 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.
As many of you know, the section of the Greenway at the CS2 end has been closed for a staggering 45 week period, whilst Thames Water carry out essential repair work on the Channelsea Bridge.
The issue is not the closure, but the lack of alternative route, which is a complicated but unacceptable situation. Â For once, LB Newham are not totally responsible, but they have not helped the situation. Â Because the Greenway is not a Right of Way, but a Permissive Route, the regulations are different. Â It seems that there is no actual obligation to provide an alternative route. Â However the transport team at Newham are well aware that this is not good enough. Â Part of the problem Â seems to have been that the closure was only supposed to be for a month. Â The change to almost a year was very last minute.
The decision not to use Canning Road (which was the route Newham Cyclists requested) as the alternative route seems to be based on 2 main issues.
1. It is a route used by emergency vehicles
2. It is not usually the done thing to put traffic lights at the bottom of a hill (!).
Some of you will have seen the very detailed piece on the route here: Â https://www.easternism.co.uk/?p=107
The lack of signage and the difficulty of crossing Manor Road is obvious.
This morning Arnold, Bill and I met with Richard Wadey to ride through the route. Â The signage should have gone up weeks ago and it seems to have fallen through the gaps for it to be checked. Â Richard is pushing this forward. Â It may be that some ‘guerilla signage’ is needed in the meantime!
Some of the improvements that have come out of the ‘ward audits’ we have done as a group with Richard, as well as other improvements that have already been agreed would make the route much more cycle friendly and those improvements are being pushed by Richard as well. Â These include access into Leywick Street. Â The bus stop opposite has approval to be moved, so that a cycle crossing can be put in – the barriers will obviously be removed. Â The concrete bollards which are currently in place will be replaced with a single removable bollard. Â This would mean that as you come down the Greenway ramp and use the pavement to cycle under the bridge and then the already signed shared use section, you would be able to safely cross Manor Road and enter Leywick Street.
Timing on this is unclear, but Richard is hoping to be able to report back to us before Monday’s meeting.
What none of this helps, is the fact that this alternative route is a very long way around. Â We have asked Richard to further investigate the Canning Road alternative. Â If anyone knows of any other locations where there are traffic lights at the bottom of a hill, let us know!
On 26 January we held another lively and well attended meeting. Â Forest Gate Councillor Ellie Robinson attended with two Newham CouncilÂ Officers.
The main item on the agenda was discussion of how Crossrail moneyÂ for environmental improvements around Forest Gate and Maryland Stations could be spent. Â See earlier post for the initial drawings. Â Plenty of concrete suggestions were made to improve the the initial plans as far as cycling is concerned and these were taken away by the Council officers. Â We emphasised to Councillor Robinson how important it was to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists, including by imposing a 20mph limit. Â She took a lively interest and invited further representations from individuals by e-mail to her Council e-mail address.
There was also an outline of our vision for redesigning the Stratford gyratory . Â TfL and Newham Council will soon be starting serious design work for which Â£1m in funding is available. Â Newham cyclists are working up detailed representations which will be fed into this process,Â includingÂ the LCC Infrastructure review group.
There were other short updates on some positive developments:Â (1) the Aldgate to Hainault Quietway as it goes through north Newham. Â This is in TfL’s second tranche of quietways and we are ahead of our neighbouring boroughs in planning this; (2) the first fruits of the Ward Audit Â – with 19 permeability schemes for “urban Newham” already having been approved by the Council and the other 400+ being prioritised for approval; (3) the preliminary results of the initial study for remedial work on Westfield Ave and Montfichet RdÂ ; Â (4) news that a further study of how to improve the wider Â Olympic Park/Westfield area for cyclists in view of the possible adoption of the roads by the CouncilÂ Â is going out to tender; and (5) an indication that the Roding Valley cycle and footway study is progressing.
Less promising was the continued dog’s breakfast that is the junction of Tramway Avenue and the Broadway. Â It is a key demand that this be improved as part of theÂ reworking of Stratford gyratory. Â This episode acts as a timely reminder that our input is vital to avoid poor designs which ultimately waste public money.
Finally, our draft ride programme for 2015 was circulated. Â Watch this space.
In relation to item (4), on 30 January a group of Newham Cyclists rode around the Olympic Park area with two Newham CouncilÂ sustainable transport officers, looking particularly at the periphery of the area and points of access. Â From this it became clear that a coherent and usefulÂ study mustÂ Â coverÂ as wide an area as possible, even if it strayed slightly outside the borough. Â Some good news is that Temple Mill Lane east is to be permanently bus/cycles only. Â This is something that we have campaigned for over several years.
We also took the opportunity to discuss ideasÂ Â for the Canning Town to Excel Centre area.
It has become clear what opportunity there is to link these various improvements, together with the Greenway and the Lea Valley to create a major generator for both leisure and utility cycling in Newham.
As per the previous posts – Maryland plans attached.
None of these posts are the full details from the submission as the file was too big for the site, but hopefully these extracts will give a good idea of the proposals.
The proposed plans for the Crossrail complementary measures are attached. Â As with Manor Park, these are proposals only and comments are invited. Â We have invited the Forest Gate councillors as well as Murray Woodbury to our monthly meeting on the 26th January, so please have a look ahead of the meeting and bring your comments along to the meeting!
FG Public Realm masterplan FG Photographic record Overview ML Public Realm Masterplan Maryland artist impressions ML Traffic modelling ML Furniture Strategy ML Spatial Strategy FG artists impressions FG – Traffic modelling FG Furniture Strategy FG Spatial Strategy
The proposed plans for the Crossrail Complementary schemes for Manor Park are attached. Â This is what was submitted by Newham to Crossrail to get the funding secured but the plans are not final, hence our planned meetings with councillors and council staff to give our input. Â Please peruse and let us have your comments!
Newham Council have now belatedly provided information about the removal of CS2 at Tramway Avenue. Â The documents provided confirm the story of TfL that the changes were driven by Newham Council because of “confusion” and “driver misbehaviour” and also reveal that theÂ cycle lane was removed in the face of a safety audit pointing out the reduction in the protection for cyclists.
Nevertheless the Council’sÂ subsequent conduct can only be described as grossly misleading. Â Here is the statement made to the Newham Recorder published onÂ Â 3 December. Â :
“CS2 route was removed by TfL, not the council, who only closed the risky sliproad.”
In fact Newham Council was theÂ driving force behind theÂ removal the protected cycle lane. Â If it was just a case of closing the sliproad there would have been no need at all to remove CS2. Â Newham Cyclists would welcome the closing ofÂ Tramway Avenue. Â It is one of ourÂ long term aims.
“Following concerns raised by the police and cyclists and a number of serious near misses on this route, a decision to close the Tramway Avenue sliproad was taken in September”
In fact the documents provided by both TfL and Newham Council do not reveal any concerns by cyclists, particularly in its latest – “wands” version. We shall be following this up.Â The police did raise concerns at an early stage but participated in the safety audit that took place. Â The “risky” sliproad remains open.
“We value the views of Newhamâ€™s cycling community and are committed to ensuring that there are safe cycling routes in the borough”
WhyÂ Â not, then, consult on this high profile action to revert back to a dangerous junction layout for cyclists?Â The Council have resisted since 2009 our suggestion for a cycling liaison group and consistentlyÂ resistÂ our suggestions for greater safety such as 20mph. The Council’s values and the level of their commitment can be judged by their actions rather than their words.
Indeed, Newham, an Olympic Borough, is the least active local authority in England!Â Â How has this happened?
One clue may be found in Newham Council’s historic antipathy at the political level to promoting cycle provision, even when this would not have cost it anything extra.Â A prime example is Stratford High St.Â Several million pounds were made available to the CouncilÂ to improve this stretch of road in the run up to the Olympics.Â No cycling facilities were installed, Â but the money was used Â for multi-coloured vanity balls.Â ThenÂ the Council blocked the early development ofÂ Cycle Superhighway 2 in the borough.Â Â Â Since the Olympics, an extension to Cycle SuperhighwayÂ has had to be retrofitted to the recently regenerated Stratford High St, Â and despite the Council later reversing Â its opposition to extendingÂ CS2 to Ilford, Â the legacy is that TfL no longer seem interested.Â Â Â Another serious example is The Council’s diversion of earlier TFL Â funding intended primarily for transport schemes to other purposes.Â Furthermore Newham Councillors on the Olympic Planning Committee supported the minimalist approach to cycling mentioned earlier.
There is some good work being done at official level in the Council, such as Â putting together an excellent mini-Holland bid and the very thorough ward audit exercise of cycle permeability. Â At the political level the Council does at least professes support for cycling in its public statements.Â However a series of recent examples looks like a disturbingÂ trend of Â casual negligence (at best) at the political level:
- Protection for cyclists has been actively removed by Newham Council Â interventionÂ byÂ the removal of Â Cycle Superhighway 2 at the junction of Tramway Avenue.Â See thisÂ website for the full story.
- Our proposal for a 20mph limit on Upper Street, a residential rat run was refused, on the grounds that this was a bus route.Â Putting to one side the question why buses would want to travel at more than 20 mph along this road, it is notable that our neighbouring borough Â Tower Hamlets Council is now consulting on making virtually the whole borough 20mph.Â This is just the latest in the series of local authorities Â (even stretching to New York) looking to reduce speed limits.Â Newham Council, however, remains behind the times.
- Cycle permeability on yet another one way street in “urban Newham” ,Â Cramner Â Rd, Â was blocked on the grounds of lack of width of the carriageway , despite this road being no narrower that the adjacent Â two way streets. Cycle contra flows on one way streetsÂ are now Â encouraged by new Department for Transport rules.Â Again Newham Council is behind the times.
- The apparent Â inadvertent removal of cycle parking at various locations, without any effort to put this right.
Promoting cycling is a well recognised Â easy winner for increasing regular exercise, and terrific value for money.Â Hackney, another neighbouring borough, has achieved one of the highest cycling rates in the country.Â Newham is recognised as having very great untapped potential for everyday cycling with sources of funding available.Â What appears lacking is the political will to even match the examples set by our neighbours