Richard Wadey provided a wide ranging overview of Newham Council’s progress in implementing its Cycle Strategy. Key points emerging from his presentation and follow up questions:
- Of the 33 priority cycle routes it identified plans were in place or being developed for beneficial interventions on 19. But implementation depended on funding, which was being sought from a variety of sources.
- The low traffic neighbourhood strategy was not part of the original cycle strategy but has been added since. LTN’s would complement and in some cases enhance the plans for the 19 cycle routes.
- In some cases compromises were necessary especially in relation to bus priority schemes.
- Pressure on staff time was a significant constraint on progress.
- There was a build up of demand for cycle hoops which the Council were not currently meeting.
An invitation was extended to all to provide any infrastructure ideas which would be collated with our existing checklist and pursued at the resumption of catch up meetings with Council Officers.
John Morris was appointed Deputy Co-ordinator. He has a special interest in outreach.
In relation to events and partnerships:
- Fix your Ride is continuing at Woodgrange Market on the second Saturday of each month and we were responding positively to a request for some midweek sessions to support community activity on the Carpenters Estate.
- There is an opportunity to assist in a Woodcraft Folk cycle project.
- The AAA children’s cycle club has resumed at both The ARC in Canning Town and Abbey Hub. Details of opportunities for us to resume this partnership will be pursued by e-mail and discussion group.
Jonathan outlined positive developments in the QE Olympic Park where LLDC have appointed a expert sustainable transport officer.
Our rides programme is progressing and country lane rides are resuming. The number of no shows after booking has been disappointing.
We had been invited by the Council to attend a resumption of Traffic Management Liaison Meetings, where infrastructure developments would be discussed with official bodies such as ambulance and police.
Our programme of video’s of rides was continuing.
If you would like further information on any of the above please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Milena Rouse, the Green Spaces Community Worker at Plaistow South Big Local introduced her plans for promoting cycling in the area, including facilitating a try before you bike scheme and local bike parking. We agreed to support her initiative how we could.
Our Fix Your Ride stall at Woodgrange Market will resume on 17 April and continue thereafter on the second Saturday of the month. We will also explore the possibility of further stalls around the borough with potential partners who were approaching us.
We discussed the LCC’s campaign for the May elections based on:
- rapid expansion of the Strategic Cycling Network at the highest quality;
- development and implementation of a London-wide smart road user charging system; and
- co-ordinated expansion of easy access to low-carbon shared mobility services such as car club and and shared cycle/scooter points.
The Committee will look at promoting these objectives on social media, by writing to the local press and by organising a ride to which candidates would be invited.
The Treasurer set out the preparations for the annual accounts and budget, asked for all outstanding invoices to be sent to him and invited suggestions for what should be included in next years’ budget.
- Low Traffic Neighbourhoods were progressing;
- as nothing has been heard of progress on the Romford Rd we decided to chase this up again;
- the proposals for the Royal Docks Corridor route (Silvertown Way and North Woolwich Rd) on which we are being consulted looked promising but we needed to be sure of the treatment of junctions;
- Stephen Timms MP was promoting a Roding Greenway Route. Something which we have supported whilst recognising the challenges of achieving it.
We further discussed how cargo bikes might be promoted locally. political action such as a Scottish scheme would be the best way of achieving progress but there were some local steps we could take by liaising with those promoting use of cargo bikes, and publicising businesses which deliver by this means. If you know of any please let me know.
We discussed the resumptions of rides when LCC give the green light.
Member Liam Adams explained his opposition to Newham Council’s policy of charging for a first parking permit based on emissions.
We will be pursuing our project of recording local rides. If you would like to be involved please let me know.
Michael Barratt, Development Impact Lead at TfL and a longstanding friend of ours, joined us to share his expertise on promoting the use of cargo bikes. He has had success in promoting their use in the unpromising area of construction and provided us with good ideas on how we might promote the use of cargo bikes in Newham.
We updated on Covid-19 related infrastructure changes. Low Traffic neighbourhoods in the north of the borough were slowly being implemented. There is an opportunity for individuals to contribute to a consultation, particularly on the newly published proposals for areas 3 (Manbey), 4 (Atherton) and 7 (Stratford Park). The main issue with the proposals identified at the meeting is a lack of a safe crossing of Water Lane from Manbey Grove to Louise Rd. Please make your views known.
We decided to co-ordinate our Fix Your Ride sessions at Woodgrange Market with the Dr Bike sessions provided by Newham Council.
We pooled our experiences on mapping and filming good cycling routes to the Excel vaccination centres and were cheered by reports of the usefulness of the material provided to date.
There are potential new partnerships in the forthcoming year with Plaistow South Big Local (an organisation seeking to regenerate this ward of the borough) and the Royal Docks Learning and Activity Centre.
We decided to renew our Zoom subscription.
21 of us turned out, virtually, for our monthly meeting.
Mariam Draaijer from JoyRiders joined us to explain the exciting work of that organisation to promote cycling for women, now being extended to Newham. She is looking for female volunteers to be trained to lead rides or buddy up with new riders and also contacts with local organisations which JoyRiders can work with.
There was an update on infrastructure developments. There had been some progress on completing and implementing 5 of the 7 Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (1 Maryland, 2 Odessa, 3 Manbey, 4 Atherton, and 7 Stratford) but no known concrete progress yet on 2 (5 Woodgrange, 6 Capel). There was hope of something being started on the Romford Rd corridor shortly. 3 of the 10 second batch of school streets had been progressed but, disappointingly, some of the existing first batch of school streets had been closed down despite the fact that the schools were still open for vulnerable pupils.
Members were encouraged to write to their local councillors to support these schemes and add their comments to the current online consultation.
Additionally, Newham Council is currently consulting of its 2021/22 budget. This includes spending £11m “to Keep Newham Moving through long-term investment in roads, footpaths and street lighting”. The existing “Keep Newham Moving” fund was notoriously skewed towards motor vehicles rather than active travel and members are encouraged to seek clarification that, post pandemic, there will be a rebalancing towards active travel.
We discussed the current lack of provision and facilitation for the use of cargo bikes, which could have a significant role to play in obviating the need for short journeys by car because the journey involved carrying shopping or work material. We agreed to pursue with experts what options might be available and to put together and publish photos showing the potential to carry stuff on bikes.
We also discussed options for publicising easy local cycle routes to key destinations (such as employment centres and vaccination centres). Waltham Forest Cyclists and Joyriders had videos of useful routes available.
Richard gave us an update on the progress on implementing low traffic neighbourhoods and borough corridors where there is progress on both aspects
We then shared our best lockdown rides which also gave some ideas for our future ride calendar.
We decided to reinstate our Christmas lights rides within the constraints of social distancing.
Finally we welcomed Chris as our representative on the Epping Forest Consultative Committee.
If you would like more information on any of these matters or any other cycling issue in Newham please get in touchvia our e-mail or via our discussion group.
A well attended meeting was mostly taken up with an unpdate and discussion with Murray Woodburn, the Principle Transport Planning Officer of Newham Council. The discussion included immediate plans (and long term aspirations) for the the Romford Road and the next batch of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs). These are both major step changes but also entangled in London wide and national politics. However the Council remains supportive and iMurray outlined the steps it is taking to implement them.
The part implemented LTN (a partnership of Newham and Waltham Forest) has had a broadly favourable reception in contrast to the LTNs in some other London Boroughs and is already yielding some benefits, such as a radical reduction in rat running through Chobham Rd.
We raised some consequential and related improvements which we shall take up when the dust has settled.
The best way to communicate with the Council on the plans is via the Commonplace site. The latest plans for the Romford Rd can be found here. If you have any questions on these or indeed the LTN proposals please get in touch with us. We may be able to answer from the information we have or we can raise them with the relevant Council official.
We discussed the current Westfield Avenue consultation for which individual responses are needed. We hope to put out some guidance on this shortly.
There is also a further consultation on the MSG sphere. If you are able to help with formulating a response please get in touch.
We discussed progress on providing an archive of our cycle ride routes.
We also discussed how we could make the group more welcoming nd relevant to a broader range of those who cycle in the borough. Ideas raised included promoting ourselves at events more effectively, reaching out to a broad range of possible partners, starting rides around the borough and how we might hold meetings and events once the social distancing restictions are eased.
We decided to participate in Newham Heritage month in May 2021 and Bernard will lead on this.
Join us on Zoom – Monday 26th 7.30pm
- Update on LTNs. Newham Council’s Principle Transport Planner will be joining us to provide up to date information and context.
- A discussion on format of meetings and making the group more welcoming.
- Westfield Ave walking and cycling consultation
- Other Cycling issues – a chance to raise any questions or comments on infrastructure; see the latest version of the chart of issues.
- Rides update
- AAA & market update
- AOB – please let us know ahead of the meeting if you have anything you would like to include
Our September monthly meeting will take place on 28 September at 7.30pm.
This has been a busy and exciting time so lots to share and discuss.
- Infrastructure developments in rsponse to Covid-19;
- Events and partnerships;
- Wanstead Park.
Let me know if ther is anything you would like to discuss that is not on the agenda.
To join the meeting:
Meeting ID: 865 3918 4165