Readout from 30 May 2022 Meeting

A select band avoided the rain to ride Cycleway 16 to look at Temple Mill Lane East, and in particular the crossing over the railway line. Whilst we were there only a small minority of those on bicycles used the eastbound shared path despite the considerable danger from westbound buses. We decided to formulate a list of possible solutions starting with a possible diversion of the buses.

Afterwards we discussed the follow up to the Climate Safe Streets Campaign in the light of the forthcoming meeting between ourselves and Better Streets/20’s Plenty with Councillor Asser.

Next meeting is the Annual Meeting on 27 June.

Arnold

Readout from 28 March 2022 Meeting

Back to Zoom for this meeting.

We started with a discussion of the Climate Safe Streets Campaign and in particular our borough “ask” for 20mph throughout the borough. Jeremy Leach from the 20’s Plenty Campaign joined us and provided some horrifying statistics on the safety of some Newham main roads using crashmap.co.uk and the lack of 20mph streets in the south of Newham. He provided some positive news on the progress of the campaign for 20mph (notably, more boroughs adopting it, TfL fitting limiters on buses, EU rules on intelligent speed assistance, and a more enlightened attitude to enforcement). He advised pushing for a universal 20mph in Newham rather than on specific streets, and sought help in making local candidates aware of support for this – a principle we have consistently applied in consultation responses for some years now.

In the broader discussion on the campaign, the general view was that all our asks (relating to low traffic neighbourhoods, Romford & Barking Rds cycle provision, 20mph, school streets and enforcement of parking rules) were important. Members were urged to use the LCC campaign tool to e-mail the mayoral candidates and to approach local candidates using the same information.

We decided to lobby the Mayor of London to reverse the disappointing LLDC decision to give planning approval to the MSG Sphere and also decided to keep monitoring its requirements for transport improvements. We also decided to respond to consultations on the important development at Twelvetrees Park This provides an important opportunity for permeability and accessibility in an area severely lacking both and huge potential to open up good cycling connections. We can call upon a useful earlier Transport Assessment of the area.

In the past busy month there had also been consultation responses on Brampton Academy Highway Scheme, Pool St (QEOP), the Royal Docks and Beckton Riverside Opportunity Area Planning Framework Document and a planning objection to Velor park (site of the Showcase Cinema).

Our ongoing non-infrastructure activities include:

  • Seeking volunteers for our partnership with the AAA children’s cycling clubs.
  • A possible Bike from Boleyn Ride on 1 May.
  • The continuation of the Fix Your Ride Stall at Woodgrange Market on the second Saturday of each month, but switched to 2 July for the Forest Gate Festival. This will need heavy support.
  • An Essex County Lane Ride on 3 April and a Discover Newham Ride on 30 April.
  • A feeder ride to the Freecycle event of 29 May for which marshals are required.

We decided to postpone our Annual Meeting unless the need to submit accounts made that impossible. This would avoid complications of a clash with the local election campaign.

Finally we briefly discussed plans for the sell off of a section of West Ham Park. Submissions can be made (by 16 April 2022) to the agents at:alex.soskin@savills.com   and hbushell@savills.com

If you are available and would like to participate in any of the events mentioned please get in touch via newham@lcc.org.uk. Also if you would like more information on any of the matter mentioned or other cycling issues.

Arnold

Readout from 28 February 2022 Meeting

Our numbers were down for the first indoor meeting for over a year at a comfortable new venue in East Ham.

  • We heard about members’ progress on the Joyriders Challenge
  • We discussed the outcome of the positive catch up meeting with Newham Council. There is (funded) progress with the existing scheme of 7 Low Traffic neighbourhoods and the ongoing roll out of School Streets. Work is about to begin on Romford Rd improvements and there is a funded plan in place for the Leyton Rd from the borough boundary to Stratford. There are early signs that further low traffic neighbourhoods may come on stream. We have emphasised the importance of ourselves being involved at the planning stage. Also it would be useful to reappraise “old” low traffic neighbourhoods. A revision of the Cycling Issues Chart in the light of this meeting will be posted on this site.
  • Other infrastructure developments are dominated by large planning applications and planning framework documents. We are pursuing our policy of encouraging development money for cycle infrastructure from major developments and ensuring that documents outlining future planning in the borough reflects the need for improvement in active travel.
  • On future events: Our ride calendar is in place. We decided to continue our partnership with the AAA Saturday Children’s Cycling Club. This involves a session of bike maintenance in Canning Town and Stratford with, the following week a ride for the children. Fix Your Ride at Woodgrange Market starts again on 12 March. We decided also to organise a feeder ride to the Freecycle on the weekend of 28/9 May. Free ride leader and ride marshalling training is available from LCC over the next few weeks. We have received a request for cycle assistance for the Moonwalk overnight on 14/15 may. If you would like to participate in any of these events please let me know.
  • We decided to approach the Council about the apparent default to “Cyclists Dismount” where there are works that have disrupted cycle provision. Recent experience has shown that this is not always necessary and that works often require better signage.
  • Our annual meeting will take place on April 25. Details to be confirmed.

If you would like further information on any of these topics or other matters concerning cycling in Newham please get in touch.

Arnold

Read out from 31 January 2022 Meeting

16 of us gathered together via Zoom for a meeting that focussed on catching up on our current activities.

Since the November meeting there had been a good deal of activity. We had provided formal consultation responses on the Royal Docks Cycling and Walking Strategy, Newham Council’s Local Plan refresh and the Prince Regent Lane Bus Priority Scheme. In addition to specific details relating to each consultation our responses drew on some common and familiar themes:

  • A robust approach to installing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods;
  • A need for better north-south routes in Newham;
  • The potential for better leverage for cycle schemes from major developments;
  • The need for bus schemes to improve (and not hinder) active travel;
  • Bus lanes to operate 24 hours;
  • 20 mph speed limit;
  • Enforcement of parking rules.

We have also chased up on: installation of the cameras to enforce the closure in Corporation St; improvement of Penny Brookes St and ;drop kerbs for access to the newly opened Gainsborough Bridge in the Olympic Park.

By way of good news Newham are making permanent 2 of the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (Maryland and Odessa) . We hope this is a sign of continuing progress in installing all of the 7 funded schemes.

We discussed the issue of access to the new City Hall which had given rise to significant social media activity. The closure of Dock St is a serious blockage to cycle access which we have raised in consultations but needs to be pursued further.

In December we met with Thames Water and Newham Council in relation to the Greenway/Stratford High Street works. The situation has improved.

We are in preliminary discussions with medics from Barts Health Trust on liaison in promoting cycling for health and wellbeing.

We were updated in progress (or lack of it) in getting Marshgate Lane maintained to a reasonable standard for cycling.

It was decided that the time was ripe to seek another catch up meeting with Newham Council to discuss these and other infrastucture issues.

The news from LCC was that the Climate Safe Streets campaign in the lead up to the local elections in May has had its soft launch. We have contributed our list of 5 specific Newham “asks” to be part of that campaign.

We are putting together our rides calendar and will be looking at liaising with other local groups which organise rides.

We discussed what we might do to promote the recent changes to the Highway Code. If you are interested in helping make a short film on Sunday 6 February let me know.

We discussed the benefits of having volunteers trained (by the Metropolitan Police) to mark bikes as part of their campaign to recruit volunteers – https://www.met.police.uk/car/careers/met/police-volunteer-roles/community-based-volunteers/overview/

We were encouraged, as individuals, to respond to Newham Council’s budget proposals which appears to be light on commitment to fund active travel: https://www.newham.gov.uk/council/engagement-newham-council-budget-2021

We decided to hold our annual meeting at the end of April and discussed possible venues for this and for face to face monthly meetings.

Going forward the Committee of Newham Cyclists will be changing. We will be looking to improve both gender balance and diversity.

If you would like any further information on any of these items please get in touch.

Readout from November 2021 Meeting

We were again meeting via Zoom.

The Walking and Cycling Project Manager from LLDC, Monique Van Den Hurk, kindly joined us and our discussion with her occupied the main part of the meeting. She explained her role and outlined some of the forthcoming projects. These represented slow but welcome progress in correcting the disappointing original cycle provision in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Westfield area.

The discussion afterwards covered specific schemes ; but also included the more general issues of the conflict between pedestrians and cyclists in the Park, the usage of the Park for commuter and utility cycling, the need for traffic management plans for forthcoming major developments.

If you have any specific QUEP points let us know and we can pick them up with Monique and via our representation on the LLDC Strategic Active Travel Group.

In view of the forthcoming Climate Safe Streets Campaign we discussed what Newham Specific “asks” should be fed into that campaign. The results of the straw poll will be worked up by our infrastructure team and the rest of the Committee.

Other points arising:

  • LCC are refreshing their diversity and inclusion policy and will be reaching out to local groups. This will be a useful stimulus for us to consider anew our outreach and the diversity and inclusion of the group in representing the increasingly diverse range of those cycling in Newham.
  • Changes to Riverside Rd and Bisson Rd area linked to the Stratford high Street works disadvantage those cycling.
  • We have been participating in the consultations on Newham Council’s refreshment of its Local Plan in respect of transport. This has the potential to be of great benefit over the medium to long term in leveraging benefit to cycle provision from future developments in the borough. The Council’s new approach demonstrates a greater appreciation of the need to promote active travel, but could usefully tighten up on delivery.
  • We have also been liaising with the planners of the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone and the the Wider Opportunity area and its surrounding area. Again the planners show appreciation of the need to good cycle facilities. Our interventions have been aimed particularly at providing more specific detail.
  • We are looking to deliver Christmas parcels for Magpie by bike on 10 and 11 December. This is an opportunity to demonstrate and publicise the potential of sustainable delivery.
  • Our Christmas Social will take place on the evening of 13 December at the Wanstead Tap.

If you would like any more details on any of the above or on any other matter pertaining to cycling in Newham please get in touch.

Arnold

Readout from 25 October Meeting

We reverted back to Zoom for this meeting. Issues discussed were:

  • Infrastructure developments in the light of our catch up meeting on 1 October with Newham Council and a meeting with the Royal Docks team who were putting together a walking and cycling strategy.

    We have been asked to attend a workshop for the transport section of the revision of the Local Plan.

    There is a ride of the south section of the Roding Way on Friday 29 October which is open to all.

    Whilst low traffic neighbourhoods across the north of Newham make Quietway 6 less critical there is still a major safety issue at Temple Mills Lane and we should be wary of supporting signing this as a safe cycleway.

  • John outlined the initiative he was taking for outreach in the Plaistow area and in conjunction with Living Streets. We discussed ideas for progressing this in the new year and in particular the implications of supporting a cycle buddy scheme.

  • In addition to the Roding ride on 29 October we are planning support sessions for the Ambition, Aspire, Achieve children’s cycle club on 6 and 20 November, a Fix Your Ride at Woodgrange Market on 13 November and a local ride in association with GoParks on 14 November.

  • We will be looking to put on a Christmas lights Ride on 12 December and a Christmas Social sometime in the second week of December

If you would like further information on any of the matters raised at this meeting or any other local cycling matters please get in touch.

Arnold

Summary readout of 8 June Meeting

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.

Arnold

Readout from 29 March 2021 Meeting

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.

On infrastructure:

  • 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.

Arnold

Readout of 22 February 2021 Meeting

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.

Arnold