Readout from meeting of 26 March 2018

A turnout of over 20 , including 2 Council Officers and two prospective Councillors participated in an interesting meeting:

  • Murray Woodburn, currently Head of Highways and Traffic  at Newham Council and Richard Wadey, Sustainable Transport Officer, presented Newham Council’s new Cycle Strategy (see earlier post) and answered a wide range of questions on it.  This discussion will inform further analysis planned for the annual report to be presented to the annual meeting on 30 April.
  •  This discussion also informed our further discussion on Living Streets where the emerging priorities (which, for this exercise combine practicality and political attraction) are for areas without through traffic in (a) the north of the Borough, (b) the Freemasons Rd/Custom house area, and (c) Green St area, plus enhancing corridors  (a) the Romford Rd, (b) Barking Rd, (c) Leyton Rd, and (d) A117.
  • The Council’s next LIP bid (for funding for transport projects) is due to be submitted to TfL in September  and there will only be a short time for this to be consulted upon.
  • A follow up audit ride of Stratford Gyratory will be organised.
  • We approved payment of £238.10 for the rebuild by Bill of our “Fix Your Ride” trailer.
  • We had a preliminary discussion of what next years’ budget may look like.
  • Francois Donnard presented the cycling offer  that Decathalon at Beckton was making involving supply of bikes and spares as well as training.  This looked a promising avenue to explore further.
  • Newham council have announced that their partnership for dockless bikes (a pilot of approximately 6 months schemes in West Ham and Royal Docks) will be with Mobike. This is not the LCC preferred supplier.

Arnold

 

 

Readout from 26 February 2018 Meeting

A good turnout of 16 mustered at the Velodrome on a bitterly cold evening.

We we rewarded with a really interesting presentation and discussion with Michael Barratt,  TfL’s development impact assessment lead, who leads a team using innovative (and co-operative) methods to mitigate the impact from London’s major construction projects, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.  He has already provided very helpful assistance to us on the Stratford Gyratory Project.

Given the plethora of development in Newham the approach he described should be very beneficial.  This includes liaising with (a) constructors direct and through any “Consider Constructor” type scheme, (b) the Council, and (c) using TfL’s reporting tool,and the draft TfL Traffic Management Handbook.

We agreed run a feeder from Stratford to the Free Cycle on 28 July 2018.  If you are able to help marshal this important event please put the date into your diary.

Steve outlined the ride programme to date and forthcoming events.  Our 2 country lane drides have attracted participants from all over London  Our local leisure rides start this Sunday, weather permitting.

Our partnership with AAA got off to a successful start with a bike checking session followed the next week by a Greenway ride.

We decided to put in a collective response the LB Redbridge’s consultation on its “Ilford Garden Junction” which includes in the plan a two way cycle track on the north side of the Romford Rd linking the existing track to the Tunnel Ave and the Roding Way,  under the North Circular Rd; andthe creation of a “pocket park” .  Please also respond to this very straightforward consultation as individuals supporting the scheme and, in section 3 on cycling adding the comment that the cycle provisions to be included phase 1 – the only phase to be funded so far.

Olawale updated the meeting on current infrastructure issues:

  •  the removal of a point closure at Glenparke Rd/Palmerston Rd; this was regarded a a retrograde step that will encourage rat running  in an area ripe for creating a “village” without through traffic.
  • A link between CS3 and Barking along Jenkins Lane, which is generally beneficial but has some issues of concern which have been transmitted to the Council’s Sustainable Transport Officer.
  • a huge development in the offing at Stephenson St which ought to  improve connectivity e.g. between West Ham Station and the Leaway and under the District Line.  However the initial transport plan needs careful consideration as to the benefits to cycling that should derive from this scheme.

The Channelsea Ramp on the Greenway has been opened and now provides an excellent off road link from the Greenway to Stratford Town Centre. There have however been a number of attacks targeting cyclists o the Greenway.  It is helpful to record personal experiences with the Greenway Users Group.

There was a general discussion on the implications of the recent Councillor selection process by local labour party wards.

Arnold

Readout from 29 January Meeting

17 of us squeezed in our last minute venue – Forest Gate Arts, with an  agenda that was equally  packed and interesting.

Dockless Bike Hire: Fraser from Ofo bikes spoke to us about the company, their bikes and the dockless system, their plans, and their  discussions with Newham Council with a view to introducing them into the borough.  We were even able to try one out!  

The company is a partner of LCC and ultimately plans 150,000 bikes in London, starting in Islington and Hackney and focusing on surrounding boroughs.  Newham is therefore a natural point of expansion.

Sad news:  The bike shop Pave Velo has closed in the QE Olympic Park.

Ambition, Aspire, Achieve: we plan to go forward with this partnership by providing bike fixing stalls at the children’s cycle club on 17 February, 28 April and 26 May with short Greenway based rides on the weks following – 24 February, 5 May and 2 June. These are all Saturdays between 10am and 1pm.  If you are able to help (and haven’t already volunteered) please let me know.

Forest Gate to Wanstead Link: This is a new subject.  Given how appalling Centre Rd is, it is difficult to cycle directly to Wanstead from Forest Gate.  We decided to do some preliminary investigation, by a ride of the route; and also to see if there is a group in Redbridge who would be interested in pursuing this with us.

Bike from Boleyn:  Next ride is April 14.  Although this is some way off marshals are needed.  So if you can help put this date in your diary and let me know.

Stratford Gyratory:  an audit of the works was undertaken with Newham Council’s project manager, the Met Police Safety Unit and Michael Barratt, TfL’s Development Impact Assessment Lead, who promotes innovative methods to mitigate the impact of major construction projects.  His subsequent report highlights the various “hotspots” and recommends what can be done to mitigate.  The main action point for us is to lobby the constructors who are taking up disproportionate space in Great Eastern Street (which is separate  to Gyratory project).  We agreed to invite Michael to our next meeting. The audit could usefully be repeated in a few months.

Liveable Neighbourhoods: This is the focus of LCC election campaign.  It involves identifying at least one good project for local groups to push for in the next round of applications for TfL funding.  Newham Council has so far not made any applications.  In preliminary discussions  a number of potential schemes were identified which could be part of a future campaign.  This will need to be picked up as it becomes clearer who the local candidates are likely to be.  Olawale is attending a workshop on the broader campaign for Liveable Neighbourhoods.

Ultra-Low Emission Zone:  We agreed to respond to the current TfL consultation, pushing for more stringent measures – quicker.

Annual meeting:  This will take place on 30 April.

Arnold

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Meeting January 2018

Next meeting is at Forest Gate Arts on 29 January  at 7.30 pm
13 Upton Ln, London E7 9PA

 The attached document –Newham-Cyclists-Issues-of-Interest-Jan-2018-without-maps sets out the outcome of a recent meeting with the Sustainable Transport Officer of Newham Council to review current infrastructure developments.

I am hoping to add before the meeting the outcome of the examination of the Stratford Gyratory works with  with Newham Council, TfL and the Metropolitan Police.

Arnold

Readout from October 2017 Meeting

We tried a new venue, the Atherton Leisure Centre.  Once the disappointment of coffee not being available from the cafe was overcome it was deemed a success by our turnout of 11.

  • The main concern was the poor to outright dangerous temporary provisions for cyclists on CS2  at the Stratford Gyratory,  Letts Rd, and Strand East works.

We decided to invite TfL, local Councillors and Newham officials on a ride to experience the difficulties for themselves.

  • We will respond to consultations concerning planned works at Dames Rd, Tollgate Rd and Pier Rd.  All illustrate the lack of a coherent approach to cycling in the borough; and the TfL plans for Pier Rd are simply poor quality, with token and ineffectual cycle provision.
  • We had a preliminary discussion on LCC proposed campaign around the local elections on living streets and areas without through traffic.  Both are significant issues in Newham.
  • We discussed and progressed our ride programme for 2018.
  • We welcomed two cycle workshops in and around the borough, at Leytonstone Road and in the Community Garden at the eastern corner of Honor Lea Avenue.
  • The bike maintenance training for women is fully subscribed and will go ahead this autumn.
  • Our next meeting will be primarily social.  watch this space for details

Readout from September Meeting

A well attended and lively meeting on 25 September.

We discussed:

  • A Greenway Activity Plan proposed by Newham Council to encourage use of the Greenway.  A number of us were happy to volunteer to ride the Greenway at different times to encourage use of the Greenway and keep our eye out for maintenance issues.  Also we might bring “Fix Your Ride” there on suitable and pre-publicised occasions. If you are interested in participating in either of these activities let me know.
  • We will continue participation, as far as we can,  in Community Roadwatch, which undertakes speed checks with the police  which can result in reminder letters to speeding drivers.  This with a view to being able to suggest a wider variety of roads for this exercise in future.
  • We discussed a general paper on Cycling in Newham  aimed at Councillors.  This will be finalised.
  • We agreed to continue our partnership with AAA cycle club for children at Canning Town.  There will be a final “Fix Your Ride” session at the Arc on 11 November and we will factor in participation in our planning for next year.
  • There was general approval for our future meetings to be held in different parts of the borough.
  • Steve, the Ride Coordinator, will start planning our ride calendar for 2018 and welcomes ideas for rides and volunteers for leading them.

Arnold

Readout from 31 July Meeting

Our July meeting started with an well attended ride from Forest Gate around the Olympic Park.  We were please to welcome Fran from LCC. More joined us for the business end, which took place at The Neighbourhood in Stratford Village.

  • We elected Olawale as our Infrastructure Rep. This is effectively a change in name (from Local Scheme Lead) to fall in line with the LCC organisation of its Infrastructure Review Group.  It was noted how active we had been in responding to consultation and how thorough the responses, prepared by Olawale, were.
  • We discussed the Stratford Gyratory proposals where Newham Council, contrary to their consultation and the overwhelming response to it, were dropping the proposal for 20mph limit.  We have been liaising with “20’s Plenty” and considered further how we could campaign for the restoration of a 20 mph limit.
  • The lack of coherence of the Council’s approach was only reinforced by its recent Traffic Order for a 20 mph limit at neighbouring Maryland (but not Windmill Lane -the cycle route connecting to Westfield and roads to Stratford and Leyton) nor Forest Lane, a rat run which already has speed cushions.
  • Forthcoming consultation responses were in preparation for Gallions Roundabout and High St North.
  • Bill, who sent his apologies, reported (vicariously) that we had received our portion of membership fees from LCC and our grant from Newham Council for “Fix My Ride”.
  • Our feeder ride 9 July successfully brought over 50 riders to the Freecycle event, and about 30 returned with us.  We decided to hold a debriefing session.
  • Fix Your Ride will next appear at Forest Gate Market on 12 August and the following week at the Arc Saturday Cycle Club  in Canning Town (run by the charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve).  Upcoming rides are a family ride with AAA on 2 September, a brewery ride on 16 September and a Bike from Boleyn ride on 30 September.
  • We had a first discussion on the Mayor of London’s draft Transport Strategy, and recent TfL transport analyses.  LCC are preparing a central response- for which we emphasized the need for hard targets with strong interim targets, consequences for not meeting them, and proper TfL control over how their money was spent by local councils.  A zero accident target for 2041 may already be changing the approach to the quality of cycle projects (which can be very poor, as TfL’s for Nine Elms demonstrates).
  • We considered the practicality of applying for a London Cycle Grant, for which applications are open to 18 September.  We recognised the practical difficulties and the size of the commitment and did not want to make up a project simply to get the grant.   However Bike from Boleyn was interested in a partnership with us and it was worth considering a scheme for taking elderly people out cycling or in a rickshaw.
  • The LCC will be running a feature of women and cycling and Kerena provided  an update on our activity – promoting women’s rides and encouraging cycle leader training.

Arnold

 

Readout from May Meeting

The meeting took place a week earlier than usual and in a new venue, the Terrence Brown Arc in Canning Town, currently the centre of the charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve (AAA).

  • We started with a discussion of the breakup of proposed Quietway 6 by side roads from the new Chobham Manor Development in Stratford There are four side roads cutting through the cycle track.  This is being taken up with Newham Council who are responsible for designing the Quietway.  We discussed the need to document  setting out the “critical fails” on this route to alert stakeholders in this route.  Since the meeting we have also been pursing an audit ride with Council Officials.The conversation also drew attention to the frequent closures in the QEII Olympic Park and the lack of information on alternative routes.
  • We discussed the prospect of working  with AAA who are running a cycle club for children on Saturdays between 10.30 and 2.00pm as part of their wider Saturday children’s activities.  AAA has good facilities and funding and working with them would fit with some key objectives of Newham Cyclists.  However any  offer from us must be sustainable and beneficial to us.  With this in mind we decided to put together a pilot programme of a some  “Fix My Bike” and advice sessions aimed at the children and their parents/guardians leading to a family ride in September.  If you would be interested in participating  please let me know.
  • The Forest Gate “Fix My Ride” stall (second Saturday of the month at Woodgrange market) has been a success on the two occasions we have piloted it.  Ways of improving it were discussed.  It will run on 10 June but the July session will be an enhanced stall 9with a Dr Bike) at the Forest Gate Festival on 15 July.  This may include a bike jumble.  Since the meeting we have received the GOOD NEWS that our application for a grant from Newham Council for equipment and publicity for this venture has been successful.
  • We will meet for our evening guided tour of Waltham Forest mini-Holland facilities at 7.15 on 26 June outside Coffee 7 in Forest Gate.
  • We are still seeking to arrange a meeting with Councillors Murphy (responsible for cycling) and Christie (with overall responsibility for strategy).
  • We were alerted to infrastructure issues at Bank Junction (a trial closure to motor vehicles for 18 months) and royal Mint St (developers restricting CS3).
  • We did not think it practical for Newham Cyclists to volunteer to be a pilot campaigning group for LCC in respect of TfL’s Living Neighbourhood initiative, given our limited resources and the uncertain response of Newham Council.

Arnold