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

Readout from 25 January 2021 Meeting

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.

Arnold

Summary Readout from 30 November 2020 Meeting

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.

Arnold

Readout of 26 October 2020 Meeting

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.

Arnold

Readout from 28 September 2020 Meeting

  • We discussed the progress of the Council in implementing their proposed low traffic neighbourhoods and the temporary scheme for the Romford Road; and decided to produce a short factsheet addressing the most commonly expressed objections to low traffic neighbourhoods.
  • We decided to continue organising rides as far as social distancing permitted and seek to add easy local rides which would be particularly suitable for those seeking to increase thier confidence having recently returned to or started cycling.
  • Our partnership with AAA will resume with bike fixing sessions at the ARC, Hermit Rd on 17 October and 21 November and rides on 24 October and 28 November. We will be acting as AAA volunteers rather than as Newham Cyclists or the LCC.
  • Fix Your Ride at Woodgrange Market will take place on 10 October at Woodgrange Market.
  • We will look further into whether we have the resources to join the LCC Cycle Buddy scheme.
  • We will consider responding the to the Stratford Masterplan consultation.
  • Redbridge Cyclists are seeking views on expanding the paths that cyclists can use in Wanstead Park. Comments by individuals can be make through wnsteadpark.org.uk@gmail.com or on Facebook at wnstd.com/fwp.

Summary Readout from Meeting of 27 July 2020

  • We reported back on the positive introductory meeting of the Committe with Councillor Nilufa Jahan, recently appointed deputy to Councillor Asser for the environment and transport portfolio.
  • We discussed progress on the Newham Covid-19 response in respect of walking and cycling. Whilst pavement works had visibly progressed this was not the case with low traffic neighbourhoods and cycle lanes along borough corridors. We agreed to pursue further information on progress. A further batch of funding opportunities were coming up in the next few weeks.
  • Additionally we agreed to seek further information on (a) what was happening at Jenkins Lane where cycle facilities had been taken away, (b) whether Newham’s cycle training was returning and (c) any plans specifically for the return of schools in September.
  • We agreed to liaise with Extinction Rebelliion on their proposed “cycle caterpillar” – likely to take place on August Bank holiday; and with Better Streets for Newham.
  • We did some adjustment to our rides calendar.
  • The Committee will look at making aviable on our website the routes of our rides, favoured cycling routes in the borough and an archive of the minutes of our meetings.

    If you would like further details or background do not hesitate to get in touch.


    Arnold.

Summary readout from meeting of 29 June 2020

We continue to get high attendance at our virtual meetings. Yesterday we:

  • reviewed our socially distanced pop up stall in Manor Park and the Newham Ride over the weekend, and considered the lessons for future similar events. Our next stall is at Woodgrange Market on 11 July and our next ride is a River Ride the next day;
  • had a wide ranging discussion on the current position on active travel in Newham and particularly the progress (or seeming lack of progress) on Low Trafic Neighbourhoods and Romford Rd. We decided to (a) send further correspondence to the Council with the results of our audit of Romford Rd, and expressing concern at the lack of visible progress, given the danger that the existing funding for these projects from TfL is contingent upon progress (b) alert local Councillors to the Romford Rd project and invite them to walk/ride the route;
  • decided to look further into cycling to school;
  • explore the possibility of having a fuller “resources library” on our website.

Please get in touch if you would like further details.

Arnold

Readout from 1 June 2020 Meeting

Virtual meetings appear to be popular, as 20 of us logged in yesterday for our belated May monthly meeting. We

  • had an introduction to Love Newham Streets and agreed to co-ordinate with them;
  • discussed the Council’s transport response to teh Covid-19 crisis and decided to write to Councillor Asser in advance of the 5 June deadline for applications for DfT Emergency Funding for London money;
  • discussed how to take the issue of crime on the Greenway forward having received a response from Will Norman to our letter concerning crime on the Greenway;
  • discussed how we might get Fix Your Ride back and running;
  • thought it useful to have a resource listing bike shops/repairers in the borough.

    If you were not at the meeting (or even if you were) and would like further details on any of these matters please get in touch.

    Arnold

Annual Meeting 27 April 2020: Readout

20 of us gathered virtually for our Annual Meeting. Given the circumstances we focussed on essential business and our reaction to the Covid-19 crisis.

The following were elected Officers:

Co-ordinator – Arnold Ridout

Deputy Co-ordinator – Kerena Fussell

Secretary – Kate Byrne

Treasurer – Bill Bremner

Ride Co-ordinator – Steve Smith

Infrastructure Rep – Olawale Ajibola

Deputy Infrastructure Rep – Chris Kershaw

QEOP Rep – Jonathan Rothwell

The Annual Report, Accounts for 2019-20 and the Budget for 2020-21 were approved. Steve’s Ride Report and an album of Robin’s photos are now available. We hope to arrange for cashless donations at Fix Your Ride sessions when they resume..

In response to the current crisis we encourage members as individuals to lobby their Counsellors on the immediate advantages in promoting cycling and walking and, once the lockdown is eased, to take the opprtunities to maintain the impetus given to sustainable transport and better air quality in the face of an anticipated flight to motor vehicles. A number of templates for this are avaiable including that of Living Streets and British Cycling and those already used have propmpted some responses. We will also provide a template. Other London local authorities are known to be actively looking at how to exit the lockdown by exploiting the opportunities to promote sustainable transport.

We agreed to supplement important individual effots with a Newham Cyclists submission to the Council to remind it of the opportunities available now and post lockdown. This should take into account that the Council’s enforcement officers are presently stretched, but include for the longer term: 20mph, liveable neighbourhoods and ensuring that future road proposals provide good quality provision for cycling – especially given teh anticipated “flight back to cars”.

We also agreed to collate and pass on members suggestions for temporary improvements as part of this exercise. These suggestions should be sent by e-mail – newham@lcc.org.uk

We are in the process of putting together some good cycling routes which we shall publish if we can.

We were warned of increased cycle thefts including breaking open of cycle hoops.

Finally we agreed to keep our next (virtual) meeting to our regular last Monday in the month slot despite this falling on a bank holiday.

Arnold