This was our first attempt at a virtual meeting which, despite glitches, was judged a success by the 15 who participated.
We discussed the operation of the group during the current Covid 19 crisis and the various ways in which we could help.
We decided (a) to hold a virtual, short form Annual Meeting next month; (b) to subscribe to Zoom; and (c) to investigate further with LCC the approach by Newham Council to relaxation of parking enforcement, in the light of the opportunity to exploit the benefits of active travel. For example, there was an opportunity for some temporary cycle lanes on some of the very worst roads within the QEOP.
We agreed the broad lines of next year’s budget, which should enable us to keep about £500 in reserve to meet LCC’s suggestion to local groups to avoid spending their reserves at present. We decided not to press for the usual payment from LCC based on membership given the circumstances.
There was a general infrastucture update and focussing on the light phasing at Stratford Town Centre.
14 of us gathered at the Velodrome after the successful Greenway Ride which also featured the participation of Newham Community Dogwalkers.
There has been positive engagement from all the Newham Councillors we had contacted following the previous meeting and also Mr Desai, the London Assembly Member for the area and Chair of its Police Committee The only non-response had been from Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling commissioner.
Newham Councillors reported from a meeting earlier on 24 February that police action had led to a significant downturn in incidents. We decided to take up offers of meetings with Mr Desai, and James Beckles, Newham Cabinet Member for Crime and Community Safety, and discussed a number of steps that could be taken to ensure that crime is prevented in the future.
We decided to respond positively to the forthcoming consultation by Newham Council on its emission based scheme for charging for parking permits. Whilst this may not go as far as we would have liked we believe our support as an organisation and individually is the best way forward on a matter we ourselves had raised with the Council last year.
We looked at our forthcoming rides and activities. 29 February and the 7 March see our first round of support for the AAA children’s cycling club in Canning Town. 14 March will be our first Fix Your Ride in Woodgrange Market. The Much Hadham Ride is on 22 March. Bike from Boleyn will now take place on 2 May.
We discussed the practicalities of the proposed new Newham Parks Ride on 24 May, during Newham Heritagae month. Also, in the light of their awkward timing we felt that our participation in the Forest Gate Festival may need to be limited; and that we were unable to organise a Stratford Feeder Ride to the Freecycle event on 15 August.
A series of “Zero Vision ” walks of the Romford Rd is being undertaken by TfL and Newham Council this week to assess what improvements in ennforcement could reduce accidents. On Monday we were the only community group to attend this.
On infrastructure, our next catch up meeting with Newham Council officials will be on 6 March. Members are invited to raise any concerns they have which could be addressed at this meeting. We decided that we could respond to a consultation on the shortening of the 101 bus route insofar as it related to our overall aim of promoting active travel and insofar as it raised particular cycling issues.
Views were canvassed on the LCC policy on charging motor vehicles using East London Bridges in anticipation of an LCC Policy Forum meeting on 27 February and on the Crossrail improvements in response to an academic study.
We were reminded of the “Heathy Streets Scorecard” on the CPRE and LCC website which was being revisited this year, and invited to contribute views on how the metrics of this survey could be improved for the purposes of a forthcoming update.
13 gathered at the Denmark Arms on 27 January (with 2 apologies) to discuss Newham cycling matters.
The main topic was the Greenway. There has been an increasing spate of assaults aimed at cyclists and members had even been advised by the police not to use the Greenway in the evenings. Coincidentally this was the subject of a post by “Diamond Geezer” (a walker, not a cyclist) the same day. The areas of the assaults seem to have spread and to be deliberately targeting cyclists. Lighting has gone into the stretch north of the Greenway and the police are engaged. However, the situation is untenable as the Greenway is a designated Cycle Quietway annd was recently upgraded upgraded for 24 hour usage.
We decided to write with our concerns to local politicians and those responsible for law enforcement in the area and to cycle the length of the upgraded Greenway to our next meeting on 24 February from East Ham to the Olympic Park.
We looked at our partnerships with Ambition, Aspire, Achieve (AAA), Bike from Boleyn and the Women’s Institute and decided how we could take these forward in the forthcoming year.
We discussed outstanding major consultations (a) The MSG Sphere (which we have previously objected to) has returned with minor tweaks and remains unsatisfactory for cyclists. All are encouraged to register their objections on the grounds that there is inadequate provision for cycle parking and for cycle infrastructure around it. We will also be registering our continuing objection. (b) Newham Council’s proposal for an interim scheme for Odessa Rd E7 was perplexing as there is an outstanding application to TfL (in conjunction with Waltham Forest) for funding for a low traffic neighbourhood. We will be registering detailed objections on the basis that the scheme fails to prevent rat running and incorporate suggestions made at the meeting.
Other continuing problems were highlighted; the Browning Road scheme; the failure to install the promised cameras in school streets; and the chronic failure to enforce traffic and parking rules; and the Stratford Town Centre snagging list. We will pursue these and seek a further catch up meeting with Council Officers and seek to meet the TfL offer now responsible for Liveable Neighbourhoods in Newham.
Steve reported that the ride season had started with the Greensted Church ride and will gain momentum as the weather improves. We looked at additions and tweaks to the ride calendar.
On communications, Kerena reported that the website problems had been fixed. The migration from Yahoo Group to Groups IO seems to be smooth.
We have an aspiration to obtain an electric cargo bike and will continue to explore how we might fund this and look for places where it might be kept.
Jonathan drew attention to the need for better cycle facilities in the area of Stratford International Station, in the form of cycle hire or ideally a cycle hub.
Eight of us made it to the latest, Littile Ilford, round of our tour of Community Centres. Highlights –
We discussed the logistics of the planned ride to the Newham Firework Display – details to be confirmed.
We decided that November’s meeting will be a social to which partner organisations will be invited.
We started our thinking on our rides calendar for next year. Steve will bring a draft to our next meeting.
We discussed what options were available to replace the Yahoo Group which was becoming limited and whose future is uncertain. We decided to continue to use the website as the main archive and to try out Groups.io; but leave other options, with different functionality, open. We also agreed that there should be an additional site administrator in LCC HQ.
We decided to put in a detailed response to the proposed Waltham Forest/Newham Low Traffic Neighbourhood based on our earlier response advocating 5 “traffic cells”. The Infrastructure Group were tasked to put this together in the light of any plans already in place from the Council and in liaison Waltham Forest Cyclists. In the meantime individuals were encoraged to add there comments to the consultative interactive map which closes on 14 November. The major rat runs of Cemetery Rd and Odessa Rd were identified. Also the need to protect Quietway 6 which crosses this area.
Olympic Park “quick wins” have been submitted to the LLDC consultant, and the signs were that the MSG Development was likely to be brought back.
Schools Streets are being launched on 11 November at the Chobham Academy and Woodrange/Godwin Schools. We hope to have a presence to encourage cycling.
We identified a need to liaise with the newborn Redbridge Group in support to the “Ilford Gardens” development.
Various other infrastructure improvements were identified. These have gone on our list of cycling issues which we plan to discuss with Newham Council officers at a forthcoming catch up meeting with them.
A wet night might have accounted for a slight drop in numbers for our meeting at the Beckton Community Centre, but there was no shortage of lively discussion.
We were pleased to welcome Councillor James Asser, newly appointed as Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Sustainable Transport. Before his appointment he had previously engaged with us by attending our Annual Meeting and our Councillor Ride. He mentioned that a new Director of Highways had been appointed.
Kerena updated on the activities of the Newham Climate Collective which brings together organisations interested in Newham Council’s initiatives to fight global warming, poor air quality and waste. We are a strong voice in this group. It will next be meeting on 7 October to consider Newham’s draft Air Quality Action Plan, on which consultation ends on 14 October.
We agreed that Newham Cyclists should put in a specific response in addition to anything produced by the NCC, and put together a co-ordinating group. However everyone is encouraged to participate as individuals in the Council’s online consultation. Specific points raised were: (a) the Cycle Strategy invoked in the draft needs to be actively implemented, (b) maximum leverage should be extrated from new developments and (c) all Council developments should be looked at with an eye to active travel and monitored – in paticular that infrastructure conducive to active travel is restored if removed for any reason.
Possible planning applications for a lorry park/distribution centre in Silvertown and the expansion of London City Airport were discussed. It was clarified that Newham Council still retained its planning and other powers in respect of the Royal Docks Enterprize Zone.
A panel discussion on cimate changed is planned at the LCC annual Meeting on 16 October.
It was agreed that an infrastructure group with a core of Olawale, Johnathan, Chris and Arnold – but open to anyone interested- should focus on infrastructure issues and take the load of the monthly meetings. To this end also regular updates of the Cycling Issues chart will be posted on the website to inform those interested.
The issues surrounding the MSG development in Angel Lane were discussed. Whilst it is opposed on infrastructure grounds by TFL the development is not likely to go away. However it should not compromise the surrounding area (Stratford Station, Montfichet Rd and Penny Brookes St and Angel Lane – all key points for active travel.
There is still time to submit “quick wins” for minor improvements in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Enforcement cameras have not yet been installed for the Browning Rd bridge but should come shortly. We agreed to monitor the effect once the cameras had been installed and bedded in.
The pilot School Streets were going to be introduced in phases. The need for new schools to design in air quality was raised.
In general enforcement (of parking, littering, and to prevent engine idling) was becominng more important. Councillor Asser encouraged use of the “Love Newham” App.
We finishedwith a reminder of the success of the car free day. We had participated in events in Stratford (where there were a variety of activities – see photos – but no street closures) and in Tylney Rd (which was partially closed for play). The success of the event in Warrior Square Manor Park demonstrated the appetite for liveable streets.
We started with an evening ride from Forest Gate around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We saw the newly opened section of the Greenway before moving on to Crate for refreshment and a short discussion.
Michale Barratt, TfL’s Development Impact Manager, told us he was having discussions with Newham Council’s Network Management team and we agreed to maintain contact (whilst being wary that this department had a done little in the past to promote cycling in Newham). This initiate should benefit pedestrians , site workers, the less able as well as those that cycle.
The disappointing backtracking by Newham Council in respect of theBrowning Road bridge (see previous post). This issue gives greater urgency to our efforts to link with other like minded groups promoting a better environment and better neighbourhoods for Newham.
We will give feedback to LCC that scheduling the Freecycle in August made it difficult for us to provide marshals for the feeder ride.
We discussed forthcoming events on 22 September (Car Free Day) and 5 October (Bike from Boleyn).
We will seek discussions with Newham Council over the defective scheme for the junction of Greengate St and Barking Road.
We noted that staff at the Financial Conduct Authority found parking in Startford so cheap compared with Canary Wharf that commuting by car had increased.
We discussed the possibilities of hiring and/or hiring out a cargo bike.
Our next meeting will be 30 September – details to be confirmed.
15 of us congregated in the Forest Lane Lodge despite a change in our usual date and time. Councillor Blaney sent his apologies with an update of his current activities to promote cycling in the borough.
Below is a summary of the meeting. If you would like to know more please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We discussed and made further arrangements for a Councillor Ride on 9 June. This will be an important event.
Michael Barratt, TfL’s Development Impact Assessment Manager, who has being working closely with us for some period, updated us on his recent activities with the Newham Council Traffic management team and the London Legacy Development Corporation who still retain wide powers (including planning) over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and beyond. He suggested useful training that was available and how we can continue to minimise the adverse impact on cycling of major developments.
Stratford Original, the business improvement organisation is having its Stratford Town Centre Improvement launch event on 13 June from 4pm to 7pm; and is planning further events on 11 July and 22 September (World Car Free Day)
We will be having our “Fix Your Ride” (with add ons) at the Forest Gate Festival on 6 July.
Jonathan outlined the current enormous “Maddison Square Garden Sphere” development between Westfield and Angel Lane (see below for link to the application). He noted a derisory estimate by the planners of 20-30 cyclists going to events attracting 20,000 plus (amongst other questionable estimates) and the need for there to be better infrastructure proposals. A response to this application is due by the end of June
We agreed to support Jonathan with a QEOP subgroup to which other stakeholders and partner borough groups could be invited.
We looked at developments to restrict rat running in the Manor Park area – both east and west of High Street North (see below). The east section was a natural “Liveable Neighbourhood” and further information was needed on steps proposed to create this. The west section presented greater difficulties. However it appears to be acknowledged by the Council that its recent changes to the one way directions had not been successful. To end rat running will need further steps more akin to creation of a Liveable Neighbourhood; but it may be necessary to start with a limited area.
Having been contacted by an organisation called Iceni, which is promoting a walking and cycling bridge adjacent to the Thames Barrier. The group approved the idea in principle and will write pointing out that the Newham Ride is an ideal opportunity to put that proposal into context.
We discussed a response to a request from Newham Council to comment on the rebranding of Cycleways. We recalled our decision to object to signposting QW6 until it was of adequate quality. The consensus was that branded cycleways should be of sufficient quality (70% or more on the “Cycle Level of Service” scale) and continuous.
We had an early discussion on the prospect of greater funding from Newham Council.
We met at Stratford Library – a new venue – thanks to Trevor Mbatha. there was the usual crowded and interesting agenda.
Laura Shelton, a Crossrail Walking and Cycling Ambassador started us off, being available to mark bikes before the meeting. At the meeting proper she explained her role and some of her ideas for increasing cycling around stations and for staff. She explained that current policy will be for Crossrail to carry bikes – off peak- over all its lines (including the central underground tunnel.
Richard Wadey (Newham Council Sustainable Transport Officer) unravelled how Newham was proposing to spend the £2-3m pa TfL funding to promote the Mayor of London’s Transport Policy. For details see the earlier post of the catch up meeting with him. Headlines are that the big ticket items will be for (a) progressing design of Liveable Neighbourhoods (Forest Gate North in partnership with Waltham Forest and Woodgrange Estate). These would link to TfL’s accelerated interest in tackling the Romford Rd strategic cycling corridor; (b) forwarding design for some other strategic cycle corridors and completing improvements to Greenway and its ramps (e.g. at Newham General, Upper St) and a path through West Ham Memorial Park; (c) progressing design for key junctions on TfL’s identified strategic cycling routes, particularly the Barking Rd and (d) continuing the successful training and cycle hanger programme. He also explained various potential sources of funding to convert design into actual infrastructure. This is in addition to the Freemasons Liveable Neighbourhood for which Newham’s bid was successful, and other projects on the fringe of the borough such as Ilford Hill, the crossing of the Roding at Ilford and the Ilford to Barking route.
Trevor led discussion on the proposed “Greenway Challenge” event he was promoting on either the first or last Sunday of Bike Week. He had set up a number of partnerships already to get this event off the ground and we indicate a positive wish to help.
Also during Bike Week we decided to seek 13 June for a Bike Week partnership event with Stratford Original to promote and celebrate the improvements brought by the removal of the Stratford Gyratory.
Jonathan updated us on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the disturbing approach of the LLDC (the Planning Authority) whose current Design Guidance includes some real cycling howlers. We are going to have to get down to detail to update them not only on current practice but also to bring to their attention the historic mistakes make in the QEOP.
Richard Stevenson is pursing a Councillor Ride to ensure that the Newham Councillors who cycle get a better idea of what cycle infrastructure is possible and in place elsewhere.
Partnership Rides with Clapton CFC on 27 April and Bike from Boleyn on 4 May are coming up. A chance to mix football (of your choice) with cycling. And of course our own ride season is now in full swing.
Our Annual Meeting will take place on 29 April at the Red Lion 80 High St South East Ham 7.30pm to 9.30pm Light refreshment will be provided. Whilst predominantly a social/discussion event with guests we will have some formal business, particularly the election of Officers. Anyone who would like (or think they may like) to take a more active role in Newham Cyclists is encouraged to put their name forward. We want to continue to be a vibrant group.
A crew of 14 met at the Velodrome to discuss a wide range of topics:
We are expecting shortly to receive a copy of Newham’s Local implementation Plan (which sets out how the Council intends to spend its TfL transport infrastructure grant). This will need detailed consideration. TfL are expecting to announce their funding for Liveable Neighbourhood projects. we are optimistic that there may be one in Newham.
There was an update on the Stratford Gyratory cycle event run that afternoon afternoon by Newham Council. It gave an opportunity to chat generally with Council Officers. All “snagging” suggestions” for this scheme to go to Olawale (our Local Infrastructure Rep) for him to collate. we need to keep an eye on the restoration of bike parking and enforcement.
Our April meeting will be our Annual Meeting with guests. We will be electing officers and anyone who would like to contribute as an officer would be welcome. Formal notice will be issued later. We will also pursue a private meeting with key Councillors.
We discussed arrangements for a new partnership ride with Clapton FC from the Old Spotted Dog to their game at Wadham lodge on 27 April. Bike from Boleyn, another football related partnership ride, is scheduled for the following Saturday.
We discussed our contribution of organising a ride to support the relaunch of Redbridge LCC starting at the Quaker Meeting House on Bush Rd 2 March, 11.00 am.
We discussed suitable responses to the reconsultion on proposals to remove humps in Capel Rd.
We discussed a possible partnership with Stratford Original (a business improvement project) who are planning a event related to the new Stratford town centre layout.
We discussed the Council’s unsatisfactory plans for Greengate St/Barking Road and decided to take the matter up at the political level based on our response to the consultation.
We discussed development in the Olympic Park and Westfield, noting LLDC’s reluctance to follow the London Mayor’s new cycle standards, and the opportunity to leverage development funding for sustainable transport improvements.
A goodly crew of 15 gathered in Durning Hall, Forest Gate on 28 January for our first meeting of 2019 and the first for a couple of months. There were a number of interesting developments.
We discussed the briefing given by Murray Woodburn on Newham’s Local Implementation Plan (LIP) which is the bid for money from TfL for infrastructure projects. The bid has not yet gone to TfL to the change in the responsible Newham Cabinet Member, who had yet to approve it, and we were not shown any specific details. However from what Murray was able to show us from the general principles governing the bid were strong on sustainable transport. This year TfL are scrutinising LIP bids closely to ensure they contribute to the Mayor of London’s Vision and LCC itself is also looking at them closely. If the bid meets the principles it should pass these tests and, more importantly, progress sustainable transport in Newham.
Queeen Elizabeth Olympic Park: Following our letter on the inadequacies of the cycling provision in the Park (see earlier post), we have sent objections to LLDC in respect of the cycling provision included in the Stratford Waterfront proposal. Jonathan will represent us at the next meeting of LLDC’s Sustainable & Active Travel Group. Olawale is pursing a possible link with the Bobby Moore Academy which is also interested in pushing sustainable transport.
Olawale updated us on an audit rides of the Ilford – Barking-Barking Riverside and CS3 – Barking routes. He also reported that the “Ilford Gardens” scheme to improve Ilford Hill and the Romford Rd /North Circular junction was lilkely to start this year.
We decided to pursue an invitation from Stratford Original, the local Business Improvement District Group, to mark the completion of the Stratford gyratory works (when it happens). We are also pursuing various issues connected with these works.
We will contribute to the relaunch of hte Redbridge LCC group.
Our ride season has kicked off (see previous post). we tweaked our calendar.